View Full Version : Movie star Bruce Willis performs music for hundreds of soldiers in northern Iraq

09-27-03, 08:25 AM
Movie star Bruce Willis performs music for hundreds of soldiers in northern Iraq

By Scheherezade Faramarzi
3:46 a.m. September 26, 2003

TELAFAR, Iraq – Movie star Bruce Willis brought a rock concert to a desert airfield, with his band entertaining hundreds of soldiers some 35 miles from the Syrian border.

Hundreds of soldiers – some sitting atop helicopters, others lounging in Humvees – sent cheers and whistles into night air Thursday as Willis and his band belted out rock and roll and the blues.

Most soldiers here said they didn't know Willis was a singer, but they approved of what they heard.

"Somebody that supports the military like he has and that comes to visit soldiers – that's important to us," said Spc. Greg Pagan, a bus driver and a postal officer with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st's Airborne Division in northern Iraq.

"It's awesome. It's great for morale" said Col. Michael Linnington, commander of the brigade's "Iron Rakkasans" – the 187th Infantry Regiment.

"He's my favorite actor and my age," said Linnington, who turns 45 next week. "He's a macho actor. Soldiers identify with action movies and action actors. He's a guy's guy."

Willis, sometimes donning a military hat or a military jacket over his sweat pants, sang mostly oldies as he and his band – the Accelerator – stood atop two flatbed trailer trucks.

"We're here to support you," Willis told the soldiers. "If you catch him, just give me four seconds with Saddam Hussein."

The crowd cheered.


Associated Press
Bruce Willis smiles before his concert in Taal Afar airfield, 460 kms (280 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq.




09-27-03, 08:29 AM
Hollywood Megastar
Fires Up 101st Soldiers
By Pfc. Thomas Day / 40th Public Affairs Detachment

MOSUL, Iraq, Sept. 26, 2003 — Silver screen star Bruce Willis and his blues band visited the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Northern Iraq Sept. 25. The 101st stop was just one in a number of goodwill visits on the “Bruce Willis and the Accelerators Touch of Home Tour” this week.

“I didn’t see enough people coming out here and supporting the troops,” said Willis, who was born on a military base in Germany in 1955. Willis’ visit was the 101st’s first goodwill visit from a Hollywood celebrity.

“Back home, the news is manipulated … by people who would like the American people to believe the war is unpopular. It’s not unpopular, especially with the Iraqi indigenous people that are being helped,” Willis said. “This is the War on Terrorism, it’s worth fighting for.”

The “Hart’s War” and “Tears of the Sun” actor, both films that deal with the military, clearly enjoyed himself playing in front of the audience of homesick soldiers.

“I wanted to sign up and fight with you guys, but they told me I was too old,” he quipped. Willis also used some colorful language when describing what he would do if he had “four minutes with Saddam.”

Willis ate a late lunch with Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, the top 101st Airborne Division enlisted soldier, before flying around the division’s area of operation in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to meet the “Screaming Eagles.” The busy day ended for Willis and his band after a one-hour concert in front of several hundred 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne soldiers in Tall Afar.

Col. Michael Linnington, 3rd Brigade commander, introduced Willis before his band’s set and afterwards presented him with a 101st Airborne Division flag. Willis also dawned Linnington’s desert uniform top for the show after the brigade commander’s name and rank were appropriately removed.

Willis left after his performance with a simple message for the 101st soldiers: “Stay safe and God bless you all.”


Megastar Bruce Willis arrives in Mosul, Iraq to entertain coalition forces. U.S. Army photo.


Actor Bruce Willis performs with his blues band "Bruce Willis and the Accelerators" in front of an audience of 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division soldiers. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Thomas Day, 40th Public Affairs Detachment


Actor Bruce Willis looks out of a CH-47 helicopter after landing at a 101st Airborne Division compound.U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Thomas Day, 40th Public Affairs Detachment