By Sandi Moynihan
The vice chairman is a popular guy.
Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is currently leading an eight-day, seven-country USO tour with a robust roster of entertainers, celebrities and sports stars.
NFL players Andrew Luck, Dwayne Allen and David DeCastro, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, musicians Phillip Phillips, Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, actors Dennis Haysbert and Jason “Wee Man” Acuna and Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev are all circling the globe with the admiral to greet and entertain troops and their families.
“This is my third opportunity to take a group of talented entertainers overseas on a USO trip,” Winnefeld said. “The strength of the USO [is the] vibrancy, character and values which it provides as it helps bring comfort to our men and women in uniform and their families. The USO represents a certain certainty during uncertain times and provides unwavering commitment to service members and their families.”
This is the sixth USO tour for Haysbert, who was the master of ceremonies at the 2013 USO Gala and has also lent his trademark voice to USO public service announcements. It’s the fourth USO tour for DeGarmo, third for Young, second for Acuna and the first USO experience for Pagano, Luck, Allen, DeCastro, Kazantsev and Phillips.
“This trip has been nothing short of amazing so far,“ Phillips said. "We’ve got to meet so many great men and women in uniform, and see so many interesting places. I can’t thank Adm. Winnefeld and the USO enough for this life-changing experience.”
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.
More from the USO
Jun 5, 2020
"Call of Duty," a Mascot Named Rags and 5 Other Facts about the 1st Infantry Division
Originally commissioned in 1917 to fight in World War I, the 1st Infantry Division is the oldest continuously serving division in the U.S. Army. In honor of its birthday on June 8 here are seven facts you should know about the unit.
Jun 4, 2020
What Reopening Looks Like at USO Centers in Europe After Months of COVID-19 Lockdown
While the U.S. military is continuing to maintain many health and safety regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19, some USO Europe locations have slowly begun opening their doors after months of digital-only connection with service members and their families.