skip navigation

BLOG - On the Frontlines

By Amy K. Mitchell
USO, Vice President, Publications

"The Big Dog Desert Daddy"

April 30, 2009, Part II

It's our last day on America's Toughest Tour 2009 with Toby Keith, the USO, and AFE. TK and the band have done 17 shows across two continents in 7 days -- just for our military!

We finished up tonight at Camp Ederly in Vincenza, Italy -- his 140th concert for the military. Toby was presented with the Freedom Team Salute Certificate of Appreciation by the U.S. Army on behalf of Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Chief of Staff of the Army General George Casey just after the show.

The day, however, had a bittersweet beginning. The 173rd Infantry based here had seen one of Toby's shows in-theater last year. The unit was involved in a lot of action shortly after the visit. They lost nine servicemembers just before leaving Afghanistan. The visit here therefore was to pay tribute to their memory, Before the concert Toby hosted a reception for those troops now based here.

Closing the tour in Italy has been perfect as we also got to include our military families in the good times. What a ride it has been downrange and back. We could not have received a better reception at every stop along the way from COP Carwile to FOB Tillman to Camp Delaram to Aviano Air Base. Thank you to all who have welcomed and supported us throughout this journey. We have many to thank and you will be hearing from us.

And our many thanks to Toby Keith and his band for joining the USO year after year to bring a little bit of home to our servicemembers at the frontlines.

Godspeed to our Soliders, Marines, Sailors, and Airman wherever in the world you are.