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  • Published
  • By Capt. Lyndsey Horn
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Deployed service members, civilians and contractors enjoyed a USO Holiday Tour, featuring actor Adam Devine, comedian Iliza Shlesinger, and WWE Wrestler Alicia Fox, Dec. 23-24 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joe F. Dunford Jr., the tour is a way to show how much the United States appreciates its troops’ service.

“The reason we came here tonight is because we couldn’t think of a better way to let you know how much we appreciate what you’re doing and how much we recognize the sacrifice not only of you but of your families,” said Dunford.

Medal of Honor Recipient Army Capt. (ret.) Florent Groberg, Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine, TNA Wrestler Gail Kim, country singer Jerrod Nieman and WWE wrestler The Miz also joined the Chairman for the tour.

“You’re playing an away game and you’re actually keeping the wolf at bay,” said Dunford to the crowd of nearly one thousand. “What you’re doing here is making a difference.”

Army Command Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed the Chairman’s sentiments.

“It important we keep at the mission and that we will keep at it until the enemy is vanquished,” he said. “Because of your efforts, the Afghan forces are getting stronger. It may be the train, advise and assist (mission) or it may be dropping bombs….We are going to defeat this enemy.”

Bagram Airfield marks the fourth stop of the tour, which along with an hour and a half long show, included a tour of outlying forward operating bases, a meet and greet at a holiday dinner and photo opportunities with event attendees.

This is the third annual Holiday tour for the Chairman who partnered with the USO to organize the all-volunteer event meant to provide a vital connection between service members and the American people.

According to the USO website, “entertainment programming has long served as an inspiring means to bring America's collective support, gratitude and goodwill to service members through the presence of entertainers thanking them as they serve around the world.”

When the USO asked Devine if he would host this year’s tour, he said he didn’t think twice about agreeing.

“This is just a cool opportunity to see what you do every day and I couldn’t pass it up,” said Devine. “I knew this was going to be pretty fun, but I didn’t realize it was going to truly open my eyes to what you all do.”

Though the deployed troops will continue to work throughout the holidays, the tour provided a short reprieve to bring a little bit of home to the Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Sailors on base.

“It makes Christmas a lot easier especially seeing friendly faces from back home, “ said Senior Airman Jeffrey Craighead, 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “It’s a good time.”