USO Homefront Concert brings joy to military families
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The crowds are gone and the only sound in the arena is the cleanup crew putting things back in order. But Tuesday night’s USO Homefront Concert is alive and well in the memories of thousand of fans. National Guard, active duty and reserve troops and their families were given free tickets to attend the event while 1,400 volunteers attending the National Volunteer Workshop were given VIP treatment and first rate seats.
Broadcast live on the Pentagon Channel to US military bases and ships around the world, the tw0 hour event opened up with up and coming country music performer Ray Scott.
Leean Tweeden, from Poker After Dark and the wife of an Air National Guard officer, acted as hostess throughout the evening. There was also an appearance by Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky.
Other highlights included shout outs from troops in Iraq who were watching the concert online and guests such as Retired Maj. Ed Pulido from the Folds of Honor Foundation.
The main attraction, of course, was Kentucky’s own Montgomery Gentry, who wowed the crowd with fan favorites in an energized performance. The duo expressed gratitude for having been asked to perform for the troops and their families and in return got the audience “all riled up.”
“It was a great concert,” said Capt. Stephanie Fields. “I’m a big fan of Montgomery Gentry and they put on a great performance. We just loved it!”
Fields, deputy state surgeon for the Kentucky Army National Guard, brought her daughter Tori to the concert. She also took a few special guests, Lisa Whitaker and her daughters Meagan, Savannah and Jessica.
“Lisa and her daughters opened their home to my daughter for a year when I mobilized back in 2005. That was a huge thing she did for me and it meant so much knowing that Tori was in good hands. Bringing them with us made the concert even more special to us all.”
Fields’ gratitude reflected what so much of what was said throughout the evening. “When Soldiers are away from home life goes on for the ones you leave at home, knowing my daughter was well cared for made it much easier to focus on taking care of Soldiers.
“I was so impressed with USO Homefront Concert. The real heroes are the Soldier’s families and friends that support us 365 days a year, so I was glad they were recognized and honored last night.”