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Pace, USO Performers Visit Troops

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, Dec. 31, 2005 – Servicemembers often get the chance to speak with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the current United Service Organizations holiday show touring military bases.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace and his wife, Lynne, are taking a group of performers to thank the troops for their contributions to the war on terrorism.

During the shows, singer Diana DeGarmo, comedian Reggie McFadden and country music singer Michael Peterson entertain the troops while retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam, offers advice for combat and life.

The show has been to the Persian Gulf, including a visit to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, and now Iraq.

During and after the show, troops speak with Pace about their experiences. "They are proud of what they are doing," Pace said. "They thank me for coming over here when it really should be me who is thanking them."

Pace and Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, thank the troops for their efforts for America. "It's because of you that Iraqis are experiencing freedom for the first time," Pace told servicemembers here. "And once they taste that freedom they won't want to let it go."

DeGarmo, of the reality TV program "American Idol," begins and ends each show. She ends the shows with patriotic songs, and the crowd generally joins in.

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Gen. Peter Pace, USMC

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