AUSTIN, Texas (AFNEWS) --
The air crackles with anticipation, as he makes his first move.
The letters are the opening chords of country music artist Charlie Robison's song, "My Hometown," one of the songs he will perform during an Armed Forces Entertainment tour March 18 to 27 to Kuwait and Iraq. He feels the song is perfect for the audience he will be seeing overseas since they all have many different hometowns of their own. Fellow country star Kevin Fowler will also perform during the tour.
Mr. Robison first gained an appreciation of the military by watching his grandfather, a Pearl Harbor survivor, attend numerous reunions and military activities. He was amazed at how loyal of a brotherhood the military was and finds that not much has changed with military people today, he said.
"I have been so lucky to have so many military fans and I feel like they are my buddies," Mr. Robison said. "I can't go the whole war without going over and seeing them."
The country crooner was born in Houston and grew up in Bandera, Texas. He started playing music as a young teen. Music came second to athletics until chronic knee problems forced him to stop playing college sports. With his athletic career ended, he focused his energy on his musical career. After playing in various groups he made his solo debut in 1995 with the album Bandera.
The military personnel who will see Mr. Robison perform are in for a treat, said Melissa Welch, the director of Public Relations for Armed Forces Entertainment.
"Charlie is an incredible performer and he is a professional who has been doing this for a long time and he will bring a great energy," she said. "I think a lot of the artists get excited for this. They realize there is a need for good music for the troops over there."
Mr. Robison feels honored to have the opportunity to play for the troops. He is inspired by the sacrifices they make to serve the country, he said.
"The volunteer military is the most noble job in the United States," he said. "I want to bring them a little bit of normalcy and a touch of home. Remind them there is a place to go back to and that the people remember them."
The effort to keep the morale of the military up is a job everybody in the country should take seriously, Mr. Robison said. Such activities as writing letters and mailing off care packages can play a big part in fighting the war on terrorism.
"In my opinion it should not just be the armed forces that go to war but the whole country, whether you are for it or against and regardless of your politics," he said.
"To live in a great country like this you have to do your part."
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