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    2019 USO Star Spangled Variety Tour: The Last Note!

    2019 USO Star Spangled Variety Tour comes to CLDJ

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Orlando Quintero | CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, 28th Chief of the...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Orlando Quintero 

    Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

    The USO tour comes to an end at 11° North, the multipurpose facility at Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti (CLDJ), July 7, 2019. More than 1,000 hours over 365 days went into planning, scheduling, logistics, vetting and base access for the six stop 2019 USO Star Spangled Variety Tour. This year’s events were hosted by U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, 28th Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

    All seven entertainers volunteered to travel over the July 4th holiday to express their appreciation to more than 16,000 service members and show that America remembers their commitment to country.

    While in Djibouti, the General, performers and staff met with members of the Quick Reaction Force, Task Force Warrior, and 75th Expeditionary Airlift C-130J Super Hercules Squadron to learn more about their missions and operational readiness.

    “We have seven wonderful celebrities who took time away from family and friends to personally thank you for your service and put on an amazing show,” said Lengyel to the crowd in attendance. "They did it for you and each trip was a learning experience for all of us."

    Joining Lengyel on the tour was actor Mayim Bialik from the sitcom The Big Bang Theory; singer, radio talk show host, and children’s book author Laura Bryna; 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin; comedian Anjelah Johnson; singer-song writer Cassadee Pope; MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and actress Toni Trucks from the drama series SEAL Team.

    For some celebrities it was their first USO tour; for Pope it was her second. “I really love getting in front of the service members and thanking them face-to-face,” said Pope. “When I think of the military I think of service members protecting us back home but I also learned that they provide protection to communities in other countries as well. I think it’s pretty amazing,” Pope said.

    The Dorie Miller Galley was the first stop for the celebrities where they had lunch. All seven picked up their utensils and lunch trays then joined service members for good conversation and pictures.

    “I thought it was great; I wasn’t expecting it,” said Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Jones, assigned to the Chapel here at CLDJ. “It was surreal for me spending that amount of time with multiple celebrities where the topic of conversation was the weather and the name Djibouti,” said Jones.

    The USO has sponsored this tour for over 78 years. USO plays a vital role connecting service members, their families and the American people.

    “Embarking on our first tour with Gen. Lengyel is a true honor,” said Alan Reyes, USO Chief Operating Officer. “Together, we will bring a touch of home to our men and women in uniform while not underscoring the important role our service members play in the defense of our nation.”

    “We help to strengthen service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country and doing these tours brings a little piece of home,” said Kate Aquillano the USO Public Relations and Social Media Manager.

    The 2019 tour is over but the USO has already begun planning for 2020.



    Date Taken: 07.07.2019
    Date Posted: 07.10.2019 11:37
    Story ID: 330750
    Location: CAMP LEMONNIER, DJ 

    Web Views: 247
    Downloads: 0