For musicians serving in the military, finding a way to keep their musical skills in tune during deployments isn’t easy.
But for troops at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, like drummer and guitarist Lance Cpl. Jonathan Thompson, finding a place to grab a guitar and relax with a jam session is as simple as heading to the USO.
“Every chance I get I try and go to the USO,” Thompson said. “I can’t really tote guitars around with me on deployment, so the USO is the only way I get a chance to keep up with my music.”
USO Camp Buehring’s music room— which is stocked with acoustic and electric instruments — is an oasis for deployed musicians looking for a place to practice their skills or rock out with their friends. According to Thompson, he and his friends regularly have impromptu jam sessions like the one above, which they recorded and posted to Facebook recently.
“I actually wasn’t playing a song,“ Thompson said. "I told my buddy Willie to just play some chords and I was going to just run with it for a bit and that’s what happened. I was not expecting people to actually watch it or think anything of it, we were just messing around, and my buddy Thomas decided to record it.”
Thompson also noted that service members who can’t carry a tune can still use USO Camp Buehring’s other programs and services like computer stations and telephones that connect them back home.
“For a lot of us, the USO is the only way we can call and talk to or see (via Skype) wives, husbands or newborns,” Thompson said. “In my case, the USO was the only way I could talk to my father [who] was hospitalized the past few days. Its about more than music at the USO.”