APRIL 24, 2018, Osan Air Base, South Korea – The USO Spring Tour, hosted by U.S. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff., visited Osan Air Base, April 23, bringing a day of comedy, cooking and sports to the U.S. troops.
The tour brought comedian Jon Stewart, country music artist Craig Morgan, Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters Paige VanZant and Max Holloway, National Basketball Association Legend Richard “Rip” Hamilton and celebrity chef and talk show host Robert Irvine to the base to perform and express gratitude to U.S. military members and their families for their service and sacrifice in support of the joint force mission.
“The men and women faithfully serving here and throughout Korea are incredibly important to the United States and its allies,” said Selva. “Their efforts have helped maintain a level of stability in the region that benefits nearly every nation on Earth, and we’re here to thank these service members, civilians and family members for their willingness to serve so far from home to keep us safe.”
Award-winning artist Craig Morgan, is a former U.S. Army veteran who was once stationed in South Korea where he won the Army Male Vocalist of the Year. He said he joined the military to be a part of something bigger than himself, and that performing for troops is a humbling and rewarding experience.
“I’m humbled by the men and women we get to spend time with,” Morgan said. “There are struggles for me sometimes having spent so much of my time in the military. I miss it, but I’m grateful for the opportunity. I know and appreciate that because I do what I do now. I get to do probably more for the military as an entertainer than I could when I was a soldier. It’s the best of both worlds for me.”
While at Osan, the entertainers toured the 25th and 36th Fighter Squadrons, experienced a military working dog and medical decontamination demonstrations, made a surprise appearance to celebrate an Airman’s birthday and performed at the Enlisted Club.
“The troops keep telling us thank you for coming out, but it’s the least we could do was come out, hang out and put some smiles on [their] faces,” said UFC fighter Paige VanZant. “We thank you, and we’re always thinking of you.”
In an effort to boost our military’s morale, the USO regularly teams up with some of the country’s biggest celebrities to stage comedy shows, concerts, meet-and-greets, unit visits and other interactive events for service members and their families stationed stateside and overseas.
For more than 77 years, the USO, a private, non-profit organization, has served the men and women of the U.S. military and their families throughout their service – from the moment they join, through their deployments and as they transition back to their communities.
Story by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs