Performers bring some holiday cheer to Incirlik

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Oshawn Jefferson
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Music, singing, cheering and laughter rang from Hangar 4 on Nov. 22 as more than 1,000 people from around the Incirlik community gathered to enjoy the Operation Season's Greetings traveling troupe.

The OSG group performers included a combination of the best performers of the Air Force Reserve Band from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., John Popper of the platinum-selling group Blues Traveler, country music artist Jamie O'Neal, radio personality Delilah and the New England Patriots cheerleaders.

"I really had a great time, especially Jamie O'Neal's performance," said Airman Amber Kitto, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron HAZMAT pharmacy technician. "I really liked getting out of work and enjoying a little entertainment."

The show kicked off with a rousing performance from the Air Force Reserve Band. Each performer was as entertaining as the previous one for the OSG's first stop during their eighth year traveling to various bases overseas to spread joy to troops who cannot go home for the holidays.

"When we put out the call (to recruit entertainment) there was no hesitation," said Mary Therese, OSG emcee. "This is my sixth time here and I've thoroughly enjoy spending time with the Airmen and their families. It really is our treat."

Some of the performers visited Incirlik last year including the New England Patriot cheerleaders and John Popper of Blues Travelers fame who made his third appearance at Incirlik.

"I really just enjoy coming out here and following the cheerleaders around," Mr. Popper said. "For me, this is like getting to walk on the moon and not have to get the astronaut training. I get to meet these young people who are living honor on a daily basis and it is my pleasure to shake everyone's hand and just say thank you for everything they do.

A lot of people don't get a chance to come to Incirlik and see these young men and women firsthand," he said. "I appreciate everything you guys do here. Me performing is the least I can do to show that I thank you."

The three-hour show included crowd interaction, Mr. Popper doing harmonica solos with the Air Force band, and Jamie O'Neal singing her hits to the crowd's delight.

"We really appreciate OSG for putting us on their schedule and bringing their brand of entertainment to the Incirlik community," said Col. "Tip" Stinnette, 39th Air Base Wing commander. "I enjoyed each performer and I thank them for coming to our small community to bring a smile to the faces of the men and women at the tip of the sword."

In addition to the free performance, the artists held an autograph session inside Hangar 4 after the show, dined with Incirlik Airmen at the Consolidated Club and visited shift workers at their various duty locations around the base.

"Colonel Stinnette said that this base was one of the lifelines to troops serving downrange," said Delilah. "I just thank God for being able to use us as a lifeline of love from people back in the United States, who appreciate what these men and women at Incirlik do everyday. I get over 500 e-mails a week from people who support the military and I have had a wonderful time basking in the love of this community and being blessed by the kind words and stories we shared."

After departing Turkey, the OSG traveling troupe is headed for operating locations downrange to bring more joy to troops serving overseas during the holidays.