As a part of the Military Appreciation celebration during Saturday's football game, Liberty will present the George Rogers Champion of Freedom Award to recipient Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Davidson, Liberty's seventh recipient of the prestigious award.
The George Rogers Champion of Freedom Award was named after George Rogers, a veteran of World War II, who served in the United States Army. While serving in the Philippines during WWII, Rogers was taken prisoner by the Japanese along with thousands of American and Philippine troops. They were forced to march about 75 miles in five days, known as the Bataan Death March. The troops were sent to POW camps where many died of starvation and abuse. Rogers was one of the few survivors of the camps.
In 2012, Rogers received recognition for his service by being awarded the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal. To honor this man and his tremendous sacrifices for our nation, Liberty University has named an award in Rogers' honor. The George Rogers Champion of Freedom Award is given annually to a man or woman who served in the United States Armed Forces and went above the call of duty, displaying extraordinary heroism while serving.
Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Davidson is this year's recipient of the award, and the first recipient to represent the U.S. Air Force. Davidson was the first Air Force Chaplain to set foot on the soil of Baghdad, Iraq. During "Operation Iraqi Freedom", he was the first Air Force Chaplain in Iraq assigned as the Wing Chaplain for the Air Force Air Support Operations Squadron. Davidson was also the first Air Force Chaplain to be awarded the "Bronze Star Medal" for bravery and valor under hostile fire and combat conditions in "Operation Iraqi Freedom" on November 7, 2003. His numerous awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Joint Service Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Chaplain Davidson now serves as the Associate Professor and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Degree program at the Rawlings School of Divinity and the Chaplain Endorsing Agent for Liberty Baptist Fellowship, located in Lynchburg, Virginia. He currently serves on the pastoral staff at Thomas Roads Baptist Church. He also serves on the Board of Directors at Bristol Raceway Ministries, in Bristol, Tennessee.
Chaplain Davidson and his wife Roydene have three children and six grandchildren.
Thank you to all veterans and all current servicemen and women for the continued service to this country. The sacrifices made to provide our freedoms as Americans are greatly appreciated.
Previous George Rogers Award Recipients 2015 - Michael Donahue, U.S. Army 2014 - Oliver North, USMC 2013 - Clebe McClary, USMC 2012 - Tim Lee, USMC 2011 - Steve Bozeman, USMC 2010 - George Rogers, U.S. Army
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