Hollywood actor D.B. Sweeney visited Victory Base Complex May 3 to premier his movie, "Two Tickets to Paradise," for servicemembers stationed here. Sweeney also took the time to meet the troops and sign autographs.

"I've played a lot of military characters in my career," Sweeney said, "and I have had the chance to meet a lot of military people. When I was in 'Guards of Stone,' I got to meet some Soldiers with the Old Guard. When I played in 'Memphis Bell,' I got to meet the actual crew of the Memphis Bell."

During roles like these, Sweeney gained a respect for those in uniform. "I have an enormous respect for the men and women that serve our country," Sweeney said. "I wanted to find a way to say thanks for all that they do."

Sweeney said that since he wrote, directed, produced and starred in "Two Tickets to Paradise," he was able to dictate where it was going to be shown first.

"I couldn't think of a better way to show my appreciation for the Soldiers," Sweeney said.

Sweeney hoped that his movie, which is a comedy about three middle aged men going through a mid-life crisis, would act as a diversion for the servicemembers.

"The movie was great," said 2nd Lt. Randy D. Perry, Company A, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. "It was great to be able to just sit and talk with him."
VBC was only one of the stops Sweeney made on his trip through Iraq.

"I was able to visit a few different places, including a couple of hospitals," Sweeney said. "I'm really impressed with the level of care that we are able to provide."

It wasn't just the care that servicemembers received that impressed Sweeney.

"I saw a lot of care geared toward Iraqi civilians and even those that fight against us," Sweeney said.

U.S. troops fight to save the lives of everyone, not just other servicemembers, Sweeney said.

"That is something that not many people get to see," Sweeney said. "It's not a story often told by American media."

Sweeney said he learned a lot during his time in Iraq and that he hoped he was able to make the time the troops had to spend here just a little bit better.

"I'm humbled as an American by spending time with our servicemembers, and it makes me even more proud to be able to call myself an American."