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Noble Efforts

By Army SSgt. Nathaniel Smith

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Opry Comes To Iraq: Adkins Plays For Troops
(November 8, 2010)

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BASRA, Iraq – A four-time Grammy Award nominee visited southern Iraq recently to play for what could arguably be his toughest crowd yet.

Trace Adkins, a country musician with nine albums that reached the top 10 on U.S. music charts, put on a show for United States Division-South troops in Basra Oct. 31, 2010.
In addition to top 10 hits such as “Chrome” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” Adkins played some new music off his most recent album, “Cowboy's Back in Town.”

Spc. Tony Cates, an engineer assigned to the 1st Inf. Div. headquarters from Cherokee, Iowa, said he appreciated Adkins making the trip to Basra.

“It was a fun concert,” Cates said. “I liked how he got up there, told a couple of jokes, and said, ‘Let's roll.'”

“Trace Adkins is a real patriot. He really gives his support to soldiers.”

Adkins has played on two USO tours and performed for almost 8,000 troops in the Middle East. He makes regular visits to Walter Reed Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. In April 2009, he performed with the West Point Glee Club to raise awareness of the Wounded Warrior Project.
 Trace Adkins poses for a photo with soldiers and civilians deployed to Basra as part of a meet-and-greet session after his show in Basra Oct. 31, 2010.
Trace Adkins poses for a photo with soldiers and civilians deployed to Basra as part of a meet-and-greet session after his show in Basra Oct. 31, 2010.
Before the show, 17 soldiers with Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division were re-enlisted by the USD-S commanding general, Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks.

Spc. Justin Labaj, one of the re-enlistees and the unit armorer for Operations Company, DHHB from Utica, Mich., said re-enlisting is always special, but it was made more special with all the concert-goers on-hand.

“It was special not just the [commanding general] but having the concert at the same time right afterward, so it was like we were special to where we got to sit up front and we got to get pictures with Trace Adkins individually,” said Labaj, who re-enlisted for six years and current station stabilization at Fort Riley, Kan., the Big Red One's home station. “It was a lot more special.”

Adkins is scheduled to play a welcome home concert for soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., later this month. The 3rd HBCT is returning from a 12-month deployment to southern Iraq, during which time they fell under the operational control of United States Division-South and the 1st Infantry Division.

Article and photo by Army SSgt. Nathaniel Smith
130th Public Affairs Detachment
Copyright 2010

Provided through DVIDS

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