Charlie Daniels Band comes to Joint Base Balad

332nd Air Expeditionary Wing
Story by Staff Sgt. John Gordinier

Date: 04.21.2009
Posted: 04.21.2009 10:49
News ID: 32656
Packed House

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Country singer Charlie Daniels and his band performed for service members at Sustainer Theater here April 17 as part of a "Stars for Stripes" tour.<br /> <br /> "We are here to perform for Balad because we want to; we care about what you all are doing over here," Daniels said prior to the show. "I just want to do my part, because I can't carry a gun, I can't go and fight — I'm too old. But I can come and perform for you all and, if it helps you all do what you do, then I'm happy.<br /> <br /> "This is a special audience [of military members]; they can't go out and get concert tickets and see a concert anytime they want to," the legendary musician continued. "There are a lot of things they can't do. You can't go off base; you can't take a plane, or drive down to Florida for the weekend, or go fishing. You're stuck here inside the wire. That's a big commitment you guys volunteer to make. You come here because you want to be here. I'm here to support you and tell you all, 'you're doing a great job.'"<br /> <br /> During the performance, the Charlie Daniels Band played some of their hits such as: "Simple Man," "Dixie On My Mind," "Long-Haired Country Boy" and "In America."<br /> <br /> In addition, Mr. Daniels shared a few lyrics himself wrote called, "When I Get Back From Iraq." The lyrics depict what service members miss and what they are going to do when they return home.<br /> <br /> In the middle of the concert, Mr. Daniels paid tribute to his friend, musical legend Johnny Cash, by singing the song, "Folsom Prison Blues."<br /> <br /> Not surprisingly, the last song of the evening brought the audience to its feet, roaring with approval, when Mr. Daniels pulled out his fiddle and sang: "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."<br /> <br /> After the show, the band passed out more than 1,000 hand-autographed photos for the service members in attendance.<br /> <br /> "I thought it was a phenomenal performance," said Master Sgt. Sean O'Daniel, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Protocol and long-time Charlie Daniels fan. "I never sat down the whole show."<br /> <br /> "Charlie Daniels is a true patriot," added the Tucson, Ariz., native deployed here from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. "Everything they do, they express America, patriotism, and pride in what we do here."<br /> <br /> Overall, the "true patriot" left JBB with a special message:<br /> <br /> "From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you; not just active-duty, but Guard, Reserve, anyone who wears the uniform," Mr. Daniels said during the concert. "You are the best America's got."