By Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public AffairsMay 29, 2009
FORT IRWIN, Calif. (Army News Service, June 2, 2009) Aca,!" The host of late-night show Aca,!A"Last Call,Aca,!A? visited Fort Irwin to film an episode dedicated to the Soldiers at the National Training Center here, May 27.
Carson Daly's Monday episode of "Last Call" showcased Soldiers and their training, his way to honor their sacrifices.
"We wanted to show one full episode of my late-night show to tell the Army story, in particular to come to Fort Irwin where so much of that great national training is taking place," Daly said. "We wanted to do a full episode to really draw awareness for our young audience of the incredible job the Army men and women are doing for our country.Aca,!A?
Daly, the son of a military brat, is no stranger to the military. His grandfather served with the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., and deployed to Vietnam. Daly said he has the Special Forces insignia tattooed on his left arm in honor of his grandfather.
Daly started his day with a helicopter ride from Burbank to the main post helipad. From there, it was on the Range 1 where he fired an M9, an M4 and an M249 SAW, while wearing the proper protective equipment.
Joe Sirstman, a musician and a guest of Daly's, said that the SAW surprised him. It was his first time firing a firearm, and he said the only prior experience he's had with weapons were watching them in movies.
"You expect there to be a kick, but there's barely anything," Sirstman said.
Although Daly said that firing the weapon and riding in an M1A1 Abrams was fun, it was not the highlight of his visit.
"The highlight is to be working. In theory, I'm at work right now. The fact is that the work I'm doing right now is important; that I get to come and meet all the troops, spend time on the base," he said. "Obviously shooting the guns and riding the tank fulfilled a bid kid (dream), but the work that I'm doing feels good, that's what I enjoy most about today."
Later on in the day, Daly and his film crew visited one of the training villages of the NTC, Medina Jab and watched a training event unfold. The experience was an eye-opener to the crew and to Daly. He said it gave him an idea of what troops go through, but he could never fully get a sense of what the Soldiers experience.
"I can never get a sense of that," he said. "I don't think anybody, unfortunately, thinks about it enough. I think that what we're doing here today and devoting a whole show to the efforts of what the guys go through, I hope that will put it in the minds of people. This will give them just a sneak peek to see that the Soldiers here are working, training every day, in this climate in the 'box,' that's similar to Afghanistan and Iraq. This is just a small look in to what everybody is doing overseas, so I have a better understanding of that, but it will never be enough."
After meeting with troops, and experiencing a little of what they go through, Daly had high praises for the Soldiers.
"Incredible," he said. "The troops are what you want men and women to be like in the worldAca,!A|The way that they talk to each other, the respect for the chain of command, the character, the ethics, the morals, the patriotism. These are the qualities you want in human beings, so when I hang out with these troops, it reminds me of the way I want to be, and the way we all should act, it's been very influential."
(Sgt. Giancarlo Casem serves with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs Office.)