Bonus Pics from the Chairman’s Tour!

Tony Sirico, Jon Stinchcomb, James Gandolfini, and Rose McGowan touch down at the NATO facility in Northern Kabul, April 2, 2010.

We were thrilled to receive a note earlier this week from Captain Jane Campbell, USN, after having the USO’s Spring Chairman’s Tour swing through her location.

“Once again — the USO Tour was a HUGE hit here at the NATO facility at North Kabul Int’l Airport….something like this sure makes a world of difference. And, I think the Sopranos enjoyed meeting some of the Italian troops here. ;-)

Thanks, Captaing Campbell, for your service and for the service of everyone serving at NATO command in Kabul.  We’re happy to share your pictures!

Hmm...we wonder who create that sign! Rose McGowan shares a smile with Troops in Kabul on April 2 , 2010.

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle finds a pigskin far from home to sign for one servicememeber.

James Gandolfini plays tough guy with one servicemember in Kabul on April 2, 2010.

Paulie Gualtieri - oops! we mean Tony Sirico - gives a classic look to the camera before signing autographs and chatting with Troops inside ISAF Joint Command.

Check Out the Latest from The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Spring Tour!

Three-time Emmy winner and former "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini poses for a photo with a soldier stationed in the Persian Gulf on March 30, 2010. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Admiral Mike Mullen and special guests continue to visit with Troops.  Here’s what they have to say:

Admiral Mike Mullen: I am delighted to once again be traveling with the USO and a great group of entertainers and celebrities who only want to give back to the troops. It means a lot to me that they would take time out of their busy schedules to do this, but it means a great deal more to the men and women down range and in harm’s way. It’s going to be a great trip.

James Gandolfini: Our troops are some of the brightest and bravest men and women I’ve ever met. Sadly, they don’t always get the appreciation and recognition they deserve. The USO allows me the privilege to meet them in person, show them my gratitude and thank them for their service.

Rose McGowan: Having the opportunity to travel on a USO tour with Admiral Mullen and visit our nation’s troops was the opportunity of a lifetime. My eyes were opened like never before and I walked away with a greater sense of pride, respect and honor. I know countless others have said it before, but I am forever changed.

Jon Stinchcomb: So many of my fellow teammates and friends have gone out on entertainment tours and told me about how great their experience was visiting and uplifting troops. Now, I can finally relate to them and tell others how important it is to work with the USO and support our troops. War or no war, our soldiers are remarkable and need our support.

Tony Sirico: I went into my second USO tour thinking it was going to be the same or similar to my first visit back in ’04. But it was different. I could see the progress and just how far we’ve come. I am proud of each and every one of our men and women in uniform who stepped up to the plate. It’s a spiritual thing to me. We play touch guys on TV but me and Jimmy agree, you don’t know tough until you see our troops over there.

Now check out the pictures!

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb visits with soldiers at Kabul Airfield in Afghanistan on March 31, 2010, during a seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. This is the NFL player's first USO tour. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actress Rose McGowan gives a thumbs-up after looking into the cockpit of a A-10 Warthog during a USO tour stop on an airforce flightline on March 30, 2010. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Troops wait in line to get autographs and photos with some of their favorite stars, (R-L starting in lower right) actors Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini, along with New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb and actress Rose McGowan on March 30, 2010. This trip is the first USO tour for McGowan and Stinchcomb, and the second for Gandolfini and Sirico, who traveled to Kuwait and Iraq in 2004 and brightened the day of more than 1,700 U.S. troops. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actor Tony Sirico signs autographs and greets troops during a USO meet-and-greet on March 30, 2010. This is Sirico's second USO tour. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actress Rose McGowan poses for a photo with SGT Frankie Keffakes during a USO meet-and-greet on March 29, 2010. McGowan is in the region as part of a seven-day overseas USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Spring Tour Gets Off to a Great Start!

Four of today’s most talented figures in film, television and football are participating in a USO tour led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.  Special guests James Gandolfini, Rose McGowan, Tony Sirico, and Jon Stinchcomb will visit with Troops, sign autographs, and more on this weeklong tour.

