By Kyle Ford, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsNovember 4, 2008
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Many entertainers use to playing large music festivals of thousands and opening for country legends such as Tracy Lawrence, George Jones and Tim McGraw, might balk at performing for an intimate crowd of Soldiers.
Not so with rising country music star Michael Scott, who played for a handful of Soldiers and family members at the Tropics, Oct. 25.
With couches and overstuffed chairs huddled close to the stage, it was more like a living room concert with friends than a scheduled performance.
"I loved sharing stories with the Soldiers and learning more about them," Scott said.
Always a supporter of the military, Scott's opinion and outlook strengthened when he toured Iraq in 2007.
After playing several concerts at Fort Stewart, Ga., then Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch asked Scott if he would play for his troops when they rotated to Iraq.
"He said it's amazing how many things 'come up' when it comes to performers actually coming to Iraq," related Scott. "I said, 'just tell me when the plane leaves and I'll be there.' So when the general called, I said, 'When does the plane leave''"
"When I asked him (and his band) to come to Iraq to play for us there he never hesitated," said Lt. Gen. Lynch, now commanding general, III Corps, U.S. Army Forces Command. "They came, as promised, and played at many of our patrol bases ... some of them isolated in difficult territory. They lugged their own equipment, worked on minimal sleep, and truly uplifted the spirits of our Soldiers."
After eating lunch, Scott entertained Soldiers with his current single "Ray Ray's Juke Joint," and several songs from his upcoming album "Bring It On," due out in 2009. His single is currently being played at country music stations across the nation.
Some resourceful Soldiers unfamiliar with Scott's face downloaded "Ray Ray's Juke Joint" prior to the performance.
"Is that really you'" one of them asked.
After Scott sang the song he said, "Yes, it really is me."
Between songs, Scott talked about football and, his experiences playing with other performers, and answered questions.
"It's good the support he's giving us," said Pvt. Kameron Frisbee, a Black Hawk crew chief with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment. "It gives us something to think about other than the Army."
For his part, Scott was happy to be there.
"These guys work hard and sacrifice a lot for their jobs and I wanted to give them something to smile about," Scott said. "I am intrigued and interested in the Soldiers and their stories. I love listening about who they are and what they are interested in."
Scott is committed to using his talents to keep Soldiers' spirits up in whatever capacity he can.
"Going to Iraq, and meeting Soldiers and their families changed my point of view," Scott said. "It's changed the way I look at families, the way I look at Soldiers, and the way I look at my freedom."
Everyone enjoyed the performance and said they would be on the lookout for the new CD.
"I thought he was really good and I think he'll do well too," said Frisbee.
"Michael Scott is a true American hero," said Lynch. "He supports our Soldiers with deeds, not words."