Toby Keith has been entertaining troops on USO tours for more than a decade, but his visits go beyond just singing a few songs for the men and women in uniform. This Veteran’s Day, Toby is opening up about the harsh realities he’s witnessed visiting troops in war zones. At first, he thought he’d just be kind of a cheerleader to help get the troops fired up for battle, but Toby found a much different situation once he got on the ground.
He says, “”You know, as much as I wanted to run right in there and say, “Let’s go get ’em.” You know, going and gettin’ ’em and seeing what going and gettin’ ’em means is a big reality check, and you gotta bow up and take it.”
As an example, Toby talks about walking into a medical tent to visit a soldier who just lost his leg in an explosion.
“Normal conversation chatter doesn’t work, ’cause guess what? He ain’t doing very good,” Toby says. “So, you have to go in and find something else new to stir the conversation, and those little things like that are really tough.”
What’s even tougher is knowing some soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice in defending their country.
Looking back on one of his tours in Iraq, Toby recalls, “flying on airplanes out of Baghdad with a couple coffins wrapped in American flags.” He adds, “You talk about a somber, reality check.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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