By Sgt. 1st Class John S. Wollaston, USA NATO Brigade December 14, 2012
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Cowboy hats and boots were the order of the day at the Kazabra Club on Vogelweh as country music star Aaron Tippin pulled into Kaiserslautern as part of his "Stars for Stripes" Armed Forces Entertainment tour.
Tippin, a longtime supporter and advocate of the U.S. Military got his life, as well as his career started in the military.
"My daddy was an Air Force flight instructor the day I was born," Tippin told the crowd. "The day my first single broke on country radio, I was in Saudi Arabia with Bob Hope performing for the soldiers. Country radio didn't start my career, the military did."
So it was only fitting that the country crooner is touring various Army and Air Force installations across Europe, playing hits and enjoying every minute he spends with the troops.
"Somebody asked me last night what's the favorite part of your show," Tippin said backstage. "I said when it's over. When I can get down off stage and interact and say 'thanks.' If I didn't sing a note, I just want to personally go out there and shake their hand and tell them Merry Christmas."
This is Tippin's seventh year doing the tour. Last year he played acoustic sets for the Soldiers in Afghanistan. For most artists, the grind of touring and being on the road wears them down, but watching Tippin during his show, you get a sense that he completely enjoys travelling and doing these performances.
"These are fun," he says with a grin. "Especially when I'm down range, I mean that's a pretty captive audience."
Joining Tippin on his tour are The Lowry Sisters, an Americana/Country trio hailing from Northridge, California. They too have strong ties to the military; one their grandfather was the recipient of the Silver Star in World War II. They look at a tour like this one as their way of saying thank you to the troops and bringing them a little piece of home.
"A lot of our family was military," said lead singer Allison Lowry. "So being able to do this is really special. To be able to give back, you know, and just have them enjoy our show and bring some joy to them and thank them for what they do for us every day."