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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers and his wife Mary Jo watch Sunday’s USO show.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers and his wife Mary Jo watch Sunday’s USO show. (Seth Robson / S&S)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers and his wife Mary Jo watch Sunday’s USO show.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers and his wife Mary Jo watch Sunday’s USO show. (Seth Robson / S&S)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers re-enlists 45 soldiers at Camp Casey on Sunday.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers re-enlists 45 soldiers at Camp Casey on Sunday. (Seth Robson / S&S)

Leeann Tweeden entertains the troops during a USO show that also featured appearances by sports figures and comics.

Leeann Tweeden entertains the troops during a USO show that also featured appearances by sports figures and comics. (Seth Robson / S&S)

2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. George A. Higgins addresses troops before the USO show at Camp Casey on Sunday.

2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. George A. Higgins addresses troops before the USO show at Camp Casey on Sunday. (Seth Robson / S&S)

Servicemembers gather to watch Sunday’s USO show.

Servicemembers gather to watch Sunday’s USO show. (Seth Robson / S&S)

CAMP CASEY, South Korea — The “hooahs” were loud and enthusiastic from several thousand troops who packed the Carey Fitness Center on Sunday for a United Service Organizations show that featured an appearance by Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and four USO celebrities stopped in South Korea over the weekend as part of a 10-day whirlwind global tour that began last week in Germany.

Myers and his wife, Mary Jo, are visiting American troops to assess morale and thank them for their service.

They’ve brought along a band of entertainers —- including NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, Leeann Tweeden of Fox Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and comedians Colin Quinn and Jeffrey Ross.

The show, which has appeared in Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti, hit Osan Air Base and Camp Casey in South Korea on Saturday and Sunday and was headed for Yokota and Misawa air bases in Japan on Monday.

Three performances are scheduled in Hawaii and another at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, before the group returns to Washington.

Myers, who retires in September, took the stage before the Camp Casey USO show to re-enlist 45 servicemembers.

He told troops he was happy to be in “hooah country,” adding, “I have heard (U.S. Forces Korea commander) Gen. (Leon J.) Laporte have whole conversations where all he says to his secretary is ‘hooah.’”

Myers thanked the troops for their service.

“We know you are a long way from home. Your nation has asked you to do some pretty amazing things.

“If it weren’t for your presence this part of the world would be a much different place.

“You are ready to fight tonight. We have a secure and stable peninsula ... we have a secure and stable region for just that reason,” he said.

The hardships endured by today’s soldiers are nothing new, Myers said, reminding the troops of the sacrifices made by soldiers who fought for America’s independence in the Revolutionary War in 1776.

The spirit of the troops he talked to in the Middle East when the USO show stopped there was unbelievable, he said.

“They were confident in what they were doing and they were confident they could pull this (the Iraq mission) off,” he said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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