USO and ACM Lifting Lives Bring Concert to Troops at Nellis

The 2010 ACM Chairman's Ride rolls into Nellis Air Force and prepares to kick off the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. The concert was emceed by GAC host Stormie Warren and was attended by more than 3,000 troops and their families. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

It was a HUGE night at the Academy of Country Music Awards, as multiple USO tour veterans took home the top prizes!

But before the actual show, we put on a USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert for Troops and their families at Nellis Air Force Base.  Check out the pictures below.  And here’s a rundown of ACM winners, with the artists in bold indicating USO celebrity entertainers:

Song of the Year: Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”
Single Record of the Year: Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”
Video of the Year: Miranda Lambert – “White Liar”
Vocal Event of the Year: Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins – “Hillbilly Bon”
Top New Artist: Luke Bryan
Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert – “Revolution”
Humanitarian Award: Montgomery Gentry
Triple-Crown Award: Carrie Underwood
Top Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum
Top Male Vocalist of the Year: Brad Paisley
Vocal Duo of the Year: Brooks & Dunn
Top Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood
Top New Vocalist: Luke Bryan
Top New Vocal Duo: Joey and Rory
Top New Vocal Group: Gloriana

Country music artist Randy Houser (C) performs with his band during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. This is Houser's second USO tour. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Eddie Montgomery (C) leaps in the air while singing with his bandmate Troy Gentry (L) and another band member as they perform during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. In 2006, Montgomery Gentry traveled on a USO tour to Germany, Iraq and Kuwait, and entertained more than 15,000 soldiers. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Country music artists Randy Houser (L) and LeAnn Rimes perform together during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. This is Houser's second USO tour and Rimes first. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Country music artist Dierks Bentley performs during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Country music artist James Otto performs during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. Otto is a USO tour veteran. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Zac Brown Band Tours Persian Gulf

The Zac Brown Band performs an acoustic USO show for soldiers stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on April 14, 2010. (USO photo by Erick Anderson)

“Playing our music on the front lines and in front of thousands of America’s troops is an opportunity of a lifetime.  We’ve toured all around the world, but nothing compares to what we’ve seen on our USO tour.  Being able to hear first-hand what it’s like to live in a combat zone and get a true sense of what it means to protect and serve, it is truly amazing.”  That’s what the Zac Brown Band had to say about their first USO in the Persian Gulf.

As reported by USA Today, the Grammy Award-winning band even skipped the Academy of Country Music awards to spend time with the Troops!

Their nine-day USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour is designed to deliver a much-needed break to Troops serving on the front lines.  So far, they’ve visited soldiers and performed USO shows at Camp Buehring and Camp Striker, touching the lives of more than 4,000 service men and women.

Although this is the band’s first USO tour to the Persian Gulf, they performed at the USO Fort Hood Community Strong event in December 2009; in 2008, Brown traveled along as part of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USO Holiday tour  in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, United Kingdom and Germany.

He had this to say about his first visit there with the band: “Journeying back to the Persian Gulf with the USO and performing for our men and women in uniform means more to me than I can put into words.  Music is a powerful tool, it can transport you to another time and place, and connect you with loved ones. And that’s what this tour is all about- lifting spirits and delivering a touch of home.”  Thanks for the support, Zac Brown Band, and good luck tonight!

(L to R) Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, Zac Brown and John Hopkins of the Grammy Award winning Zac Brown Band gather together on stage and perform a song for troops stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on April 14, 2010. This is the band's second USO tour and the third for Brown. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Zac Brown shakes hands and accepts patches from soldiers to glue on his guitar after the band's first USO show at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on April 14, 2010. (USO photo by Erick Anderson)

Guitarist Coy Bowles of the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band performs solo for soldiers stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on April 14, 2010. During their nine-day USO tour, the band will visit multiple posts, sign autographs and perform countless hits, such as “Chicken Fried,” “Toes” and “Whatever It is.” (USO photo by Erick Anderson)

The Zac Brown Band extends their heart felt thanks to troops and graciously responds to a highly energetic and appreciative crowd of soldiers stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on April 14, 2010. Named “Best New Artist” at the 2010 Grammy Awards, the Zac Brown Band was recently nominated for four Academy of Country Music Awards including “Entertainer of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” “Single Record of the Year” and “Top New Vocal Group.” (USO photo by Erick Anderson)

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)

Neal McCoy Supports the Troops: A Video of Appreciation

Neal McCoyThe USO and country musicians have a long and storied history, and Neal McCoy is no exception.  Touring the Gulf Coast region to boost the morale of troops involved in the rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is just one of the ways he’s showed his support on his 14 tours with the USO.

