By Ms. Christie Vanover (IMCOM)January 28, 2010
CHIAfE+VRES, Belgium Aca,!" The USO and Armed Forces Entertainment brought a piece of Texas to Belgium as country music star Neal McCoy and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders rocked the ChiAfA..vres Recreation Center Jan. 27.
Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cre always grateful to have great entertainers come out here to ChiAfA..vres and support our military,Aca,!A? said John Paugh, ChiAfA..vres Garrison manager.
McCoy, who has been on 15 USO tours, joked that people might not know his music and that they were just there for the cheerleaders. However, during the fourth song, Aca,!A"TheyAca,!a,,cre Playin Our Song,Aca,!A? he found a McCoy fan.
Aca,!A"Hang on! Hang on! That man sang the words,Aca,!A? McCoy exclaimed in a southern drawl. Aca,!A"I found one that knows who we are.Aca,!A?
Within minutes, the rest of the crowd was tapping their feet, clapping their hands and singing along to a mix of songs, ranging from country to R & B.
Aca,!A"Anybody that can do Frank Sinatra and Kool & the Gang in the same set is all right with me,Aca,!A? said Col. James Drago, U.S. Army Garrison Benelux commander.
Aca,!A"Are these guys awesome or what' I hope you realize how lucky we are to have them here,Aca,!A? he told the international audience from USAG Brussels, ChiAfA..vres Garrison and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Aca,!A"This is an unbelievable opportunity and unbelievable entertainment.Aca,!A?
Drago presented the USO, Neal McCoy and the cheerleaders with certificates of appreciation for their support. Aca,!A"We appreciate what you do for our Soldiers and our family members,Aca,!A? he said.
At ChiAfA..vres Garrison that support stretches to the service members and families of the NATO Alliance.
Sgt. Conrad Rozycki, a Polish Soldier with the Allied Command Transformation, brought his family to the show. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs nice that we may come here,Aca,!A? he said. He also brought his family to ChiAfA..vres when the garrison opened its gates for Trunk or Treat and the USO Sesame StreetA,A(R) tour.
Rozycki became familiar with country music when he was deployed with the Texas National Guard in Kosovo, but he said he came to WednesdayAca,!a,,cs concert because his daughter, Dominika, was interested in the cheerleadersAca,!"which is something they donAca,!a,,ct have in Poland.
Aca,!A"It came from the states and everyone wants to do that because itAca,!a,,cs nice,Aca,!A? he said.
Dominika, 10, learned some cheerleading basics on SHAPE during a training camp, and she was excited to see the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders perform. The ladies danced to a handful of McCoyAca,!a,,cs songs, including one number where they brought three airmen on stage.
Air Force Master Sgt. Rick Burgess, NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency; Tech Sgt. Phil Erven, SHAPE Command Group Deputy Chief of Staff Operations; and Senior Airman Matthew Heckmann, 309th Airlift Squadron Fire Department, stood at parade rest while the cheerleaders taunted them with their seductive moves.
One of the highlights for the folks at ChiAfA..vres Garrison was when Paugh joined the band playing his harmonica and Von Roberts, USAG Benelux director of human resources, strapped on a bass guitar and wailed out some powerful vocals.
Aca,!A"Having an opportunity to play on stage with Neal McCoy and the outstanding musicians in his band was truly a career high for me as a musician,Aca,!A? said Paugh, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. Aca,!A"Doing so for a USO tour supporting our military was icing on the cake.Aca,!A?
McCoy also invited Brandy Lucas on stage to sing a duet of his number one single Aca,!A"Wink.Aca,!A? Lucas works as an admin assistant for the USAG Benelux Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
To close out the show, McCoy and his band dedicated a song, Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm your biggest fanAca,!A? to the service members and their families.
Aca,!A"This is a big honor for us, for my band and I,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"With the USO, we donAca,!a,,ct get paid to come over. They just come out of the goodness of their hearts to spend time with yAca,!a,,call and tell you how much we appreciate you and your families for your sacrifices for our country.Aca,!A?
After Belgium, McCoy and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are performing in The Netherlands and Germany.