Admiral Mullen had this to say about his experiences with the USO: “I am delighted to once again be traveling with the USO and a great group of entertainers and celebrities who only want to give back to the troops.  It means a lot to me that they would take time out of their busy schedules to do this, but it means a great deal more to the men and women down range and in harm’s way. It’s going to be a great trip.”

Likewise, James Gandolfini – who is on his second trip – echoes that sentiment: “Our troops are some of the brightest and bravest men and women I’ve ever met.  Sadly, they don’t always get the appreciation and recognition they deserve.  The USO allows me the privilege to meet them in person, show them my gratitude and thank them for their service.”
Check out the first set of pictures from the tour!

Former "Sopranos" stars James Gandolfini (center, back row in green), and Tony Sirico (4th L back row) along with New Orleans Saints offensive tackle/Super Bowl XLIV champion Jon Stinchcomb (3rd L back row) pose with airmen and pilots during a USO meet and greet at an airfield in the Persian Gulf on March 29, 2010. The group is in the region as part of a seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle/Super Bowl XLIV champion Jon Stinchcomb has his picture taken with service members during a March 29, 2010, stop on aa seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. In 1966, the NFL teamed up with the USO and became the first sports organization to send a group of players to Vietnam and other parts of Asia, demonstrating the league's support for America's troops. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actors Tony Sirico (back row C) and James Gandolfini (back row 2nd R) along with New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb pose for a photo with the aircrew of a blackhawk helicopter during a seven-day overseas USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen March 28, 2010. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Former "Sopranos" stars James Gandolfini (R) and Tony Sirico (C) are given a tour of an MRAP armored vehicle during a USO tour stop at a forward operating base in the Persian Gulf on March 28, 2010. In the region as part of a seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, this is the duo's second USO tour. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Actor and former "Sopranos" star Tony Sirico sits in the pilot's seat of a blackhawk helicopter on March 28, 2010, as part of a seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. Sirico is touring with fellow "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb and actress Rose McGowan. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Three-time Emmy winner James Gandolfini (c) poses for a photo with a soldier on March 29, 2010, during an overseas stop of a seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. Avid supporter of the U.S. armed forces, Gandolfini produced an HBO documentary entitled "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" in 2007. Centered around ten Iraq veterans wounded in early to mid 2000, the piece debuted in September. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Exclusive Video from the Chairman’s Tour!

Chairman's TourLast December Dave AttellNick Bollettieri, Billy Ray Cyrus and Anna Kournikova convened in the name of Troops as part of the annual USO holiday tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. Centered around saluting America’s armed forces, the group visited three countries in seven days, to sign autographs and talk with Troops.

Kournikova recently discussed her work with the USO (this was her third tour) and has previously said of this tour, “It’s just an incredible honor for me to come out and visit you guys and try to spread the holiday spirit. I really hope you enjoy the show.”  Cyrus echoed those sentiments: “It is an honor to be here. Thank you for being over here and being our heroes.”

We’ve put together a highlights reel from the tour and hope you enjoy!

USO Tour Veteran/New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees Leads Team in Taking Home Football’s Most Coveted Trophy

Just in case you weren’t one of the more than 100 million viewers that tuned into CBS to watch Super Bowl XLIV…USO tour veteran and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees helped lead his team to a 31:17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday in Miami!

Brees was recently named “FedEx Air Player of the Year” (for the second year in a row) AND he was named MVP!  Can you tell we’re proud?

New Orleans Saints QB - Drew Brees (R), signs autograghs for the troops with footballs of this tour of Forward Operating Bases in the Middle East. Brees was in the region as part of a seven-day, three-country summer USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

While basking in his team’s first Super Bowl win, Brees is also preparing to deploy on his fifth USO tour.  Two grandparents fought in World War II, spurring Brees to being touring with the USO in 2007.  His passion and dedication have touched the lives of thousands of troops and military families over the years.

Along the way Brees has racked up the frequent flier miles while visiting six countries: from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.  His USO experience memorably includes being a part of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s first USO tour in July 2008 (other special guests included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora).

On behalf of the USO and the troops stationed around the world, congratulations to Drew Brees – his teammates Donnie Edwards and Billy Miller who are also going on the tour – and the New Orleans Saints for winning football’s most coveted trophy.  May you enjoy this moment and have continued success both between and beyond the goal posts!