USO Spring Tour Thrills Wounded Warriors, Basewide Crowd
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 17, 2012 Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his “Vice Squad,” took part in the latest USO tour to entertain service members overseas as its fourth stop brought morale and high spirits to wounded warriors and other troops serving in Southwest Asia,
“We are here to see you and thank you so much for coming out to see us,” Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. told an enthusiastic audience. “This is the opportunity for some really fantastic people who have come out to do this USO tour, some real terrific celebrities – people who love our country and who loves soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, to come out here and thank you all for what you're doing for your country.”
Following a brief visit and show on the USS Enterprise as it patrolled the seas, the Vice Squad arrived here to an excited, base-wide crowd who were treated to barbecue and other refreshments.
Service members listened to a short monologue from each USO celebrity before a short performance and photo opportunities with comedian/actor Anthony Anderson; Major League Baseball pitcher Randy “Big Unit” Johnson; performer Jason “Wee-Man” Acuna, actor and pitchman Dennis Haysbert; Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders Allyson Traylor, Brittany Evans and Kelsi Reich; and American Idol contestants Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young.
Before the show, the vice chairman celebrated those who sacrificed for the nation and recognized a special group attending the USO show.
“You are the people who have volunteered to come out here,” Winnefeld noted. “You've deployed away from your wonderful families, serving your country, doing the right thing and supporting our troops on the ground.
“And by the way, can we get a round of applause for our eight wounded warriors we've got here tonight?” he added. “Thank you guys – we're with you all the way.”
Winnefeld also recognized the USO for their years of commitment to the military dating back to the Vietnam War era.
“I want you to know, the USO has been doing this for a long time – many, many decades,” he said. “It goes all the way back to Bob Hope and Vietnam and a lot of giving, wonderful people over the years.”
“And I want to thank the USO folks for setting this tour up for us,” Winnefeld said. “This is a remarkable audience and it's going to be a really unique evening for us to have a chance to meet you [all].”