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JCS Chairman Begins Trip to Assess Troop Morale

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WIESBADEN, Germany, Aug. 15, 2005 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today kicked off a 10-day tour to meet with servicemembers and assess their morale.

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Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the military audience at the beginning of a United Service Organizations show in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Aug. 15. Myers, accompanied by the USO group, is visiting American troops deployed around the world to assess troop morale and to thank servicemen and women for their service. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF

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Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers and a troupe of United Service Organizations entertainers visited the 1st Armored Division here. Also attending the show were members of the 3rd Corps Support Command, the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade and the 421st Medical Evacuation Battalion.

The 1st Armored Division band welcomed the chairman by playing the Kansas State University fight song. The chairman, a 1965 grad of that institution, told the soldiers he wanted the show to be entertaining and fun and that he wanted to look them in the eyes and thank them for their service.

To start the show, Myers re-enlisted 10 soldiers and thanked them for their service and the service of their families. "Families also serve," he said.

Rain forced the 1st Armored to hold the show in a hangar at an airfield. More than a thousand soldiers packed the grandstands and floor to see Fox Sports television personality and cover girl Leeann Tweeden, NFL Hall of Fame member Gale Sayers, and comedians Jeffrey Ross and Colin Quinn. The soldiers appreciated the irreverent comments of Quinn and Ross on everything from politics to the Middle East.

The 1st Armored Division is scheduled to send two combat brigades to Iraq in November 2006. About half the soldiers in the crowd were combat veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan, officials said.

The trip gives the chairman the chance to evaluate troop morale on his own, officials traveling with him explained.

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Gen. Richard B. Myers, USAF

Click photo for screen-resolution imageLeeann Tweeden, model/sports reporter, signs a picture for an American soldier at the conclusion of the USO-supported show in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Aug. 15. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF  
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