Randy Travis Pays Tribute to U.S. Military at USO Fundraiser
Randy Travis took to a Washington, D.C. stage last night to honor the men and women of the military who gathered at the annual USO Gala. Less than 24 hours after Travis was honored at the Grand Ole Opry by an array of Nashville royalty in celebration of his 25 years in country music, he offered heartfelt words and performed two songs in front of military elite and members of Congress.
"It's a great honor to be with you tonight. We have done shows in years past," he said to applause as he noted he's performed at many USO events, including special USO holiday shows for five consecutive years. "There is no one quite like that group of guys and ladies on military bases. You go everywhere they allow a civilian to go and, man, it's very humbling."
Travis was the sole musical performer at the event, which was hosted by comedian Carlos Mencia and attended by Miss USA Alyssa Campanella and retired NBA player Karl "The Mailman" Malone. The dignitaries at the $1,000 per plate USO fundraiser -- which was attended by more than 1000 members of the military, families and guests -- included Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
Dressed in his trademark dark suit, boots, and bright red shirt, Travis -- accompanied by two other guitarists -- performed 'Forever and Ever, Amen' and 'America Will Always Stand.' Travis co-wrote the second song soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Just two weeks ago, Travis collapsed on stage during a Texas concert. The singer's representatives said that he's recovered from the incident that was caused by dehydration, over-the-counter allergy medications, caffeine and the heat of the stage lights.
Although Travis did not walk the red carpet or publicly mingle with other attendees before or after the show, he did note that he met some members of the military -- presumably including honorees -- before his performance.
"I hope in years to come I get to do that a bunch more times," said Travis about performing at USO events. "I hope I get to spend more time with all of you guys."