Country star Penny Gilley performs at Kuwait camps
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait — A country music singer whose song about Operation Desert Storm made her famous among U.S. troops is back in the Persian Gulf region for a series of concerts.
Penny Gilley has performed several shows at U.S. Army and Marine camps in Kuwait, as well as at Seeb Air Force Base in Oman. Next, she heads to Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia for a show on Monday. She also did some shows in Afghanistan.
“The military audience is the most appreciative in the world,” Gilley said. “They know we’re here by choice.”
Gilley is a veteran when it comes to performing for American GIs. The singer has done 11 shows in Korea, as well as several shows in the Balkan countries and at stateside military bases over the past 12 years.
Gilley, 45, recently was named the ambassador for Operation Enduring Response, a national campaign that encourages schoolchildren to write to troops fighting in the war against terrorism. She came to Southwest Asia with a mailbag full of letters.
Many troops know her best for her song “The Line Drawn in the Sand,” which she mailed in 1991 to Desert Storm troops. She later was invited to perform at the Marine base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Calif., during a homecoming celebration for troops returning from that war.
Gilley, a Louisiana native who now calls Grapevine, Texas, home, said this trip is the first time she has been able to perform her signature song for troops stationed in the desert.
“I always request to perform for troops who don’t get a lot of entertainment,” Gilley said. “Sometimes, we’re all they’ve got.”
Gilley plans another show in Korea in April, and hopes to make her first trip to an aircraft carrier for some shows this year.