As he says on his website, these tours come from the heart: “It means the world,” McCoy says “My mother was born in the Philippines, and growing up she made me understand and respect what it meant to live in the USA.” He made this video to show some of that respect:

Trace Adkins Visits Wounded Troops

Trace Adkins performs with the West Point Cadet Glee Club at the 2009 USO Gala. (USO Photo by Dennis Brack)

Country music star Trace Adkins is a huge supporter of the USO.  From performing live with the West Point Cadet Glee Club at the 2009 USO Gala in Washington, DC to visiting wounded troops as part of his work with USO of Metropolitan Washington’s (USO-Metro) celebrity handshake tours at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Adkins never hesitates to show he cares.

On Friday, January 29, Adkins sat down for an interview with WMZQ’s “The Boxer Show,” where he had this to say: “It’s awe-inspiring, it’s overwhelming at times,” said Trace Adkins when asked about his experience participating in celebrity handshake tours at area military hospitals. He added, “You are in the presence of heroes, and the courage and determination that those men and women show is humbling. It’s an honor to get to do that.”

Click here to listen to the interview with Trace Adkins on WMZQ!

Trace Adkins shows his support with Handshake Tours, sponsored by USO of Metropolitan Washington. (USO Photo by Crystal Benton)

These handshake tours boost morale and provide a celebrity tour of a different kind to Troops who are recovering from their injuries – the families and friends who care for them.  Last year alone, USO-Metro hosted over 130 entertainers on these tours at area military hospitals, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center and Warrior Transition Units at Fort Meade, Fort Belvoir and the McGuire Richmond VAMC.

We are grateful for the tireless work of Trace Adkins…and we love his music!  To show your support, and to learn more about USO of Metropolitan Washington, please visit www.usometro.org.

Pickler and Pals – Final Photo Essay

Country music star Kellie Pickler reunites with Jamey Johnson (far right) and Randy Houser (far left), and kicks off 2010 with USO entertainment tour to Persian Gulf. Seen here, the trio visits and performs for service members stationed at FOB Bucca Jan. 14, 2010. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Troops line up for autographs and photos following a USO concert at COS Kalsu Jan. 16, 2010. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Country music newcomer Randy Houser performs a song for troops stationed at Continuing Site Camp Scania Jan. 16, 2010. Catapulting into country music stardom following the release of debut album and emotional ballad “Anything Goes,” Houser is quickly winning over audiences with his believability and riveting vocal prowess. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Country music singer Kellie Pickler encourages troops stationed at FOB Bucca to join her in singing one of her songs, which soldiers Jenna Stenger, 24, and and Gina Velasquez, 30, cheerfully accept Jan. 14, 2010. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

At Continuing Site Camp (CSC) Scania, soldiers gather around as country music singers Kellie Pickler, Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser perform a private USO concert Jan. 16, 2010. In the Persian Gulf to extend their thanks, the trio is visiting numerous combat outposts and performing a series of shows exclusively for U.S. troops. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Troops hold up a sign reading "We Love You - 354th MP Company" during a USO performance in the Persian Gulf Jan. 14, 2010. The concert featured country music star Kellie Pickler, singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson and country music newcomer Randy Houser. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson sings a song for troops stationed at FOB Basra Operations Center Jan. 14, 2010. A former U.S. Marine, who served eight years of military service, Johnson is known for his songwriting skills and has worked with some of the best in the business including Trace Adkins, George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson and the Oak Ridge Boys. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson (3rd from L) talks with Army and Navy River Patrol Boat operators during a break before a USO concert at FOB Basra Operations Center Jan. 14, 2010. In the region with pals Kellie Pickler and Randy Houser, this is Johnson's first USO tour. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Kellie Pickler and the tour group arrive by a CH-47 helicopter at FOB Bucca to perform another USO concert Jan. 14, 2010. A former “American Idol” contestant, Pickler released her self-titled sophomore album in 2008. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)