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02 May 2008

(PERSIAN GULF) Acclaimed singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith is currently in the midst of a two-week, 18-show tour visiting U.S. military personnel in the Persian Gulf region. And while raging sandstorms and insurgent activity have forced some plan changes, nothing can stop Keiths commitment to supporting the men and women of the armed forces.

As he has in the past, Keith is venturing out of the relative safety of large airbases and green zones to visit troops stationed at forward operating bases. At one site in Afghanistan, mortar fire interrupted Keiths performance in mid-set, and he waited out the barrage signing autographs and taking pictures with soldiers in a concrete bunker.

In Iraq, Keith played to the largest crowd hes seen yet in the country, with several thousand soldiers on hand during his show at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. The majority of Iraq was later enveloped in a massive sandstorm that forced Keith and crew indoors and some schedule adjustments.

"We were stuck in Fallujah for a day and a half," says Keiths agent, Curt Motley. "We got covered with dirt and dust even in our rooms and the air appeared to be filled with smoke. Were covered in a fine, moon dust-looking powder and the hallways appear to be smoking because theres so much dust and dirt in the air."

Despite the challenges, including heat that has topped 130 degrees, Keiths USO tour rolls on...


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