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Toby Keith beginning annual USO tour Saturday

by Brandy McDonnell Published: April 25, 2013
Toby Keith (AP file)
Toby Keith (AP file)

Oklahoma country music superstar Toby Keith will visit and perform for troops and their families stationed in the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii as part of his 11th United Service Organization/Armed Forces Entertainment tour Saturday through May 7.

As part of his three-country USO trip, Keith will perform hits from his upcoming “Toby Keith Hammer Down Tour Presented by Ford F-Series,” which kicks off June 8 in Ozark, Ark. Additionally, the Norman resident will perform several USO shows for sailors, airmen, soldiers and Marines, according to a news release. The shows are private and open only to military ID holders.

Last year, Keith celebrated a decade of touring the globe with the USO and capped off the year with a return USO visit to the Middle East.

Since his first USO tour in 2002, Keith has traveled to 15 countries as well as visited troops aboard the USS Enterprise, USS Leyte Gulf, USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Cape Saint George. Among the countries he has visited are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, South Korea and the United States. In total, the star has lifted the spirits of 225,984 servicemen and women.

“I can’t say enough about the USO and the importance of these tours,” he said in the release. “The USO has proven continuously that they are always by the side of our troops and military families. They are on the frontlines, serving troops in harms way. They are with their loved ones, helping to keep them connected through phone calls and tours like this. They are involved in the recovery process, supporting our wounded, ill and injured. And they are also there for our fallen families providing comfort and support. I am honored to volunteer with the USO again and I look forward to heading over to the Pacific to entertain them there.”

In 2007, Keith inspired the creation of USO2GO, a USO program designed to deliver much-needed electronic gaming, sports/musical equipment and personal care items to troops in remote locations. To date, USO2GO deployed bundles, which weigh nearly one ton each, have been delivered to more than 600 forward operating bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, Egypt, Djibouti and Kuwait. The program celebrated its 1,000th USO2GO bundle in 2012.

The USO strives to deliver life-changing experiences for troops and their families around the world. Go to www.uso.org to learn how the USO is helps our nation’s deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers as well as families of the fallen.

-BAM

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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