Saluting America's Best

Saluting America's Best

July 4, 2017

Tonight on RURAL EVENING NEWS, meet country newcomer Lucas Hoge who talks about entertaining the men and women of America's armed forces as part of the Wrangler National Patriot Tour.  This unique program brings a bit of home to troops stationed in some of the most dangerous and remote locations around the world.  

"We don't know where we're going from one place to the next for security purposes, so you never know where we are going to be," Hoge explains. Sometimes the troops don't even know they are coming. Such was the case at Camp Stone in Afghanistan where performing required some old-fashioned ingenuity.   

"The Marine Special Forces treated us really cool. This guy comes out and throws a pallet on the ground. And this guy ejects his magazine and a round out of his M4, duct tapes a microphone to it and sits there all night so I have a microphone.  And they hook up the speakers to the battery of a Humvee. Circle all the MRAPs and Humvees, with all the lights and stuff. And they shine all the lights down and this is my stage. And I was just, 'this is the coolest thing ever.'"

In addition to live music, the tour also brings rodeo athletes along to add some fun. Check out the video below for some roping action.

 "The thing about the Wrangler National Patriot program is, we want that one-on-one interaction with our troops," said Hoge who is obviously very passionate about the tour. "We'll play songs and teach them to rope, but it's getting down and talking to them. And we'll stay there all night long, two, three, four o'clock in the morning, until the last person is ready to go, we will sit there and talk to them about their families or whatever.  And it's cool when they come up and say, 'Man, thanks so much for just making us feel normal for a day.'

"I feel like it's the best way to give back to our country, is to go and play a little music for our men and women who are sacrificing so much for us."  

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