It was a New Year’s Eve to remember for approximately 2,000 troops stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan as they were treated to USO screenings of HBO’s “ON THE RUN TOUR: BEYONCÉ AND JAY Z,” courtesy of the couple themselves.
The USO screenings, which took place during the countdown to 2015, were attended by servicemen and women stationed at Camp Arifjan and Camp Buehring in Kuwait, and at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The New Year’s-themed concert events kicked off with a pre-taped, heartfelt message from Beyonce – who thanked troops for their service and sacrifice, and wished them (and their families back home) a happy new year. Throughout the first full week of 2015, photos, video and New Year’s Day messages from troops poured into the USO reflecting the moment-filled experience.
Troops from all branches united as one and brought in 2015 simultaneously at all three overseas military installations. Brought together by the USO and their love of music, the screenings were designed to bring a touch of home to troops during the holidays and serve as a welcomed distraction from day-to-day challenges and responsibilities. To do this, the USO Camp Arifjan center hosted the New Year’s Eve screenings on multiple screens throughout their facility and passed out fruit and coffee flavored holiday mocktails to troops in attendance. Not too far away, the USO Camp Buehring center hosted the special screening at its annual, festive Glow Party – complete with laser lights, glow sticks and a midnight balloon drop.
“It was awesome to see the message from Beyonce before the show, it made me feel special,” said LT Cross at Bagram Airfield. Echoing Lt Cross’ sentiments was SPC Johnson of the 101st BSB 1st Brigade 1ID at Camp Buehring who said, “the message was heartfelt and it is amazing that someone at her level has the awareness and appreciation for what we do. The concert is (also) exquisite… the attention to details, the precision, and the energy is the same thing we try to bring into our training.”
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 miles away at Bagram Airfield, hundreds of troops poured into two of the base’s new MWR Coalition Theaters at 8 p.m., counted down to 2015 and danced-in the new year. They swayed in their seats and rocked out to such mega hits as “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Crazy in Love,” “Tom Ford” and “Part II (On the Run),” among 40 other memorable hit performances. An encore USO screening was shown on January 1st; so that more troops could experience HBO’s “ON THE RUN” USO screening in a movie-style setting, similar to that from back home – complete with surround sound and plush seating.
“Watching the ‘ON THE RUN’ concert made me forget I was in Afghanistan for the holidays… thank you,” said SSGT Ferguson, who is stationed at Bagram Airfield.
As the world celebrates another new year, the USO once again invites Americans to join them – as well as USO supporters Jay Z and Beyonce – in showing their gratitude to our nation’s troops and military families. Moments like HBO’s “ON THE RUN” screening is just one example of how the USO is working to create, share and thank troops for their service in 2015. Last year, the USO created nearly 11 million special moments for our nation’s military community and is setting out to deliver another 11 million moments worldwide this year. For more information about the Every Moment Counts campaign, visit USOmoments.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter using #USOMoments.