Alabama veterans honored with bluegrass in Somerville on Memorial Day

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SOMERVILLE, Ala. - Every Memorial Day, a family in Somerville invites veterans and their families out to the barn for some good food and bluegrass.

It's a chance to thank and remember fallen heroes, but organizers say the crowd gets a little smaller every year as more veterans pass.

"We've been doing this for 13 years," Soggy Bottom Barn owner Joel Gurley said.

Just past a cow pasture outside Somerville, the barn is a place where families can find a spot to come in from the rain.

"I'm glad to be here. I'll be 90 years old next month," World War II veteran Melby Hutson said.

Every Memorial Day at this barn, you'll find men and women who served in nearly every conflict from the past 80 years.

"It'd just bring a tear to your eye, what they went through," U.S. Army veteran Jerry Smith said.

"We got hit on Marble Mountain with rockets, we were probably in combat for a month," Vietnam War veteran Isaac Maze said.

Though they took off the uniform years ago, their minds are still sharp. Veterans here say they don't forget where they fought or the soldiers who didn't come home.

"A lot of our World War II veterans, bless their hearts, they're leaving us pretty quick," Smith said.

"We used to have up in the 50s. Now, it's about four," Gurley said.

That four includes Hutson and William Luker.

"He was with Patton. He was a tank man in Patton's army," U.S. Army veteran Dale McCutcheon said while talking about Luker.

Luker may not be a teenager anymore, but he can still fall in and find the rhythm on a stand-up bass.

"We had to go pick them up to get them here, they don't drive anymore," McCutcheon said.

Volunteers say they're happy to do it. Because at this barn, even the cat gets enough to eat.

"We don't get together to play much anymore, but we enjoy seeing one another," Hutson said.

And this group enjoys hearing the stories and the sound of some bluegrass on a special holiday.

You can find out more about the Soggy Bottom Barn here.

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