With multiple entertainment tours out, we’re reminded why we do what we do. Even though entertainment is about 20 percent of our mission, it’s a very visible way to let troops and families know someone back here cares about service members serving far from home – especially at the holidays.
So, hats off to Anna Kournikova, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dave Attell, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas, Sheryl Underwood, Leeann Tweeden, members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the U.S. Army Band (Downrange) for traveling to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Germany this month. Thanks, too to Admiral Michael Mullen and Sgt Major of the Army Ken Preston for continuing their tradition of taking these celebrities overseas.
I don’t want to leave out country artist (and Army Airborne veteran) Craig Morgan for visiting troops on Guam (hey, if you haven’t been stationed there, you don’t know how lonely that island can be) and to other members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders for heading out on their annual Christmas tour of Korea.
Remember, folks, these performers don’t have to do this. They volunteer to give up time with their families and this most family-centered time of year to do something bigger than themselves.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year.[gallery columns=“2”]
More from the USO
Mar 20, 2017
Deployed Service Members ‘Break Free from Reality’ at USO Bagram's Paint and Sip Program
Before 2016, the last time Army Sgt. Derek Peterson picked up a paint brush was in high school – which, he admits, was quite a few years ago. “I would like to be [considered an artist],” Peterson said. “But I hadn’t done any real art since [then].” So, when Peterson heard about the USO Southwest Asia’s two new art programs – Paint and Sip and Art on Tap -- during a recent deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back to his creative roots