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USO Tour brings ‘taste of home’ to AUAB

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The United Service Organizations held a show as part of this year’s USO tour April 1, 2019, to show thanks and appreciation  for service members at Al Udeid.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted the tour, and said being able to give back to deployed service members is the number one purpose of these types of events.

“USO tours are a chance to bring a little bit of home around the world,” said Selva. “It’s a privilege to be able to bring talent from back home, to bring a smile to everybody’s face.”

Celebrities and performers, including Chef Robert Irvine and Country Singer Craig Morgan, accompanied Selva on the tour. The entertainment included a cooking demonstration, a Question and Answer session with professional athletes, and a live musical performance.

“I was in the Army for a long time myself, almost 17 years,” said Morgan. “I’m hoping that when I’m singing, they can think about home in a positive way. It encourages them to know that even though they’re so far away from home, our country is supporting them.”

Among the many attendees, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Alfredo Aquino, 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron command support staff, said events like these are a kind gesture to the men and women who serve.

“It's important to know that I am doing something good for our country, and it's a great feeling to be acknowledged and appreciated by someone else other than the people that we know personally,” said Aquino. “I think it was awesome and I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the USO for organizing and providing these types of events for everyone that is currently deployed.”

Service members participated in the show with the celebrity guests. Irvine challenged a military members to complete push-ups faster than he could cook a meal, Morgan performed alongside service members on stage, and UFC fighters squared up with attendees.

Dr. Jack Dyer Crouch, the USO president and CEO, said he hopes these tours can help bridge the gap between deployed service members and their lives back home.

“The opposite of separation is connection,” said Crouch. “Keeping [service members] connected to family, home and country is not just something that helps strengthen our service members and our families, but it’s also good for the country.”