An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
And it ain’t George Clooney, Sean Penn, or Babs!
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Dec. 23, 2007 â€“ Military men and women in eastern Kunar province were surprised Dec. 21 by a visit from the Armyâ€™s top enlisted soldier and several celebrities at the remote Camp Blessing, Afghanistan.
Sgt. Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston is hosting the sixth annual Hope and Freedom USO Tour. As part of the tour, Preston arrived in Kabul late Dec. 20 with four Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, country music stars Darryl Worley and Keni Thomas, as well as model and TV personality Leann Tweeden. They travelled in helicopters from Kabul to Camp Blessing, in eastern Kunar province.
With a late morning arrival to the camp, the celebrities joined soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines at the dining facility for lunch and conversation before they performed for the troops.
Most troops said they had heard about the sergeant major of the Army and USO visit between a few minutes and a few hours beforehand. Some drove over from forward operating bases several miles away to Camp Blessing.
Upon finding out about the visit, Army Pfc. Chris Floeck, a Waller, Texas, native, said, â€œWhy are you playing with me? Stop messing with me.â€ Floeck is assigned as an infantryman to 2nd Airborne Battalion, 503rd Army Infantry Regiment, deployed to Afghanistan from Vicenza, Italy. â€œI didnâ€™t really believe it until we got in the vehicles and left (for Camp Blessing),â€ Floeck said as Tweeden sat down at his table.
Daytona Beach, Fla. native, Army Pfc. Ryan D. King said, â€œThey told me (about the visit), and I was doing cartwheels.â€ As Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders walked by he added, â€œIâ€™m a Texas fan today.â€ King is also an infantryman with 2/503rd.
Preston introduced all the performers as everyone finished their lunches. He said this was the sixth USO tour sponsored by the sergeant major of the Army, and fourth that he has hosted. â€œIâ€™ve been very blessed. Iâ€™ve seen all six shows,â€ he told the troops.
Where have all the celebrity heroes gone? Mostly, they are in the country music biz, and they stand up for our military men and women, giving back a little of what has been given to them.
No, there aren’t any Bob Hopes, or Ann Margarets around anymore, but there are Toby Keiths and Darrel Worleys!