Saturday, May 27, 2006

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue

There's a little bit of a party atmosphere on the base this weekend. Granted, work still needs to be done, and those who have work to do are doing it, but it seems like everyone is being given some well deserved time off this weekend when their units can afford it. May being the national "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month," there was a celebration today which was essentially a luau, complete with kahlua pig and hula dancers. (Although in deference to local customs, wearing much more than the coconuts and grass skirts.) And if Polynesian music wasn't your style, then you could go to Toby Keith's concert.

The concert was set up in the stadium where, during Saddam's reign, the Iraqi national soccer team practiced and played. It was big enough to comfortably seat (or stand) the 2000 or so people who came for the performance, sponsored by the U.S.O.

While I'm not a huge country music fan, I was pleased to recognize more than half the songs. Toby started out singing how he'd "like to get down with my boys in Afghanistan and Baghdad city too / I am a red, white and blue blood graduate of Honkytonk U" and a few other songs which I didn't know, but quickly got into familiar territory when he told us that he was opening up several restaurants in Harrah's Casinos in several cities (including Las Vegas). They're named I Love This Bar and Grill (another song he performed) and the management has been instructed to offer a free meal and beer to soldiers who patronize the restaurants, filled with memorabilia from his many U.S.O. tours.

He finished up with several songs I know and enjoy, including Courtesy of the Red White and Blue, What Happens down in Mexico Stays in Mexico, the closing song A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action, and the encore, Whiskey For My Men and Beer For My Horses. But he got a standing ovation for one of his more famous songs, which I'll quote in its entirety in honor of Memorial Day and the heroic men and women that I have the honor of serving with now, and those who have gone before and will come after. Make sure you put out your flags this weekend.

I'm just trying to be a father, Raise a daughter and a son, Be a lover to their mother, Everything to everyone. Up and at 'em bright and early, I'm all business in my suit, Yeah, I'm dressed for success from my head down to my boots, I don't do it for money, there's still bills that I can't pay, I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway, Providing for our future's my responsibility, Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be, And I can't call in sick on Mondays When the weekends been too strong, I just work straight through the holidays, And sometimes all night long. You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door, Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core, And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price, I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice, Oh, and I don't want to die for you, But if dyin's asked of me, I'll bear that cross with an honor, 'Cause freedom don't come free. I'm an American soldier, an American, Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand, When liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right, I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight. American soldier, I'm an American, An American, An American Soldier


Melinda said...

I am thinking of you and the others that fight for our freedom. Prayers going your way to. Hugs!

AWG said...

Great post! Toby Keith is the real deal! Be safe!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan. Many thanks for posting the picture and your take on the Toby Keith concert. I am a member of the Toby Keith International Fan Club and we are so proud of Toby for entertaining the troops as he does. We're also very proud of you and all service men and women who give so much so we at home can be free. God bless you and keep you safe.


Anonymous said...

God bless you guys in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're pulling for you, even though you'd never know it from reading the papers. I wish I could do more to help out. Just know that you're a hero. Stay safe, though!

raluke said...

God bless you guys in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're pulling for you, even though you'd never know it from reading the papers. I wish I could do more to help out. Just know that you're a hero. Stay safe, though!