Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tippin: Get ‘r Done, And Get ‘r Home

The following story was written by Lance Cpl. Josh Cox - please email him if you use it or if you need more info.

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Nov. 26, 2005) -- Service members deployed here had the opportunity to sing along to the honky-tonk hits of country artist Aaron Tippin Nov. 26.The country artist, along with other musicians representing Nashville’s talent, performed an acoustic set for service members during a special Thanksgiving concert.

“[Tippin] opened with my favorite song,” said Lance Cpl. Erin Sextonson, Marine Integrated Maintenance Management Systems clerk, Engineer Platoon, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, II MEF (Forward). “I would say this has probably been one of the most memorable events in my deployment.”

Stars for Stripes, a non-profit organization aimed to boost morale among troops serving in the armed forces, sponsored the tour. Before the show, Tippin said performing and interacting with the troops in a combat environment is something very special to him and the people involved in the tour. “It’s very important, especially nowadays,” Tippin said, just before hitting the stage. “It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. I started back in 1990 with Bob Hope during the Gulf War (Saudi Arabia), and that’s where it all got going. [Performing overseas] has just been a great friendship for the past 15 years; it’s something I try to do.”

Tippin has played honky-tonk for troops around the globe, but this tour marks his first in Iraq.“This is the first time I’ve been to Iraq,” he said. “We’ve been to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and all kinds of places to entertain the troops.”

Before entertaining fans on the stage of the legendary Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., Tippin was a commercial pilot. For Tippin, being transported in different military aircraft throughout the years has been a highlight of the tours.“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Most of the time, the aviators that are flying realize that I am an aviator, and they always want to show me their goods. I had a real treat yesterday; my son-in-law is a Black Hawk pilot for the South Carolina Air National Guard, so he hauled me around. That was a really special day.”

Tippin along with musicians Mark Johnson and David Sloas performed some of his biggest hits during the Camp Fallujah show. The single “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” a patriotic song that launched Tippin’s career, was a favorite among the troops. “I’ve had the opportunity down through the years to write songs that are either exactly patriotic, or certainly apply to people of that same nature,” he said. “That has been a rewarding part of my career. I’ve had a chance to write and record some songs that really grew close to my heart.”

At the end of the concert, Tippin gave his thanks to the troops for their efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and gave them words of encouragement. “Get ‘r done, and get ‘r home,” said Tippin, while walking off stage to meet and greet with fans.

Aaron Tippin media contacts:
Kirt Webster or Ebie McFarland 615.777.6995

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