Country band entertains Airmen, Soldiers in Iraq

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kenya Shiloh
  • 407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
Country music group Lonestar rocked a crowd of hundreds of Soldiers, Airmen and civilians Jan. 24 at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.

Comedian Greg Vaccariello led the night's entertainment with his one-man stage act featuring impersonations of Robert Di Niro and colorful humor about accepting life's idiosyncrasies before the band hit the stage. 

Lonestar sang a multitude of songs including "What About Now," "Let Me Love You" and "Walking in Memphis."

Group member Dean Sams, who played the keyboard and harmonica, thanked everyone for their continued military service and dedicated one of the group's songs to the troops.

"We have been so blessed in our carriers to be able to reach a lot of our goals ... but being able to come over here and share these awesome moments with ya'll is truly the highlight of our career and we want to thank you," he said. "We were brought out here (for the sole purpose of) entertaining our heroes, and that's exactly what each and every one of ya'll are. During our shows we dedicate the song "I'm Already There" to ya'll and we'll continue to do so until ya'll come home safe."

Lonestar also paid tribute to classic rock bands in a musical medley provoking the crowd to sing along and dance. 

"What an awesome experience it was and I think today wrapped up the best week for us, probably one we'll remember for the rest of our lives," Mr. Sams said.

Lead singer Cody Collins said this experience is very personal for him because his sister is in the Air Force, so coming out here and singing for the troops worth the time and effort it took to get here. He said servicemembers have been working very hard to make life as normal as possible for him and others back home, and he felt they needed a much needed break.

This was the last stop on Lonestar's tour to the region. They played for military members in Kuwait, Baghdad and Joint Base Balad, Iraq, before heading home to the United States.

Several Airmen were awarded VIP passes to get up-close and personal with band members, take photos and receive autographs.

"The whole evening was a blast," said Airman 1st Class Duane Schroeder, a member of the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron utilities shop. "I didn't know what to expect because I don't listen to a whole lot of country music, but I know my mom would be jealous right now. This is my first concert while being deployed, and I'll remember their performance of 'Last Dance' -- one of my favorite songs -- for a long time to come."

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