It’s with great disappointment I have to announce that the much-anticipated Paralyzed Veterans of America/Armed Forces Entertainment Outdoor Legends Tour to meet and greet servicemen and women in Southwest Asia has been postponed—at least a portion of it. The situation in Afghanistan with the burning of the Qurans and the resulting protests and violence makes the trip too dangerous. The Armed Forces Entertainment Division pulled the plug.
My group was scheduled to spend the entire Tour visiting troops at a number of austere bases in Afghanistan. The other group that is visiting other locations in Southwest Asia is going ahead with their part of the Tour, as the situation elsewhere is not as volatile.
My bags were packed, vaccinations up to date, and the Bible was atop the stack of reading material, but it just wasn’t meant to happen right now. I am disappointed, but my family is relieved. In fact, my mother must have had a premonition. No one, including her, knew for sure that I’d be traveling in Afghanistan, as it was just one of about 10 countries the Tour would possibly be visiting, but she called 3 days before the trip was cancelled to ask if we were still going!
In preparing for the trip, I learned how big a tool the Internet and social media are for troops seeking to stay in touch with “home.” Moms and dads following news of the Tour let their sons and daughters on duty know that we’d be coming. I received lots of “if you get to XYZ, then be sure to look me up” types of messages and posts; so, I hope this blog post gets spread and forwarded to troops who were anticipating our visit.
To those in harm’s way: We will get there! But right now you’ve got more important things to worry about than nurse-maiding a bunch of fish-out-of-water celebs and preventing us from getting hurt or worse. Look out for yourselves. Keep your heads down. Stay safe. God bless you, and thank you for everything you’re doing!