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G.I.s Shine in Holiday Starlight

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2000 – "See that guy over there, he's won four Super Bowls," a thrilled airman said to his buddy when Terry Bradshaw, in Pittsburgh Steelers regalia, walked into a hangar at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

"Now that's a sight you don't see every day," Pfc. Jeffrey Bungabong, of Seattle, Wash., said when the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders took the stage at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.

"Carole King has always been one of my favorites," said Ed Mobley while waiting his turn to have his picture taken with the Grammy award winner. Retired from the Air Force, Mobley now heads protocol at Bondsteel's Joint Visitors Bureau.

After dining with singer Ruth Pointer-Sayles at Task Force Eagle headquarters in Tuzla, Bosnia, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ivan Walker of Warrenton, N.C., said, "I never thought I'd meet any of the Pointer Sisters, but now I can tell everyone I did."

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from the Mediterranean to the Balkans had a chance to meet and greet the stars Dec. 16 to 19 when Defense Secretary William S. Cohen's holiday USO tour visited Europe. It was the secretary's fourth and final holiday tour since taking office in 1996.

Along with Bradshaw, the Cheerleaders and King, the traveling troupe included Mike Singletary, Football Hall of Fame linebacker of the Chicago Bears and Baseball Hall of Fame Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks. Singers Ruth Pointer- Sayles, Jewel and Shane Minor, were accompanied on keyboard and guitar by Jon Carroll, Rudy Guess, Phil Symonds and Arlan Schierbaum.

Comedian Al Franken, an alumnus of Saturday Night Live, gave his unique view of current events and returned what he humorously claimed were service members' absentee ballots. Ty Murray, a world champion rodeo star, White House official Thurgood Marshall Jr., and others paid tribute to the G.I.s.

At each stop, the stars on behalf of the folks back home thanked the troops for their service and sacrifice. There was no shortage of takers as celebrities and entertainers willingly signed autographs and posed for pictures with those they dubbed America's heroes.

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Related Articles:
AFPS News Article: Good Times, Gratitude Mark Sec Def Holiday Tour
AFPS News Article: Cohen's Traveling Troupe Tours Europe

Click photo for screen-resolution imageA soldier takes pictures as the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders leave the stage to dance with soldiers in the audience Dec. 19, 2000, in Tuzla, Bosnia. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSinger Ruth Pointer-Sayles (center) talks with Army Sgt. Tasha Jones (left), of Chicago and Sgt. 1 C. Sarah Carter, of Racine, Wisc., both of 129 Postal Co., at a dining facility in Tuzla, Bosnia. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageDefense Secretary William S. Cohen and his wife, Janet Langhart Cohen, applaud as MTV veejay Ananda Lewis hugs a sailor Dec. 16, 2000, aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean. Lewis served as the emcee during Cohen's fourth and final holiday USO tour. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy 1st Lt. Tim Randle, of Boone, N.C., Headquarters, Co., 103rd Military Intelligence, talks with a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, Dec. 19, 2000, in a dining facility in Tuzla, Bosnia. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageJanet Langhart Cohen talks to her smiling husband, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, during a Dec. 16, 2000, holiday USO show aboard the USS Harry S. Truman. The Cohen's launched what they hope will become a tradition of inviting celebrities and entertainers to visit troop bases during the holidays. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSoldiers enthusiastically welcome Super Bowl hero Terry Bradshaw to Task Force Eagle headquarters in Tuzla, Bosnia, Dec. 19, 2000. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMusician Arlan Schierbaum (right) and baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks (center), greet soldiers Dec. 18, 2000, at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. Schierbaum's brightly-colored tie-dyed pants and head scarf stood out in cheerful contrast among the military BDU's and bleak Balkan landscape. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSuper Bowl hero Terry Bradshaw signs autographs for his fans while visiting Task Force Eagle headquarters in Tuzla, Bosnia, Dec. 19, 2000. It was Bradshaw's second annual holiday visit to troop bases in Europe. Following his 1999 visit, he arranged for Fox Television's NFL Saturday and Sunday shows to broadcast this year aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution image'Mr. Cubs' Ernie Banks poses Dec. 19, 2000, with an Army sergeant at Task Force Eagle headquarters in Tuzla, Bosnia. At each stop on the defense secretary's holiday tour, Banks told service members they are playing on the best "team" in the world. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution image Soldiers stand in line as singer-songwriter Jewel (right) signs autographs Dec. 19, 2000, at Task Force Eagle headquarters in Tuzla, Bosnia. Jewel sang her hit songs "Save Your Soul" and "You Were Meant for Me" during shows aboard the USS Harry Truman in the Mediterranean, and at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageA soldier poses with MTV veejay Ananda Lewis while another soldier takes the picture. Lewis served as emcee during Defense Secretary William S. Cohen's holiday USO tour Dec. 16-19. Photo by Linda D. Kozaryn   
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