Toby Keith Wraps 9th USO Tour
Toby Keith recently returned from his 9th USO Tour. On the 12 day trek, the superstar traveled nearly 20,000 miles and signed and presented 6,000 USO/Toby Keith photos (in addition to the personal photos, guitars and other effects he signed).
Highlights from Toby’s trip include…
• Toby, band and crew flew out of Bahrain on a U.S. Navy C-2A Greyhound 20-passenger turboprop and landed on the USS Enterprise off the coast of Iran. The plane decelerated from 138 MPH to a stop in 2.5 seconds during the tail hook landing. Upon leaving, the catapult rocketed the plane from zero to 160 MPH in under three seconds.
• Toby Keith was tasked with being a catapult “shooter” for an F-18 launch on the deck of the Enterprise. Keith signaled the “okay” to fire the catapult, sending the fighter jet into the sky.
• At Camp Liberty near Baghdad, Keith and crew had to take cover as an insurgent missile struck the base roughly a third-of-a-mile from the stage where they were about to perform. At another forward operating base, Toby tweeted, “4 mortars hit close as I was about to take stage last night – we had to hunker in a bunker til all clear.”
• The tour included stops at 11 different installations in Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq and two ships at sea, the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier and the guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf. Throughout, Keith saw approximately 18,000 service members.
The reaction, both in-theater and stateside, was tremendous:
“I was there, thank you for still going on the with the show,” one tweeter noted. “It was amazing how you brightened our night. Thank you for all the support to the military. And it was awesome to see you sport the Big Red One patch!”
Another wrote, “My husband was in the crowd last night where you were. Thank for giving them something to look forward to, what you experienced is their every day life pretty much … I’m glad that you are all ok.”