Toby experiencing harrowing USO tour
From Tuesday’s The Oklahoman.
War on terrorism: USO tour interrupted
Amid attack, Keith doesn’t miss a beat
Oklahoman takes a little bit of home to American troops in two war zones
Between a sandstorm and mortar fire, Oklahoma country music star Toby Keith’s latest United Service Organizations trip to U.S. war zones is turning into his most harrowing.
On Thursday night, Keith, 46, was playing at a military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when mortar fire disrupted the country hitmaker’s song “Weed with Willie.” The fire sent Keith and most of the 2,500 soldiers in the crowd into nearby shelters.
Curt Motley, Keith’s booking agent, who is accompanying the singer-songwriter on the USO tour, described in an e-mail running about 100 yards to a concrete bunker and hunkering down for about an hour. Keith spent the time posing for snapshots and signing autographs, he said.
The “American Solider” singer returned to the stage once the all-clear was sounded – against the advice of a coalition military police officer.
“He went right to the verse he was in and finished his show!” said Motley, who also is a member of the USO World Board of Governors.
On Sunday morning, a giant sandstorm stranded Keith’s party at Camp Fallujah in Iraq. The huge storm originated in Syria and engulfed much of Iraq, Motley said in another e-mail sent Sunday night.
“We are covered in the fine moon dust-looking powder and we are indoors. The hallways appear to be smoking because there is so much dust and dirt in the air,” Motley said.
The group passed the time playing basketball with Marines there, he said.
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