BRISTOL, Tenn. — Matt Dollar has performed all over the world as an Elvis impersonator, but he’s never received an honor quite like the one he will experience later this month.
For the first time, Dollar will join a group of 40 Vietnam War veterans on a trip to Washington, D.C., as part of Honor Flight of Northeast Tennessee, which takes veterans on all-expense-paid trips to see their war memorials.
Dollar will perform the national anthem for the group on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, an experience he feels privileged to share.
“I think it’s like the biggest honor for anything I’ve done, and I’ve done a whole lot of Elvis shows,” Dollar said. “I’ve been to Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and I don’t feel like I’ve ever been asked to do anything so important.”
Dollar, a Bristol, Tennessee, resident, has had a special connection to Elvis since birth.
“My mother had named me Elvis; that’s my middle name,” Dollar said. “That’s how I got into doing this.”
Dollar has participated in a number of charitable events throughout the Tri-Cities, including a fundraiser for Honor Flight earlier this year. When Dollar was asked to accompany the group on the trip, it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“It’s just a really big honor and thrill for all of those veterans because they’ve done so much,” Dollar said. “I’m just proud to be part of it.”
The group will leave for D.C. on Friday from the Best Western Hotel on North Roan Street in Johnson City. Community members are invited to bring banners, flags and signs to a send-off for the group, which will be held that morning around 7 a.m.
Those who can’t make it to the send-off are encouraged to come to the welcome home party, which will be held Sunday at 7 p.m. at the hotel.
Dollar said plans are in the works for the group to meet President Donald Trump during the trip. If the plans work out, it will be the first time that a group from Honor Flight of Northeast Tennessee has met the president, Dollar added.
For more information about Honor Flight of Northeast Tennessee, search for the group on Facebook.