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News: Sergeant Major of the Army, USO Bring Cheer to Task Force Marne

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The band 'Downrange' performs their final song with other tour members and Soldiers during the Sergeant Major of the Army Hope and Freedom tour, Dec. 16, at the North Morale Welfare and Recreation Center at Camp Striker, Baghdad.

By Pfc. Monica K. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq - Entertaining troops for the sixth consecutive year, the 2007 Hope and Freedom USO Tour stopped off yesterday to entertain Multi-National Division Center soldiers.

The crowd was engaging, with a few of its own comics, and kept entertainers such as singer Darryl Worley and comedian Sheryl Underwood laughing just as hard.

The show began with opening remarks from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, who introduced everyone on tour, including all of the band members and the stage crew.

"During the holidays, the USO tour is a piece of home to all the soldiers," Preston said. "It's also an opportunity to say thanks for the sacrifices they make."

Kicking the show off was the U.S. Army Band "Downrange" singing "I Live in America." Other featured acts were singer Keni Thomas, a former Army Ranger; four members of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders; Leeann Tweeden, a sports correspondent for Fox; and actor-comedian Vince Morris, who was greeted as a newbie by the crowd because this was his inaugural performance.

Tweeden said this is her eighth USO tour and that she just wants to be able to go back and tell everyone firsthand what she's seen and experienced.

On his sixth rotation with the USO Hope and Freedom tour, Worley said he's only making a small sacrifice. The group spends 14 days performing, visiting troops, signing autographs and taking photos. But Worley said he does it because he has friends who are willing to stop the enemy in its tracks for messing with him and the rest of America.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Sergeant Major of the Army, USO Bring Cheer to Task Force Marne, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:12.17.2007

Date Posted:12.17.2007 12:07

Location:BAGHDAD, IQGlobe

More Like This

  • Several entertainers, sponsored by the USO, visited service members here Dec. 15.
  • Celebrities traveling throughout Afghanistan on a USO tour stopped at Forward Operating Base Shank to meet and entertain and troops for the holiday season Dec. 21.
  • Country music superstar and veteran USO entertainer Toby Keith lit up the desert night here April 26, turning the base into a party on his 10th year of entertaining troops overseas.

Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and others packed the area in front of the USO stage here, cheering, laughing and often singing along as Keith and his band performed songs on his "Live In Overdrive" USO tour.
  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston and an ensemble of entertainers stopped here to perform the 2007 Hope & Freedom USO Tour for troops December 12 to 14.

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