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‘It’s About Sharing Moments’: Actor Cole Hauser Reflects on USO Tour to Afghanistan

Thursday, July 17, 2014

By Sandi Moynihan  

Actor Cole Hauser swapped the Hollywood screen for the desert scene this month when he went on a USO tour to visit troops serving in Afghanistan.

“It was a once-in-a-life opportunity,” said Hauser, who is known for roles in war films like “Tears of the Sun. “And it was definitely life-changing.”

While on tour, Hauser – who has also starred in blockbusters like “Dazed and Confused” and “2 Fast 2 Furious” – signed autographs and shared moments with over 1,900 troops stationed at Bagram Air Base, Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. Hauser’s eight-day USO tour also included a tour of a medevac helicopter, dining with troops and meet-and-greets at USO centers.

“[Many people] don’t understand what it is the men and women are doing,” he said. “I guess that was one of my real … journeys that I wanted to have on this trip [was] to understand.”

Hauser said he had several meaningful conversations with troops about their lives.

“It’s about sharing moments with soldiers,” Hauser said. “Getting to know them, and them getting to know you, is what its all about. That’s what I think the USO is about.”

 

Hauser said one of his favorite memories from his trip was celebrating this year’s Independence Day weekend with troops at Camp Leatherneck. 

“I think being in Afghanistan with soldiers on the Fourth of July is a dream come true for me,” he said. “And then getting a flag that was flown at Camp Leatherneck for Fourth of July, given to me … with a plaque — it almost brought me to tears.”

Although Hauser was only able to spend a little over a week on tour, he’s already looking for ways to continue supporting deployed troops. 

“If there’s ever a time where I can lend time to a cause, it would be to the USO,” he said.

 

 

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