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    Hollywood ambassadors start overseas tour in Qatar

    Hollywood Ambassadors Start Overseas Tour in Qatar

    Photo By Dustin Senger | Don McManus rides in a Stryker combat vehicle, while listening to a General Dynamics...... read more read more



    Story by Dustin Senger 

    Area Support Group - Qatar

    CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar — Five television and film stars officially started their Ambassadors of Hollywood support tour in Southwest Asia at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 17. Maeve Quinlan, Paul Johansson, Don McManus, Christy Carlson Romano and Gabrielle Tuite traveled across the world to show their support for the U.S. Armed Forces in Southwest Asia. After departing Qatar, the celebrities will visit service members in Afghanistan.

    "They all look familiar — I am a little star struck," said U.S. Army Capt. Dennis Valdez, from New Hyde Park, N.Y. He was enjoying a four-day pass from duty in Iraq, by participating in the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program in Qatar. "This is my second tour to Iraq, but my first time seeing celebrities in this region. It shows that the people back home have us in their thoughts... and hearts."

    "I recently watched Christy in a behind-the-scenes documentary about the show 'Kim Possible,'" said Spc. Rebecca Cofield, from Phoenix, Ariz. Romano voiced the lead character in the Disney Channel television series. In 2005, her voice performance was nominated for an Emmy.

    "It's really cool to see famous people take the time to come out here," said Cofield. "Traveling to a deployed environment shows they really care about the soldiers. They were very sincere when talking to us."

    Quinlan, Johansson and McManus enjoyed a special offering at the Qatar base: riding aboard a Stryker armored combat vehicle. A General Dynamics senior wheel mechanic provided a detailed explanation of Stryker capabilities during the ride.

    In April 2005, the Qatar site began repairing Strykers suffering from extensive battle damage. In December 2008, the facility was adjusted to accommodate a growing need for restoring, or "resetting," equipment suffering from years of abuse and numerous unit rotations.

    "This is the coolest thing I have ever done in my life!" said Quinlan, after riding in a Stryker. "I particularly liked it when the driver sped up, while making turns and driving through water. I can tell these vehicles are able to withstand a lot!"

    It's interesting to meet new people," said Sgt. Jennifer Preston, from Columbus, Ohio, after meeting the celebrities in the installation dining facility. "Not everyone can wear a uniform, but anyone can support those who do."



    Date Taken: 04.17.2009
    Date Posted: 04.17.2009 12:33
    Story ID: 32514
    Location: CAMP AS SALIYAH, QA 

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