-- UPI Arts & Entertainment
By Crystal Caviness
United Press International
From the Life
& Mind Desk
11/28/2002 2:00 PM
NASHVILLE, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Aaron Tippin traveled a bit far
for his Thanksgiving turkey.
Tippin and members of his band and crew left Nashville Nov.
24 for what likely will be a Thanksgiving to remember, as they
celebrate the holiday with men and women in fatigues -- U.S.
troops stationed in and around Afghanistan.
After landing safely and performing their first concert in
Kyrgyzstan, Tippin sent an audio message broadcast via a
Russian satellite to various members of the media on
"We took a little nap this morning, woke up to the sound of
jet fighters taking off, off on a mission somewhere I guess,"
Tippin, 44, said via a recorded audio message. "It's
interesting and different."
Tippin's seeming nonchalance at being in the midst of a war
situation comes from finding himself in a similar position
more than a decade ago. He traveled to the Middle East with
Bob Hope and another USO tour during the Persian Gulf War in
"I'm probably not as nervous as the first time I went,"
Tippin said at a press conference Nov. 22 -- an event held at
the Tennessee Air National Guard Fuel Cell Hangar in
Nashville, where a large, gray C-130 airplane served as a
"(Then) I climbed on a 141 (airplane) with Bob Hope. When
we dropped that door in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and I was
staring out into a sea of camouflaged uniforms and everybody
had M-16 barrels sticking up behind their heads, you realize,
they're over here for business. At that time, it really hit me
that I wasn't in my nice, friendly country anymore. I was in a
place where there would soon be a war just across the line. I
was afraid then.
"After I had been there a couple of hours, good grief, I
saw how many Americans there were and they all had guns," he
said. "I was as safe as I could be. I don't have any
apprehensions like I did the first time. We could not be
Tippin, who's known for such patriotic country songs as
"You've Got To Stand For Something" and "Where the Stars and
Stripes and The Eagle Flies," figured it was time for a repeat
"I think it's time for us to go and do our duty," Tippin
said. "You'll never meet a more appreciative audience than a
bunch of military personnel."
When Tippin decided to travel to the Afghanistan area for
Thanksgiving, he wanted to make the trip extra-special for the
troops stationed there.
The "extra-special" touches included banners collected from
country radio stations around the U.S. that have thousands of
signatures from listeners and personal greetings called into a
toll-free number during the past few weeks. The banners will
be displayed around the stage area during the shows and the
personal messages will be broadcast after the concert while
Christmas music plays.
"We're trying to bring 'home' to the troops," he said,
"because they can't go home right now." Copyright
© 2002 United Press International