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Patriotic Article
Noble Efforts
By Army 77th Sustainment Brigade

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Army Sgt. Karen Amicone, the property book non-commissioned officer with the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and a native of Clinton, N.J., gives country music singer Chris Young the “Statue of Liberty” patch as a token of appreciation here April 19, 2011. While Army Staff Sgt. Antonio Smith, the force protection non-commissioned officer with the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command looks on in admiration. Young, an active military supporter anxiously returned to perform here for the second time and spent the night singing and signing autographs for appreciative service members. Photo by Army Sgt. Allyson Parla
Army Sgt. Karen Amicone, the property book non-commissioned officer with the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and a native of Clinton, N.J., gives country music singer Chris Young the “Statue of Liberty” patch as a token of appreciation here April 19, 2011. While Army Staff Sgt. Antonio Smith, the force protection non-commissioned officer with the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command looks on in admiration. Young, an active military supporter anxiously returned to perform here for the second time and spent the night singing and signing autographs for appreciative service members. Photo by Army Sgt. Allyson Parla
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq (4/24/2011)

Service members gathered here April 19, 2011 for a performance by country singer Chris Young. Soldiers, airmen, and Department of the Army civilians had the opportunity to take a break from their normal, day-to-day routine and experience a performance by the singer.

Chris Young is an avid military supporter and has previously traveled to the Middle East to perform for service members.

In attendance, among others, were Brig. Gen. Kurt F. Neubauer, the JBB installation commander, Chief Master Sgt. Harold Hutchinson, JBB's command chief, and Command Sgt. Maj. Debbie Schroder, the command sergeant major for the 310th 
Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

The event was hosted by Stars For Stripes, the nonprofit organization that promotes patriotism and civic pride by bringing entertainment to troops in Iraq. For fans, band members and all who attended, the event was mutually morale-boosting.

“I firmly believe that the reason I have such a blessed life is because of people in uniform,” said Judy G. Seale, the president of the Stars for Stripes organization, and a Nashville, Tenn., native. “You allow me to live the life that I do. If I didn't have to work for a living, this is all I would do.”

Although Young has performed in support of Ssldiers stationed overseas before, his band members were performing for the first time here. The musician's stance on supporting the military was enthusiastic and loyal.

“I told pretty much everyone I could talk to what a great experience it was,” said Young as he smiled while reflecting on his previous performance for the troops stationed in the Middle East.

Other members in the band echoed Young's sentiment.

“I see people in the armed forces in a completely different light now,” said Steve Siels, Young's bass player.

Siels said that meeting soldiers from different branches of service who have served overseas has a deeper meaning now that he has witnessed the job they perform in a deployed environment.

“Now that I've been here, I get it,” he said. “These guys are doing an incredibly rough and tough job. I think people in the armed forces are a breed of their own. It's like a hidden gene that's no one has discovered yet. I think it takes a lot to do what you guys do.”

The level of appreciation that the military members showed towards the band was surprising for Young, who gave out iTunes gift cards and CDs while signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.

His younger 24 year-old sister recently joined the Marine Corps last year and works in aviation electronics.

“We can't tell people ‘thank you' fast enough,” Young said. “They're telling us, which seems really backwards, but it's an amazing feeling.”

Dozens of military personnel posted photos on social media Web sites and wrote notes of thanks even before the night was over, a testament of gratuity for the band that showed support.

By Army 77th Sustainment Brigade
Copyright 2011

Provided through DVIDS

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