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Jan-25-2007 20:52printcommentsVideo

USO Takes The Stage With Al Franken in Afghanistan (VIDEO)

DISPATCHES FROM AFGHANISTAN
For 65 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been the bridge between the American people and our men and women in uniform, conveying the heartfelt appreciation and support of a grateful nation.

Al Franken in Afghanistan
Al Franken and other photos by: Tim King

(KABUL, Afghanistan) - USO performers visited Kabul, Afghanistan to entertain troops stationed in the area around Camp Phoenix, home of the Oregon Guard's 41st Brigade Combat Team. As Salem-News.com reporter Tim King tells us, the event was a huge success.

One thing that's always a sure hit with Americans at war is a USO show. A number of celebrities visited Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan to put on a performance that no one would soon forget.

Entertainers and fans braved cold conditions to enlighten and energize troops, most of who are serving at least a year in this combat theatre.

Several groups performed at the event

The Commanding General of the Base Douglas Pritt says it does wonders for their well being.

"The USO show is fantastic, and a great message to the members of our teams and it's the first time to Task Force Phoenix because they usually go to places with much larger concentration of U.S. forces," General Douglas Pritt, of the Oregon Guard commented.

This show wasn’t the first time to Afghanistan for Al Franken though, and kept people in stitches throughout evening. It was a real break and a laugh a minute. He and the others who made it to Camp Phoenix were appreciated by hundreds of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen.

Al Franken said, "There's different ways to serve and these guys are doing it, and I'm trying to do it a little bit by coming out every year to say thank you for the American people. I personally wish we had stayed here with a larger force and not been distracted by Iraq, and that we had even half the resources we put into Iraq here."

Many Oregon Guard soldiers were able to meet and greet performers that they enjoy from sports, radio and television.

Marines stationed here say it goes a long way toward breaking the daily pace of work in a combat zone.

The show did a lot to boost the morale of these Americans and other coalition troops based in Kabul. It was a rare treat for people stationed far from home.

As the sun over the event fell away, the air grew even colder, people stuck it out to enjoy the performance that lasted well into the evening at Camp Phoenix. The same USO show also visited troops in Iraq days earlier.

Watch the Video News Report below, direct from Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King:
Video

__________________________________
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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JAFO; February 5, 2007 10:46 pm (Pacific time)

America., 1987, starting from downtown Portland,Oregon, the figure walked onto the Sunset Hiway entrance and continued all the way to the Vietnam Memorial exit, then proceeded to the site itself.,all the while carrying a large parade sized Almerican flag on a staff as he walked the slow lane.,he was one guy.,no one passed him going West till he got to his destination.,it was broad daylight and the police let him go on without interference, and much of the halted traffic followed him and the Colors to the Wall. It made the front page of the Oregonian that day.,when I saw it I literaly stood up and took off my hat.,and I felt like John Cougar and Bruce Springsteen at the same time! I was inspired and proud for some genetic reason I suppose, and I feel the same when I peruse these "dispatches".,crazy huh? after all these years? Thanks a lot ladies and gents.,thanks a lot.


Say it aint so January 30, 2007 7:26 am (Pacific time)

On the January 29th edition of The Al Franken Show, Midwest Values PAC founder Al Franken announced he will leave his radio show on February 14th. He also told his national radio audience that he’s currently considering whether or not to run for the US Senate in his home state of Minnesota.


Albert Marnell January 29, 2007 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, The coverage was short but sweet....real without hype.


news; January 29, 2007 5:53 pm (Pacific time)

Al Franken to leave Air America Radio! Political future being mapped as I write!,possible run for Minnisota congress!,rumor that he's being groomed for the Speaker of the House upcoming vacancy due to her parties nomination for president!, don't take it from me.,ask him!


worried man; January 27, 2007 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

ever notice the new sec. def. Gates looks like Mark Foley? just curious that's all, Royko may have mentioned it.,maybe not.


GI January 26, 2007 9:18 am (Pacific time)

Ostan that is beautiful. hmm,, as a civilian there must be something he is and will be recognized for. Hopefully the comrads serving with him will inquire and research the options possible. They do have the combat action badge for non infantry soldiers,, thus the meanial job of 'truck driver' has given new meaning in regards to drive by shootings. A new job requirement,,"can they shoot and drive at the same time if encountering an ambush?" Only five more months till they (41st) comes home to Oregon


Osotan January 26, 2007 12:15 am (Pacific time)

maybe you've heard of the C.A.R. ribbon Sgt.? ., and no, it doesn't mean get in your automobile and pass go., it means "combat action ribbon" Sgt King. The Army has a long rifle of flint lock days on a blue background.,the combat infantry badge.,the Marines a vertically lined red, gold and green background. It is issued to those who've "been in it". as in "under fire". So with all the respect vested in me., I'd like you to have mine.,and furthermore Al Franken too! and further more Sgt. King.,the Presidential Unit Citation, Marine version a horizontal red, gold and blue background. This award is given to a "unit" and is equivilant to the individual award of the Navy Cross. Sgt. King, with all the respect vested in me I'd like you and all those you walked with including Al Franken.,to have that too. You are all walking courage to me. I am proud to know you. Semper Fi.


Osotan January 25, 2007 10:57 pm (Pacific time)

By the way Sgt, it was only because of Al Franken, so don't be led astray, I haven't forgotten your "Phoenix" medal and I suspect you are still a bird. Otherwise, ever thought of running for elected office Sgt.King? I mean of course when you're not out chaining up a humvee or up to your knees in snow looking for tire tracks to Pakistan in a landmine strewn area, surrounded by higher elevations with people that hate you, and are armed with artillery, mortars and automatic weapons of course. Maybe when you get the time, just curious Sgt, just curious.


Osotan January 25, 2007 9:44 pm (Pacific time)

we love you Sgt. King.,courage being measured in many variations.,thanks for puttin' it on the line.,and you heard it hear first.

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