• Country music artist Craig Morgan performs for hundreds of deployed service members at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 8, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Country music artist Craig Morgan performs for hundreds of deployed service members at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 8, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and...

  • Hundreds of deployed Soldiers take time out to watch country music artist Craig Morgan perform at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Hundreds of deployed Soldiers take time out to watch country music artist Craig Morgan perform at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several...

  • Hundreds of deployed Soldiers take time out to watch country music artist Craig Morgan perform at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Hundreds of deployed Soldiers take time out to watch country music artist Craig Morgan perform at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several...

  • Hundreds of deployed Soldiers take time out to watch country music artist Craig Morgan perform at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Hundreds of deployed Soldiers take time out to watch country music artist Craig Morgan perform at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several...

  • Country music artist Craig Morgan performs for a group of deployed Soldiers at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan, May 5, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Country music artist Craig Morgan performs for a group of deployed Soldiers at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan, May 5, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul...

  • Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Meisner, senior enlisted leader for 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), waits by the side of the stage at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan, to introduce country music artist Craig Morgan to a group of deployed Soldiers May 5, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Meisner, senior enlisted leader for 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), waits by the side of the stage at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan, to introduce country music artist...

  • Sgt. Kurt Reiss, of  Aurora, Neb., a CH-47 Chinook crew chief assigned to 7th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), "Task Force Lift," poses with country music artist Craig Morgan during his visit to Forward Operation Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 5, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Sgt. Kurt Reiss, of Aurora, Neb., a CH-47 Chinook crew chief assigned to 7th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), "Task Force Lift," poses with country music artist Craig Morgan during his visit to Forward Operation Base Shank...

  • Brig. Gen. Mark O'Neil (right), deputy commanding general for operations of Combined Joint Task Force-10 and 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and country music artist Craig Morgan arrive at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4, 2014. Morgan, in his eleventh Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since 9/11, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9, 2014.

    Craig Morgan marks his 11th trip to deployed troops

    Brig. Gen. Mark O'Neil (right), deputy commanding general for operations of Combined Joint Task Force-10 and 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and country music artist Craig Morgan arrive at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, May 4...

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (May 13, 2014) -- When Nikki Phillips won tickets to go to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, April 22, she emailed her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Corey Phillips immediately.

Unfortunately, she didn't read the email from Nashville's 103.3 WKDF until it was too late to go. So, she contacted them, and they let her pick any Tuesday night at the Opry. In the end, she was lucky to miss the evening she was supposed to go, and ended up going on the night that Craig Morgan would be performing. Corey told her that, ironically, Morgan would be traveling to Afghanistan and to Forward Operating Base Fenty, where he is based, to perform for the troops there, May 5, 2014.

Morgan, in his 11th Armed Forces Entertainment tour overseas since Sept. 11, 2001, toured several locations through Kabul and Regional Command-East, performing for thousands of deployed troops and civilians, signing autographs and meeting with Soldiers, May 4-9.

"As a former Soldier myself, it is so important to me to have another opportunity to support our troops and do whatever I can to help keep morale high," Morgan said. "I've been doing this for 14 years now, and my two favorite places are here and the Grand Ole Opry."

Nikki and her mother barely made it to the show, since she was overdue in her pregnancy, but when they got there, she could not imagine what was going to happen.

Corey, who is an Apache helicopter repairer and platoon sergeant with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation Brigade, "Task Force Thunder," 101st Airborne Division, out of Fort Campbell, Ky., made it his mission to have Morgan personally deliver a message to his wife.

Morgan pulled Nikki onto the stage, and after taking a cell phone selfie, he dedicated his latest single, "Wake Up Lovin' You" to her and Corey.

When Morgan sang the song to Soldiers at Forward Operating Base Shank, he told the story of how Corey sent a message on Facebook to him about how much he loved his wife and their unborn son and how he couldn't wait to get home to hold them both.

"I almost started to cry and thought that I was one of the luckiest men on the face of the earth to have that song dedicated to me and my wife and to be married to the greatest woman," said Corey.

Nikki and Corey, who are from Murfreesboro and Clarksville, Tenn., respectively, are also both huge fans of the former Soldier-turned country music star, but could never image how Morgan would receive their requests.

"I have followed him and his career basically since he showed up on the charts, and he being a Tennessee boy and living right down the road in Dickson, and being ex-Army, I am proud of him for doing what he does for the Soldiers and his fans," Corey said. "My wife has been a fan for a while, and fell in love with his new song, which he dedicated to her on the stage and sang it to her with his arm around her at the Grand Ole Opry."

During his performance at Bagram Air Field, a packed Quonset hut of country music fans sang along with Morgan and his band.

Sgt. Cara Parker, a chaplain's assistant with 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), waited until the end of a line of hundreds of autograph seekers to get a photo taken with Morgan.

"The time he took to take pictures with every single Soldier and sign autographs was phenomenal," said Parker, of Auburn, Kansas. "It shows how much he supports the troops which means a great deal, [it was an] amazing experience."

Page last updated Tue May 13th, 2014 at 00:00