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coverstory
coverstory
Carrie Underwood visits with U.S. troops during a tour of Camp
Anaconda at Balad, Iraq.
Concert
Tours of Duty
CarriedAwAy
Pop and country star Carrie Underwood
returns from her first USO tour
The behind-the-scenes generosity of country and pop
stars Carrie Underwood and LeAnn Rimes and
heavy metal band Drowning Pool is music to our ears
A
s you’ll read in the following pages, their support
of America’s troops goes beyond lip service. From
writing songs exclusively for the military and
military audiences to taking the time to travel
overseas for meet-and-greets and private concerts,
recording artists Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes and
Drowning Pool make us want to sing their praises in addition to their lyrics. u
JUNE 2007aSALUTE
21
C
By Dina SantOrelli
ountry Music awards’ Vocalist of the
Year and double Grammy winner Carrie
Underwood recently wrapped up a
three-week reign at number One on
the country charts with “Wasted,” while her
previous multi-week country chart-topper
“Before He Cheats” cracks the top 10 on the
Billboard Mainstream top 40. So much has
happened for the Muskogee, Okla.-born gal
since she won American Idol two years ago. and
one of those highlights, she tells Salute in the
following exclusive interview, was visiting the
men and women in our armed forces fighting
overseas as part Operations iraqi and enduring
Freedom during her first USO tour to the Persian
22 SALUTEaJUNE 2007
Gulf region.
you came back from your first USO tour last
December. why did you want to visit our
troops overseas?
When i was asked if i would be interested in
going overseas to visit troops, i didn’t even have
to think twice about going. We wanted to make
sure to go around the holidays, because i think
that’s when the troops need visitors the most.
they are the reason that we get to celebrate our
Christmases with our families in safety, so it only
seemed like a wonderful thing to go and thank
them in person!
what was your experience like? was it different from what you thought it would be?
I honestly didn’t know what to expect, so
I went into it with an open mind. We all had
a wonderful time and were amazed at the
response the troops had to us being there.
Everyone was so nice and seemed to appreciate
us being there.
Tell me about the servicemen and women you
met: What was their reaction to seeing you?
I was amazed at how many thank-yous we
received. All we did was fly over to visit, but we
knew that we would be home for Christmas.
I think that they appreciated the fact that the
USO, my band, crew and myself gave up a fraction of our time to visit. I loved meeting so many
people and performing for them at night. They
seemed to enjoy it!
What have you taken away with you from your
USO tour?
I have gained an even greater respect for the
troops overseas. I have some great pictures and
fond memories and would love to go back if I
ever get the chance.
This publication is read by active-duty military. Is there anything else you’d like to say to
them?
THANK YOU, and GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR
FAMILIES!!! :)
a
USO photos by Mike Theiler
Carrie Underwood performs at Camp Adder, Iraq (Talil
Air Base) on the first day of her USO tour to Iraq.
JUNE 2007aSALUTE 23

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