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Monday, December 5, 2011

Kuwait Chronicle VII

MWR Events
Sometimes it can work to a soldier's advantage to be "stuck" in the middle of nowhere during the holiday season...what?  No, really...the holidays seem to bring out the celebrities en mass even to the remote FOBs, COBs and Camps scattered about the world.  The Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) folks along with the USO do a nice job of booking some great celebrity acts to entertain the troops, and it is really appreciated.

Never in the US would I have had the opportunity to meet a real American Idol...OK, so he wasn't the WINNER that year, but Chris Daughtry was always a winner in my book.  Chris and the band Daughtry along with comedian Gabriel Iglesias and friends toured at nearby Camp Buehring recently, and I attended a "meet and greet" event sponsored by the USO and MWR that was just fabulous.  I had the opportunity to shake the hand of the entire band and get a photo-op as well.  It was truly a thrill...out here in the middle of the sandbox where thrills are few and far between!

Since 1941, the United Service Organization has helped boost troop morale with centers all over the world, and entertainment for service members takes many forms including live shows, care package deliveries with videos, etc., free Internet/email access and many more troop-friendly activities.  The USO relies on donations, so please consider visiting to make a contribution if you are so inclined.

The MWR has a long history as well.  Initially known as the Morale Division, the MWR began in 1918.  Additional organizations including the Army Motion Picture Service (1920) and the Library Service (1923) were added and led to the formation of the “Special Services" in 1941.  Special Services included the Army Recreation Services, the Army Exchange (now known as the Army and Air Force Exchange or AAFES), and the Army Soldier Show.

In Kuwait, I have already collected quite a number of t-shirts courtesy of the MWR for 5K run events to commemorate everything from Veteran's Day to the Marine Corps birthday run....but my new favorite shirt has to be the one from the Daughtry/Iglesias Season's Greetings tour....yep, that's my new fav!

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