Grounded By Sandstorm, Troops Met by Joint Chiefs Chairman
Camp Victory, Iraq
The excited crowd gathered, ready to greet the expected USO Holiday Show. It was touring around Iraq, and was keeping a very challenging albeit grueling schedule.
One Problem arose: No one remembered to tell Mother Nature.
The Chairman’s USO Tour was grounded at Base Speicher because of a sandstorm, and was not able to meet their appointment at Camp Liberty to perform for the soldiers. Nearly seven hundred fifty Officers, and Enlisted Soldiers were on hand waiting, and they were met instead by the news of a no show.
The USO Tour began their day in Taqqadum, and then traveled to Ramadi and performed, then went on to Operating Base Speicher where they held another performance for troops at Speicher. The plan was to board aircraft at Camp Speicher and move on to Camp Liberty.
Traveling with the USO Tour was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Navy Admiral Michael G. Mullen. When the tour arrived at Base Speicher, Admiral Mullen went off and attending meetings in Baghdad with various high-level U.S. and Iraqi officials.
Admiral Mullen was nearby when it was announced all aircraft were grounded due to the snowstorm, and he rushed to the stage to announce the unfortunate event. He brought with him commemorative coins, called the Chairman’s coin, which he passed out among the soldiers. He also passed out gifts that the USO had personally collected, video games, movies, toiletries, and other items.
The Troops were disappointed, but it was taken by all in relatively good cheer.