Vice Chairman’s Final USO Tour Visits Eucom, Centcom
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva wrapped up his fourth and final USO tour this week. Selva spent five days on tour — from March 30 through April 3 — in six countries in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility. Stops included Germany, Afghanistan, Qatar, Iraq and Italy.
“This tour is first and foremost about thanking the men and women in uniform and their families for what they do every day for our nation,” he said.
Selva thanked the entertainers with him, and said that in an effort to boost the military’s morale, the USO regularly teams up with the country’s biggest stars to stage comedy shows, concerts, meet and greets, unit visits and other interactive events for service members and their families stationed stateside and overseas.
The celebrities echoed Selva’s thanks during their performances, which required a lot of audience participation and resulted in many laughs and cheers throughout.
“Thank you for serving, for being here downrange,” former Major League Baseball star Shane Victorino said. “It means a lot to me. Something I will never take for granted is to be an American and live in the United States of America. Thanks very much for all that you guys do.”
The show at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, closed with a performance by country music star Craig Morgan and his band — plus a special guest. Selva joined the band onstage with his guitar to play and sing along for the last few songs. Several attendees sang along throughout, and nearly the entire audience joined in the closing song: “America the Beautiful.”
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Craig Morgan because I grew up on country music, but I’ve never had the chance to see him live, and it was really awesome,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tabitha Thomas, a command post controller at the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram. “Seeing the vice chairman play with him was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience as well, so I’m glad I was there to see it.”
- Craig Morgan, country music singer/songwriter and Army veteran
- Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and talk show host
- Chris Weidman, former ultimate fighting championship middleweight champion
- B.J. Penn, former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion
- Felice Herrig, UFC fighter
- Shane Victorino, former outfielder for the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox
- Makua Rothman, professional surfer