Pat Tillman Memorial USO Unplugged

Bagram, Afghanistan – The Pat Tillman USO has had an array of talented guest walk through the front doors. Everyone from NFL players and coaches to musical stars to members of the government. We are always happy to host these groups of celebrities and elected officials but some of the people right here on Bagram are the true stars.

Music plays an integral part of life at the Pat Tillman Memorial USO Center, as this impromptu gathering of musicians and singers performing in June 2010 illustrates. (USO photo)

On any given night there are as many as 100 plus service members here. They are talented at the jobs and positions they hold and do it with out any hesitation but that is not the only talent they possess. Many nights service members come in a watch a movie, use the wireless internet, call home, or just sit and get away from the outside world. On one such night two service members got together, an airmen and soldier, grabbed a guitar and started belting out tunes for the guest here. That started a fire in the duty managers to get more of these type performances for everyone to enjoy. We are putting together an “Unplugged” night where members of the military can come and play.

On one such occasion we were privileged to listen and record Joseph from 455 ESFS and Brandon from 4ID. These two guys got together as one strummed on the guitar and the other sang quips of songs until they finally put it together and put on an impromptu performance.  Here is a clip from the unplugged show.

The first of many to come!!!

Join 4Troops for a Live, Online Concert this Friday!

The group 4Troops consists of United States combat veterans Sergeant Daniel Jens; retired Staff Sergeant Ron Henry; Sergeant David Clemo; and Captain Meredith Melcher.

4TROOPS, the hot new vocal group comprised of U.S. combat veterans, will perform a 30-minute USO concert LIVE from New York City on July 2, 2010, at 2:00 pm EST.  The concert is being streamed with the help of Stickam, an industry leader in online multimedia communications services.

Click here to bookmark the concert page!

Each member of the group served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is on a mission to give back to troops. Their self-titled debut album was released May 11, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the USO and other organizations that support U.S. soldiers, veterans and their families. Most recently, the quartet has made appearances on “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “CNN,” “Nightline” and “Larry King Live,” among other prominent news programs. Their PBS special “4TROOPS: Live From the Intrepid” is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide and this fall the group will embark on a 50-city national tour.

During the concert, 4TROOPS will answer questions from fans, share their thoughts on what it means to serve our nation and reflect on their USO experiences. Fans will be able to view the concert live and submit advance questions for the group online via http://www.uso.org.  Leave your question for the group in the comments section below! We’ll take submissions through 12pm EST on Thursday and two lucky winners will receive 4Troops prize packs!  (Sorry, USO employees and their families are not eligible.)

And be sure to follow 4Troops on Facebook and Twitter!

Saving Abel to Release “MISS AMERICA” this Tuesday!

Virgin Records will release Saving Abel’s highly anticipated sophomore album “MISS AMERICA” nationwide on June 8, 2010 and we’re excited because the album was named after the band’s USO Tour to Persian Gulf in Early 2010!

Avid supporters of the U.S. military, Saving Abel traveled to Kuwait and Iraq in late February, and participated in an eight-day USO tour. During the tour, the band visited four bases and touched the lives of more than 4,800 troops. Touched and inspired by their USO tour, the band entitled their new album “MISS AMERICA.”

“Having just returned from our USO tour we all seemed to be on the same page when it came to naming the album,” said guitarist Scott Bartlett. “Just being out there with those men and women who do so much for us and the country we live in, we really wanted to give them something back. So for all of us, MISS AMERICA was the perfect name, for a perfect situation.”

In homage to America’s troops, Saving Abel released a 4-minute music vignette entitled “MISS AMERICA.” Packed with exclusive behind-the-scenes of their USO tour as well as conversations with troops stationed in the Persian Gulf, the video also boost the band’s upcoming single.  Click here to pre-order on iTunes and watch the video now!

The Whigs Invade Europe on USO Tour

 

The Whigs (L-R) Tim Deaux, Julian Dorio and Parker Gisbert perform for troops at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, on the band's first-ever USO tour, May 22, 2010. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

 

Athens, GA-based rock band The Whigs are currently traveling through Germany and the UK on their first USO tour.  journey abroad to Europe and rock out with military families as part of a nine-day USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.  The tour kicked off last week and the trio has performed five hi-octane USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour concerts for troops and their families.

Locations visited include USAG Grafenwoeher, USAG Hohenfels, Spangdahlem Air Base, Ramstein Air Base and RAF Alconbur.  The Whigs have also visited the USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.  During their visit, the band will also sign autographs, pose for photos and tour multiple military posts.  Check out some fresh photos!

 

The Whigs singer/songwriter Parker Gisbert performs for troops at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, May 22, 2010. The rock band recently set out on their first-ever USO tour, entertaining troops serving in the UK and Germany. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

 

 

Rock band The Whigs (L-R) Tim Deaux, Parker Gispert and Julian Dorio (far right) pose with troops at Ramstein Air Base, May 22, 2010. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

 

 

Rock band The Whigs (L-R) Tim Deaux, Julian Dorio and Parker Gisbert (far left), pose with the stage crew, before performing for troops at Ramstein Air Base, May 22, 2010. (USO Photo by Jamie Goloyugo)

 

Remembering Lena Horne

USO entertainer and singer Lena Horne (C), shown with a service member (L) and USO volunteer (R) in an undated photo. (Photo property of USO Archives)

This week we marked the passing of iconic singer and actress Lena Horne, who also toured extensively with the USO during WWII on the West Coast and in the South. She also appeared on the Armed Forces Radio Service programs Jubilee, G.I. Journal, and Command Performances.  We thank her for her service and her support of our Troops!