FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan - Entertainers, celebrity chefs, authors and motivational speakers visited soldiers as part of Operation Honoring Our Troops June 6, here.
Operation HOT, put together by chef and author Charles Carroll, is a variety show that helps the participants to give something back to soldiers serving overseas.
"We're just here to bring a piece of home to all you guys here at the front lines," said Carroll. "We're so proud to be here."
The show featured speeches by former Notre Dame football coach and ESPN commentator Lou Holtz, celebrity chef Robert Irvine and author Steve Kaplan, comedy acts by Carmen Berton and hypnotist Boris Cherlak and music by U2 tribute band, L.A.vation.
The show gave the soldiers stationed here near the Pakistan border the opportunity to break from routines, soak up some air conditioning and enjoy some entertainment that they would ordinarily not be able to see here at such a small base.
"It boosts morale," said 2nd Lt. Toby W. Hammond, a route clearance engineer with the 591st Engineer Company (Sapper). "We really do appreciate it."
"It was good to have people come to the FOB," said Staff Sgt. Justin A. Walker, a signal support systems specialist with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. "It felt good to have people showing their support."
To show their thanks to the Operation HOT participants, the soldiers prepared vehicle and weapons displays for the entertainers to experience before they were escorted to another forward operating base to meet more soldiers.
Before leaving, the entertainers took time to pose for pictures and sign autographs, which made a big impression on the soldiers.
It helped the soldiers realize that there are people back home who care and that take the time to think about how hard a deployment can be, said Hammond.