Toby Keith performs for troops in Korea today on his latest USO tour.
ARLINGTON, VA. – Oklahoma country music star Toby Keith today toured the Korean demilitarized zone on his eighth United Service Organization/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.
So far, the Norman resident’s tour has lifted the spirits of more than 2,500 service members, according to a news release. Among the installations visited were Camp Walker, Camp Bonifas and Yongsan Army base in Korea.
On Twitter (@tobykeithmusic), Keith wrote “Toured DMZ on N Korea-S Korea Border. W/o question-after 145 USO shows-most bizarre behavior by 2 enemies I’ve ever witnessed.”
He continued, “Soldiers on both sides stand few feet apart-stare emotionless for hrs-daring the other 2 challenge. I walked right between. Creepy!”
He noted in a third Tweet, “Leaving Seoul for GERMANY. S Korea is the best Nation I’ve ever visited. Just Wonderful! I will return.”
The Oklahoma native recently embarked on a four-country, 14-day USO tour that also will travel to the Persian Gulf.
“I’ve been traveling with the USO since 2002, and every year I look forward to spending time with the men and women who serve this great country. When I get on stage and look out into a crowd of uniforms, it gives me a great sense of pride to know that I am giving back to them,” Keith said in the release.
Keith has traveled to more than 10 countries and participated in seven previous USO tours. In total, he has lifted the spirits of more than 140,000 service men and women, many at small remote outposts.
In recognition of his ongoing support for U.S. troops and their families, Keith was presented the 2009 Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Distinguished Service Award.
In 2007, while visiting troops in Afghanistan, Keith recognized the need to deliver the day-to-day comforts of home to service members stationed far away from main bases and USO centers. His idea became known as the “USO2Go” program, which sends much-needed electronics, entertainment, non-perishable comfort food and personal care items to troops stationed in remote locations. To date, 374 “USO2Go” kits have been distributed since the program’s inception in 2008.