USO Tour
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USO Tour Downrange
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CAMP STRIKER, Iraq (Army News Service, Dec. 17, 2007) - Any Soldier who has been deployed knows that if the sergeant major of the Army and the USO are in town, then it's close to Christmas.

Entertaining troops for the sixth consecutive year, the 2007 Hope and Freedom USO Tour stopped off at Camp Striker Dec. 16 and performed for Multi-National Division - Center Soldiers.

The show began with opening remarks from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, who introduced everyone on the tour, including all of the band members and the stage crew.

"During the holidays, the USO tour is a piece of home to all the Soldiers," SMA Preston said. "It's also an opportunity to say thanks for the sacrifices they make."

Kicking the show off was the U.S. Army Band "Down Range" singing "I live in America." Other featured acts were Keni Thomas, a former Army Ranger; country star Darryl Worley, four members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders; singer and comedian Sheryl Underwood; Leeann Tweeden, a sports correspondent for Fox; and Vince Morris, who was greeted as newbie from the crowd because of his inaugural performance.

LeeAnn Tweeden said this is her 8th USO tour, and she just wants to be able to go back and tell everyone first-hand what she's seen and experienced.

On his 6th rotation with the USO Hope and Freedom tour. Daryl Worley said he's only making a small sacrifice. The group spends 14 days performing, visiting troops, signing autographs and taking photos.

The country star said he does it because he has friends that are willing to stop the enemy in its tracks for messing with him and the rest of America.

(Pfc. Monica K. Smith serves with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.)