NFL Coaches Touch Down on a USO Tour to Europe and the Persian Gulf

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (back row L), Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid (back row 2nd l) , Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress (3rd r) and Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox (r) pose for a photo with medical staff during a USO tour stop at Landsthul Regional Medical Center in Germany on June 29, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

For the second consecutive year, the NFL deployed four of its most sought-after coaches to Germany and the Persian Gulf to visit troops as part of a week-long USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.  Making the journey overseas are Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

Coach Childress had this to say about the experience: “Since my son has enlisted in the Marine Corps I have learned a new appreciation for the freedoms we all enjoy and take for granted.  Our armed forces are the most highly skilled, best-trained men and women in the world. Their character is on display on a daily basis because they’re an all-volunteer force. We all owe them a debt of gratitude and this trip is a small way of saying thank you.”

Check out our photo essay and get the latest on the tour from the Bengals blog!

Two soldiers brief Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox (standing 2nd l), Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress (standing 2nd r) and Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (bottom in tank hatch) about the M1 Abrahms tank during a USO tour stop at Baumholder Army Garrison in Germany July 1, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox visits with MP's at Kaiserslautern Air Base in Germany during a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour stop on June 30, 2010. (USO Photo Fred Greaves)

Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress gets some help after trading hats with TSgt Tamala Williams, a cook at a dining facility at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, during a USO tour stop on June 30, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (2nd r) talks with airmen at the 435th Air Mobility Squadron at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on June 30, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

(r-l) Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox sign autographs and visit with troops and their families at the USO center in the Ramstein Passenger Terminal at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, June 29, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

America Ferrera, Ryan O’Nan, Jason Ritter, and Ryan Peters Wrap Up One Hot Tour!

Actors (L-R) America Ferrera, Ryan O'Nan and Jason Ritter pose with troops in the Persian Gulf as part of their first-ever USO tour. Also joining the actors is writer/director Ryan Piers Williams, who is also participating in his first USO tour. (USO Photo by Tracy Thede)

The mercury may have topped 120 degrees (!), but fan favorites America Ferrera, Ryan O’Nan and Jason Ritter – along with writer/director Ryan Peters – stayed cool as they wrapped up their first USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to the Persian Gulf, having visited with over 1300 service members along the way!  The group’s Handshake Tour found them greeting Troops, posing for pictures, and signing autographs as they traveled throughout the Persian Gulf for eight days.

Ferrera had this to say about her experience: “We are here because we are so thankful and grateful and to hear a soldier say “thank you” its overwhelming, because really we are the ones who are filled with so much gratitude.”

Check out a short video below, in which they express their gratitude to the Troops…

Naughty by Nature Performance in Djibouti

Hip-hop veterans Naughty by Nature – accompanied by Sway & The Wonder TwinZ - recently completed a USO tour to the Persian Gulf and what a trip it was!

This marked the second tour for trio, who entertained and met with more than 1,500 troops serving in Kuwait and Iraq in 2009. This was the first USO tour for MTV correspondent Sway Calloway, who served as emcee.

Vin Rock had this to say before leaving, “I’m excited to support our troops again by touring with the USO.  We enjoyed ourselves the previous trip, learned alot and were happy we could put smiles on the troop’s faces.”  And judging from Troops’ responses, the concerts were a huge hit.

Check out video footage from their first tour stop at Camp Lemonier!

more about “DVIDS Naughty by Nature Performance i…“, posted with vodpod

Toby Keith Delivers Boot-Stomping Rhythms to Troops

Megastar Toby Keith passes out guitar picks to service members and their families during an exclusive USO concert in Korea, April 29, 2010. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)

“I’ve been traveling with the USO since 2002, and every year I look forward to spending time with the men and women who serve this great country.  When I get on stage and look out into a crowd of uniforms, it gives me a great sense of pride to know that I am giving back to them.”

That’s what award-winning singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith had to say about his current four-country USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.  He’s traveling to Korea, Germany and the Persian Gulf on his eighth USO tour. Since his first USO tour in 2002, Keith has traveled to more than 10 countries and entertained over 140,000 service men and women, many at small remote outposts.

Check out the latest pics from this tour and keep it tuned here for more Toby Keith news!

Megastar Toby Keith performs for military families in Korea as part of his eighth USO tour, April 29, 2010. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)

Joined by singer/songwriter Scotty Emerick, Toby Keith delivers an intimate acoustic performance for troops in Korea, April 29, 2010. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)

Military families line-up for an opportunity to meet award-winning singer/songwriter Toby Keith at the Camp Walker Kelly Gym in Korea, April 28, 2010. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)

Singer/songwriter Toby Keith, with Scotty Emerick, put on an acoustic show at Camp Walker Kelly Gym in Korea, April 28, 2010. The duo entertained 600 military families. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)

Zac Brown Band Bonus Pics!

As you know, the Zac Brown Band recently returned from their first USO Tour in the Persian Gulf.  And it was a smashing success!  Not only did they choose to spend time with the Troops instead of attending the Academy of Country Music Awards (although those were fantastic, too), they’ve partnered with Ram Trucks on “Letters for Lyrics” and will soon premiere a video (or two) of their tour.  We’ll have the latest for you when it’s available.

In the meantime, we wanted to share a bonus batch of pictures from their time overseas.  Enjoy!

The Zac Brown Band performs a USO concert before more than 2,500 U.S. troops at Holt Memorial Stadium at Balad Air Base in Iraq, on April 18, 2010. This is the band's second USO tour. (USO Photo by Erick Anderson)

Country music singer Zac Brown and his band graciously receive a challenge coin from Brigadier General Franklin of the United States Air Force just moments before performing a USO concert at the Holt Memorial Stadium at Balad Air Base in Iraq, April 18, 2010. This is the band's second USO tour, having performed for troops at Fort Hood in late 2009. (USO Photo by Erick Anderson)

Country music singer Zac Brown receives a warm welcome from a K-9 unit dog during a USO meet and greet in Kirkuk, Iraq, on April 17, 2010. During the week-long USO tour, Brown and his band visited multiple combat outposts including Camp Buehring, Camp Striker and FOB Tal Abtah. (USO Photo by Erick Anderson)

Country music singer Zac Brown gets up close and personal with troops during a USO show in Mosul, Iraq, on April 16, 2010. This is Brown's third USO tour. (USO Photo by Erick Anderson)

Band frontman Zac Brown signs a guitar for Specialist Vanele Dacosta of New Milford, CT, in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 15, 2010. During the USO meet and greet at Camp Striker, Brown and his band mingled with troops and extended their heartfelt thanks. (USO Photo by Erick Anderson)

The Zac Brown Band performs an acoustic USO show just outside the barracks at Forward Operating Base Tal Abtah, located just outside of Mosul, Iraq, on April 16, 2010. Standing around the band listening to them perform are soldiers belonging to the 1-64 AR, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. (USO Photo by Erick Anderson)

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)