Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten joined other top officials and USO entertainers as they visited Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania.
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez and USO President J.D. Crouch II also met hundreds of U.S., Canadian and Romanian troops yesterday at what's commonly called "Camp MK."
Hyten also met with Romania Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Daniel Petrescu. The two military leaders discussed a range of issues, including the shared challenges faced in Europe and ways to increase coordination in areas of mutual interest. Hyten also thanked Petrescu for Romania's contributions to Operation Inherent Resolve and the NATO Resolute Support mission.
"It is important to bring a piece of home to our deployed service members to show America's commitment while they serve in defense of our nation." ~Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Romania is a NATO ally and shares a strong partnership with the United States around the globe.
Troops cheered and laughed as the USO entertainers cracked jokes, sang and even had a baseball pitching contest. The entertainers included:
- Washington Nationals baseball pitcher Aaron Barrett and right fielder Adam Eaton. They showed off the World Series trophy the Nats won this season, and service members posed for photos with the trophy.
- Actors Matt Walsh and Brad Morris and comedian Scot Armstrong cracked some jokes and told some whoppers that had service members in stitches.
- DJ J.Dayz and country group LoCash hit it big with their music, including LoCash's hit "I Love This Life," which service members sang along to.
- Mixed Martial Arts fighters Felice Herrig and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane were knockout sensations, challenging service members to some interesting matches.
The USO Tour will visit other locations in Europe over the next few days.
"It is important to bring a piece of home to our deployed service members to show America's commitment while they serve in defense of our nation," Hyten said.
Then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers started the annual tours in 2003 to express thanks and appreciation to deployed service members away from home for the holidays.
"Over the course of my military career, I have witnessed firsthand how the USO serves as a force behind the forces, supporting our people and their families wherever they are stationed around the globe," Colon-Lopez said. "I am excited to join the vice chairman on our first USO Tour and to have the opportunity to meet and thank forward-deployed members of our joint force team."
The USO performers volunteered to participate in variety-style shows and troop engagements to show service members that Americans value their service.
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