By Sandi Moynihan
Giving back to the military is in Vince Vaughn’s blood.
So when he was offered the chance to treat troops at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to an advance screening of “Unfinished Business” in February, the three-time USO tour veteran had to say yes.
Vaughn said he as relatives that served. “I’m always appreciative of the troops and all the sacrifices that are made, and it’s always been important to me to express that.”
In addition to meeting with base leaders and personally kicking off the screening event, Vaughn took photos with troops who had recently returned home and others who were recognized for excellence in their jobs.
Vaughn signed posters, shook hands and treated troops and their families to an advance screening of his movie “Unfinished Business” during his visit to Edwards Air Force Base in California. USO photos by Dave Gatley Air Force 1st Lieutenant Jamie Lynn Warfield told DoD News that meeting Vaughn was a dream come true.
“I’ve been enamored with him ever since I was a little kid,” she said. “I am not normally a big movie, celebrity fanatic, but Vince Vaughn was always my star crush. And he was very, very humble and really kind.” The actor, who was filming the second season of HBO’s “True Detective” near Edwards, said that he screened the movie as a way to lift the spirits of our men and women in uniform.
Actor and three-time USO tour veteran Vince Vaughn is greeted by Air Force Colonel Eric Leshinsky after arriving at Edwards.“I hope that the movie brings them some laughter, that they have a good day laughing,” he said. “[I’m glad I] just get the chance to send the message that I know that a lot of people share, which is that they’re always in our minds and in our hearts.”
Vaughn said that he started a relationship with the USO after learning of the death of his friend Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. The news hit home for Vaughn and he sought a way to support American service members.
“I had the movie “Dodgeball” coming out,” he said. “So I called up [the USO] out of nowhere and said, ‘I don’t know if you guys would be interested, but I’d like to bring this comedy over because it could be funny for everyone to see.’”
Vaughn traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and “and some other places I can’t pronounce very well” to show the hit comedy to deployed troops. A year later, he teamed up with the USO again bring troops more laughs with the movie “Wedding Crashers.”
“I’d love to get a chance to go back overseas,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get everybody home here sooner than later.”
–Sandi Moynihan is a USO multimedia journalist.