Kevin Costner & Modern West Perform Exclusive USO Concert for Troops and Military Families in Germany

Academy Award-winning actor/producer Kevin Costner and his six-member band, Modern West, recently took time away from their jam-packed European tour to perform a free USO/Armed Forces Entertainment concert for troops and their families at U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, March 20.  Hundreds of Soldiers Attend the Grafenwoehr Show and Rock Out with Actor.

This was the first USO tour for the acclaimed actor and his band, which formed in 2005.  Prior to the concert, Costner signed autographs for troops and their families at the USO center in Grafenwoehr, accompanied by an opening performance by Nashville-based singer-songwriter Sara Beck.

Costner had this to say about the experience: “It was an honor for us to participate in this USO concert.  We’ve toured around the world but there is something very special about being onstage in front of our U.S. armed forces and their families.”  We’re glad Modern West visited the USO, too! Check out the photo essay below…

Kevin Costner & Modern West perform an impromptu set at the USO Grafenwoehr center in Germany, March 20, 2010. Costner and his band recently took time away from their jam-packed tour schedule to perform an exclusive USO concert for military families. (USO Photo by Jaime Goloyugo)

Kevin Costner is greeted by troops as he arrives at USAG Grafenwoehr on March 20, 2010. "Kevin Costner & Modern West" recently took time away from their overseas schedule to perform an exclusive, free USO concert for military families. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

Kevin Costner & Modern Modern West treat troops and their families to an exclusive USO concert at Grafenwoehr, Germany, March 20, 2010. The award-winning actor and his band took time away from their overseas touring schedule to visit with and perform for troops. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

Kevin Costner poses with service members at Grafenwoehr, Germany, March 20, 2010. Costner and his band Modern West, recently took time away from their overseas tour schedule to perform and exclusive USO concert for troops and their families. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

Kevin Costner signs autographs for troops and their families at USO Grafenwoehr center in Germany, March 20, 2010. Costner and his band, Kevin Costner & Modern West, put on an exclusive, free USO concert for military families in Germany. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

ON PATROL Magazine Wins Three Mercury Awards

Mercury Excellence AwardsON PATROL, the magazine of the USO, is entering its second year of publication.  The quarterly magazine, which is distributed to more than 300,000 readers, features stories of inspiration and sacrifice.

We were recently notified that ON PATROL received three prestigious communication’s honors from MERCURY Excellence Awards. This year’s competition featured around 700 entries in 20 categories from 21 countries across the world.

ON PATROL earned a gold medal in the magazine category for military support organizations; a silver medal in the magazine writing category; and a bronze medal for design.

From the beginning, ON PATROL has garnered admiration from its readers.

The magazine continues to feature outstanding writers, who contribute on a range of subjects from the special facial reconstruction efforts performed by a plastic surgeon in California to a description of golf analyst David Feherty’s “Inspiring Explosive Days,” giving wounded warriors a chance to golf with professionals, participate in long bicycle rides or hunt together.

On Patrol Summer 2009The magazine also inspired. The Summer 2009 cover featured a note from LT “J” a Navy SEAL who had been seriously wounded in battle. Unable to talk, he had penned a letter from his hospital bed, and his wife displayed the message prominently on his room door.

“If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, GO ELSEWHERE,” the note reads in part. “The wounds I received, I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love.”

And readers responded.

“I would like permission to send a copy of that letter to my friends in order to heighten their awareness of who is keeping them free and the attitudes of those who have sacrificed for them,” Claudia Thomas wrote.

ON PATROL also received feedback from the field. Chaplains in Balad are using the magazine in devotionals, while troops in Afghanistan are sending us updates from the front lines.

We’re extremely proud of the progress made by ON PATROL in its inaugural year, and we look forward to bringing more outstanding stories to you in the future.

Please click here to get your own subscription to ON PATROL