Country Star Entertains Troops In Germany
(May 7, 2010)
Toby Keith performs during a concert May, 1, 2010, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The concert was sponsored by officials from the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment, and was designed to entertain and help boost the morale of troops and their families. Mr. Keith is a singer, songwriter and entertainer.
U.S. Air Force photo
by Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce
5/4/2010 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Country
music icon Toby Keith performed for the Kaiserslautern
Military Community at a jam-packed concert May 1 here.
The concert was headed up by officials from the USO, Armed
Forces Entertainment and the 86th Services Squadron here and
was open to all military ID card holders.
Mr. Keith has performed for military members for more than
eight years and he makes it a point to set aside time in
tribute to them each year.
"Being an adult at the time of (Sept. 11, 2001) and knowing
people were being called upon by their country to go into a
battle zone, we just felt compelled to do it," Mr. Keith
said. "It was an eye opening and wonderful experience that
we had, so we had to dedicate two weeks a year to them."
Although Mr. Keith was never a part of the uniformed
services, he has always been an avid military supporter.
"My father was in the military and he came home with the
vision in one eye taken away from him while my mother and
three kids were at home," the singer said. "I was 16 or 17
before I knew he was blind in that eye. He never complained
At a young age, Mr. Keith's father taught him to respect
veterans and current armed forces members, and to appreciate
diversity of the military. Because of this, he tries to
bring something different to each show.
"It's not like playing stateside shows," he said. "If
someone yells out a song they want to hear, we'll play it. I
try to put a smile on everyone's face and try and bring them
in and make them laugh."|
He also tries to bring many servicemembers backstage so he
can meet them before the concert. More than 15 wounded
warriors met the artist and expressed their gratitude for
The appreciation for the music star was evident with not
only the overwhelming crowd size of more than 4,000 people,
but also their thunderous applause.
"I love it," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Dannelly, an 86th
Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel specialist. "He is a huge
supporter of the troops and I wouldn't miss this event."
An event like this also pays dividends to family members who
serve in their own way.
"It's great for the troops to be able to relax and come out
to see the concert," said Mary Watson, mother-in-law of
Senior Master Sgt. Karl Campbell from the 86th Maintenance
Squadron. "I think it's just as important the event gives so
much back to the family members and offers them a little
piece of home."
Mr. Keith's 14-day tour will take him to various military
locations in South Korea, Germany and the Persian Gulf.
By Sr. Airman Scott Saldukas|
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News
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