201st Field Artillery
Staff Sgt. Aaron Sailor, assigned to 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery, displays his autographed pictures of Joan Jett and Kellie Pickler after the concert Sunday night at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Photo by Sgt. Debra Richardson
01.10.2011 Story by Sgt. Debra Richardson CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait—Over four hundred service members stormed the picnic tables here an hour before the concert was due to begin in an attempt to obtain front row seats Sunday night, Jan. 9.
Hard rocker Joan Jett and country music artist Kellie Pickler conducted a crowd pleasing 2 hour show at Camp Buehring as part of a week-long USO entertainment tour for American Armed Forces serving in the Middle East.
Both Jett and Pickler are USO veterans, having participated in three and four previous tours respectively.
“It was nice to hear that country twang again,” said Spc. Jeremiah Morgan, an intelligence specialist assigned to 1st Battalion, 201 Field Artillery from West Virginia.
As the night wore on, the crowd grew louder, as soldiers sang along and clapped to the beat of the songs. Before Pickler relinquished the stage to the much anticipated Joan Jett, she encouraged a Marine to join her on the stage to sing her chart breaking single, “Red High Heels.”
While Pickler provided comic relief, Jett altered the atmosphere, energetically dancing around the stage with her guitar while encouraging interaction from the audience.
“It’s just me, my guitar and this keyboard so I need all of you to help me sing,” shouted Jett to the head banging crowd during her guitar solo in “I Love Rock and Roll.”
“She was really in-tune with the audience and received a lot of participation from the crowd, even though many of the soldiers probably weren’t very familiar with her,” explained Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ralph Wegner, the contract management OI, from Stratford, New Hampshire. “I’m old enough to know who Joan Jett is; I grew up listening to her during her hay day.”
Considered one of the best USO tours thus far, soldiers stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait were hesitant to leave after receiving autographs by both artists and cd’s from Jett.
Soldiers stood outside for over three hours so they could wave goodbye to the artists as they left Buehring after midnight.
“Jett is one of those artists you just hope and pray that one day you can hear in a live concert,” remarked Spc. Joel Richardson, C Company 1st Battalion, 201 Field Artillery, from Morgantown, W.Va. “I’m so excited I saw her live and I’m even happier she lived up to my expectations. She was amazing!”