FORT CARSON, Colo. -"This is the first time I've ever opened for myself," joked country music star John Rich to Fort Carson Soldiers and Family members at the Rocky Mountain USO May 14.

Rich, along with other members of the Muzik Mafia, including Cowboy Troy and Two Feet Fred, sang and danced, while strumming a rhinestone-covered guitar.

Rich joked with the audiences about the effects of the high elevation.

"It makes you feel drunk even if you're not - think of all the money I'd save," he said.

Soldiers and Family members crowded around the floor with cameras poised for shots of the celebrities.

"I want him to sing to me," said Staff Sgt. Carrie Steel, 43rd Sustainment Brigade.

Rich performed military-themed song, "Eighth of November," as well as songs by Roger Miller and Johnny Cash.

The crowd joined in during the performance of the song, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," which included a rap performed by Troy and dancing by Fred.

An audience member shouted out a request for a song Rich wrote about the recent floods that affected Nashville, Tenn., called, "Lend a Hand."

Rich thanked the members of the audience for their service.

"From all of us around the country, you guys are doing the hard work and we sure appreciate it," he said.

Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James Kilpatrick presented Rich with a Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard belt buckle on behalf of the Fort Carson command team instead of the typical coin.

"We always love entertainers who come down here and be able to enrich our lives," Kilpatrick said.

"John is such a talented songwriter and performer and truly jumped at the chance to visit the USO Fort Carson center and perform for our troops," said Phil Martinez, Fort Carson USO program manager.

Group photos were taken with everyone in attendance and tickets were given out at the end of the performance for a show that night at the Air Force Academy.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16