HEADLINES   Last Updated: 12/11/2002 4:40 PM EST

Aaron Tippin Detained In Qatar During USO Tour

Country singer/songwriter Aaron Tippin, his band and crew have safely returned to the United States after entertaining troops on a Thanksgiving USO tour.  Tippin entertained troops stationed at Operation Enduring Freedom Forward Operating Bases, performing free shows, signing autographs and mingling with US troops in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Qatar.

"We did it like the grunts," said Tippin.  "We slept in tents, we ate in the mess hall and really got to see the conditions our troops are living in over there -- and it’s tough.  One of coolest things I experienced, as a pilot, was watching ‘em fly a plane with no lights on just with night vision goggles.  It was really different."

Although Tippin missed Thanksgiving with his family, he had a turkey dinner in Pakistan with General Tommy Franks, Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command.

After dinner, Tippin performed an acoustic set for General Franks and the troops -- which included his hit single, "Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly."  According to Tippin, this was one of the major highlights of the trip.  "The General has nothing but love for the ones he loves," says Tippin.  "But he’s go nothing but hell for the ones who don’t love the ones he loves."  General Franks showed his appreciation for Aaron’s support of our troops by giving him a commemorative Bowie knife.

After their last show, Tippin and gang were detained in Qatar while trying to pass through Customs to leave the country.  Customs had no record of any of them entering the country and wouldn’t let them leave without the proper paperwork.  Instead of being sent back to the military base, they were detained in a civilian hotel room for 24 hours.  They were finally released and flew home to the US -- arriving home almost two full days late.  A few hours after arriving back in Nashville, Tippin headed straight into the studio for a 98-station satellite radio tour, completing over 90 radio interviews including Lia, Westwood One and additional syndicated morning shows impacting over 250 affiliates all in a 48 hour period.

"The further you go, the better the good old USA gets," said Tippin.

Tippin’s new album, Stars & Stripes, was released on Lyric Street Records on September 10. Tippin’s current single, the duet with wife Thea, "Love Like There’s No Tomorrow," is impacting at country radio.

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Dec 11, 2002

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