This appeared in a local militria collector news letter, this is from a member who is serving at the front lines on the war on terror. Remember our guys & gals who serve, raise a toast to them this New Year & Pray our enemies will lose all hope of winning so our boys and gals can come home.
Recently we got a email from our good (?) friend Sgt. K****"Woody" W******* (US Army) who is currently serving in Kuwait/Iraq. Thought you might like reading (after translating/censoring from Woodiness)the following account of a recent USO tour he participated in...
I'm not sure if I told you yet or not, but the other day (night actually) I got outa some of my night shift to be part of a security detail for a local USO show. My job was to Talk "ARMY Talk" for the Navy (who was in charge of the mostly Army crowd control...Weird! I guess they figured we could not control ourselves?). Anyway, I really did not do much more then tell all the "Bottle Tops" (that is what we call the Navy on this Camp, The Marines are "Jarheads" cause the always twist their hats on straight, while the Navy has a similar pointed hat that is always slightly crooked like an old fashion bottle top that you couldn't get off all the way!)
So I'm telling these Bottle Tops Security Types where the pissers, water points and mwr snacks are and stuff like that. I am at the rear of the USO camp stage, 10 feet from a dressing room that is really just a big utility closet with some chairs in it. The Bottle Tops were of course being super DICKS and not letting anybody stand next to the stage like we have always done before - FN Navy AssHeads! So the Army crowd is already upset with them from the start and these are all guys who go out getting shot at and killing people everyday - not the type I'm gonna try to play riot police with! The really funny thing is when some of our guys came in off a road mission and went straight to the USO Show area with full body armor, guns, ammo, radios, med kits still in hand and on there backs - that's how much we all needed the distraction from the same old every day crap! The Navy tells them they can't be there with that stuff... yeah, right - 30 something dirty tired battle hardened Army guys who drove non-stop for 24 hours to make the show, some of them with blood still on their gear and hands, lets just say it was a bit tense for a moment! I helped assure the Navy it was o.k., but the fact that the base commander told them to "LET THEM BE!" did not hurt either!
So the show goes on; a Comic named Lewis Black, told political jokes and laughed about being Jewish at Christmas; then the cyclist Lance Armstrong spoke about the ability to keep doing what you believe in no matter what, never letting someone else set your limits for you (actually was pretty good); and then MR. Robin Williams goes on stage!
Man, that guy is FN FUNNY! He's a Great Guy, really gives a damn about the US and her Soldiers! His whole act was just busting on all of us, about living with no sex, no beer, no privacy, no fun, no 7/11, ect. He made fun of our new ACU uniform pattern and how it could only be effective if we are standing in front of a large jumbotron TV showing static! The crowd was going wild!
He was telling a joke and the damned power went out! No AMPED MIKE, so he starts screaming jokes at the top of his lungs for about five minutes before the power comes back on. Then a few minutes after that, the time came for the Base Flag to be lowered. A bugle sounds, we all stop, "Face About", turn toward the sound directly opposite the front of stage away from Williams! It is Stone Silent for 30 seconds, then a 10 second pause, then we salute the Flag as "Retreat" is bugled on a loud speaker.
The really crazy thing was Robin Williams was lost in the moment full blown into his routine and did not know what was going on at first. At first sound of "To the Colors", when the whole crowd went silent he stuttered into his mike, looked at his USO Rep who they flashed the finger in front of the mouth shush sign! I could see this cause I was doing my thing to the right rear of the stage and had a clear view! It is hard to describe how one moment everybody is roaring aloud, thousand of human voices laughing...then dead silence! With only the sound of a bugle between the end of "To the Colors" and the Start of "Retreat". When the call ended, Williams started to speak into the mike when we all Saluted the Flag (Which was NOT visible from his vantage since the Post headquarters is way deep into the center rear of Camp).
So we Salute the flag, then the sound stops then everyone faces back to stage thousands all at once. Now Robin is silent 5 seconds - 10 seconds and finally says "I honestly in all my years of entertaining will never forget this moment, never in my 40 something years of entertaining has my ENTIRE audience turned their back on me, WOW! You all should enter the Olympics as Synchronized Ignorers, Hey Guys - what was that?"
So everybody tried to yell an answer at one time, lots of noise and laughing. "WOW!" Robin says, "I am sure I have never seen a better or bigger show of Respect for the Flag then that just now, you all do that every day?" "That's Great!" he says, "maybe all of America should stop once a day and show some of the same respect for something, that might help us find ourselves again as a nation?!"
It was simple words from a simple guy who cares, but so very well put! Now I know how the old guys must have felt when Bob Hope would come.
Williams went on and finished his set, then Kid Rock went up and started into "Sweet Home Alabama". Half way through the damn power went out again, but no one cared! We all screamed and sang out the whole song by memory! I know it was not soldiers singing "Silent Night" on Christmas Eve in Vietnam, but it was just as cool to me!
The power came back on then, and he did a few more songs. Again into a popular song of his and the power went out again and we all sang again. This second time Kid Rock had pulled the plug, apologizing he told us he just wanted to hear us singing again! Kid said we few thousand were louder than the 100,000 he had played in front of before!
It was a GREAT Night! While the reigning Miss USA was on stage I was standing against the wall (Barrier) and Robin Williams is suddenly next to me in his desert coat and black hat! I asked if it was o.k. to take a photo, he said to me, "With Miss USA on stage you want a picture of me, you've been out here to long!"
I got to tell him a few jokes,he laughed and he asked if he could use them. I said sure they were not mine I was just passing them to a PRO! We laughed as the photo was taken.
As they were all staying for photos and autographs and stuff afterward, a flight of low flying helicopters came in - six or more. Williams asked me what that was. That Sir, are the Medivacs that come in here. We are the southern Trauma Hospital for all points south of Baghdad and into Kuwait. It's a sound we have all grown far too used to these last few years, and so we hardly notice anymore. Fast and low is good, that means they're still alive, slow and high - they already died.
Williams looked up with a almost shocked look, and said only "Geezz". I reliably heard the next day he went to visit the soldiers at the Camp Hospital before he left., Not sure if it is true, but I would like to think it is?
Anyway, "this is my Story and I am sticking to it!"
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, See you all in April-ish
SFC W******* K****
APO AE 093**
With some of the recent criticism the USO has received, I hope people realize how important it and the volunteers are that make it work for our troops...