Undisclosed Areas of Operation Africa - For the past seven years Wrangler professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls along with Nashville Artists have traveled to remote U.S. Armed Forces Bases around the world to salute our Troops on Memorial Day.
This year, five-time world champion hall of fame cowboy Rob Smets, of Texas will be joining the all-star line up in taking hats off for our Troops. Past tours having taken the Wrangler Cowboys and Cowgirls to: Iraq, Afghanistan, Alaska and Pacific Commands multiple times, with this years tour placing their cowboy boots on the sub-Sahara and Horn of Africa.
Accustomed to the atmospheric mood shift that occurs on Memorial Day each year, the professional rodeo athletes and musicians have perfected the art of raising spirits while solemnly honoring the sacrifices that have been made by our service members.
“This tour was created to fulfill a request by DoD Armed Forces Entertainment to our organization, our normal programming is motivational/mentor oriented, but this tour was created as a sustainable tour that would be appropriate for the hollowed week in May each year.” says Robi Powers, founder of American300, adding, “Originally we were going to utilize our group of Olympians, but then I meet Jeff Chadwick of the Wrangler Corporation and we started talking about Cowboys and Cowgirls... the American western way of life, the need for guests that could represent our entire nation and way of life.”
Chadwick, didn’t waste anytime reaching out to his Wrangler endorsees. “The hardest aspect was finding athletes who could afford to leave the circuit, May is well into the competitive points chase” recalled, Chadwick, adding, “I need not have worried, the response 8 years ago was overwhelming, now the hardest part is selecting the crew each year.”
Whether sharing stories or listening to the same, the Wrangler Cowboys and Cowgirls along with Nashville star have perfected the art of being around troops. This year with the addition of Smets, there’s an even larger sense of sacrifice being shared.
“Rob spent decades throwing his body in front of 2,000+ pound bulls in an effort to give bull riders the necessary seconds needed to get up off the arena floor to safety,” says Chadwick, “ the troops are going to relate to Rob’s career and most importantly Rob, like all the team members are going to be able to convey the deepest appreciation on behalf of the entire country.”
This year’s Wrangler Patriots include: Annie ‘Outlaw Annie’ Bianco, world champion mounted shooting cowgirl, Brittney Truman, professional cowgirl and Miss Rodeo Arizona, Rob Smets, world champion bullfighter, Lucas Hoge, Nashville country music star and his lead guitarist Thomas Becker. The group will be led by Jeff Chadwick, former professional cowboy and Director with Wrangler Corporation and Robi Powers, founder American300 Tours and volunteer tour leader for DoD Armed Forces Entertainment office.
With a goal of sharing ‘Day in the Life’ type experiences with our Troops and evenings kicking back to the sounds of Nashville country star Lucas Hoge - this Armed Forces Entertainment Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Day Tour is once again headed overseas... for the seventh straight year.
About American300 Tours
American300 is a all volunteer 501c3 nonprofit organization, established to support our Department of Defense and Department of State with quality mentor programming. Each year hundreds of volunteers spend over 35,000 hours supporting 35 tours to remote and isolated areas of service around the world. More at: www.American300.org and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Armed Forces Entertainment
Armed Forces Entertainment is the official Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, with priority given to those in contingency operations and at remote and isolated locations. The Department of the Air Force is the executive agent of Armed Forces Entertainment. Founded in 1951, Armed Forces Entertainment brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops annually, embracing the best of Americana that stretches across all genres of entertainment. For more information visit www.armedforcesentertainment.com , Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.