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Patriotic Article
Noble Efforts

By Army Pvt. Zachary Zuber

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Celebrities Visit Joint Base Balad For Handshakes, Photos
(October 6, 2010)

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JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Former major league baseball pitcher Randy Johnson, actor Dennis Haysbert and actor Robert Patrick visited service members during a handshake tour Sept. 26-27 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
The United Services Organization sponsored the tour, which brought the three stars to JBB's main USO, as well as to the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Command Center and several other locations on the base.

“It's fantastic, it's not every day that you get to meet a big celebrity, especially here,” said Sgt. Chris Dalthorp, personnel accountability/casualty liaison team noncommissioned officer-in-charge with the 103rd ESC, and a Nevada, Iowa, native. “It's really nice that they were able to take the time and come out here to show their support.”

The guys on tour felt it was just as great to get the opportunity to spend time with the service members serving at JBB.

“I know it's a difficult job here, and we are
Sgt. Chris Dalthorp, personnel accountability/casualty liaison team non-commissioned officer-in-charge, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and a Nevada, Iowa, native, shakes hands with Dennis Haysbert during the movie and television star's United Services Organization tour of Iraq, Sept. 27, 2010 at the 103rd ESC Command Center on Joint Base Balad. U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Zachary Zuber
Sgt. Chris Dalthorp, personnel accountability/casualty liaison team non-commissioned officer-in-charge, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and a Nevada, Iowa, native, shakes hands with Dennis Haysbert during the movie and television star's USO tour of Iraq, Sept. 27, 2010 at the 103rd ESC Command Center on Joint Base Balad.
just here to help boost morale for the troops,” said Haysbert, who starred in TV shows “The Unit” and “24.” “I know they get a thrill out of seeing celebrities and just anyone who comes to see them. So I feel like I've done my job.”
One 103rd ESC soldier had a more personal reason to meet the visitors, Haysbert, in particular.

“My grandmother, who is 93, just loves him,” said Maj. Sherrell Murray, force generation officer, 103rd ESC, and an N.C. native. “Every time he comes on the TV the whole family just jokes that that's her boyfriend. It's just great to see celebrities supporting us and making the commitment to come over here.”

This was the first trip for Johnson, who won a World Series ring with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. It has been an interesting and rewarding experience, said Johnson.

“I've wanted to do this in the past and just haven't had the opportunity,” said Johnson. “This whole experience has been overwhelming, to come in for the first time and introduce myself to the soldiers, and hear their stories.”

Service members were able to get photos and autographs to remember this visit. The tour stops have given the three men memories for long after they go home.

“I just left the hospital, where I was bowling with the doctors, and went from that levity to seeing a soldier come in who needed treatment,” said Patrick, who starred in “The Unit” and several movies, including “Flags of Our Fathers.” “It's a very humbling experience to come over here, and I'm just thrilled that they've given me the opportunity to do it.”

Article and photo by Army Pvt. Zachary Zuber
103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command
Copyright 2010

Provided through DVIDS

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