Country singer Rick Trevino entertains Soldiers in Southern Iraq

Story and Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Tad Browning
36th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — Texas country music artist Rick Trevino and his band performed for Soldiers on Contingency Operating Base Adder April 25 as part of a four-day tour through Southern Iraq.

Trevino, an Austin, Texas area native, won a Grammy in 1998 for Best Mexican-American Music Performance with Los Super Seven for the group’s self-titled debut album said he was excited about performing for the troops.

“We're really excited about the opportunity to come and to be a part of what's going on right now with the war and just to be able to support and to contribute the troops,” Trevino said. “Even if it is one night. It helps the troop morale and I'm just happy to be a part of that.”

The tour, a combined effort of Tax Masters out of Houston, Armed Forces Entertainment, Morale Welfare and Recreation and Maj. Fred Hackett, an attorney with the 36th Sustainment Brigade and Houston native, started before Hackett’s deployment last summer.

Tax Masters CEO Patrick Cox, a resident of Houston, said he and Hackett were talking about what they could do for the troops here in Iraq to boost morale.

“We got to talking and he asked if I was going to come visit him in Iraq this year so I said,’ sure, why not?’ Never actually thinking that it was ever actually going to happen,” Cox said. “He (Hackett) said maybe we can sponsor a band or something.”

Between Cox and Hackett, Cox said they started looking for a Texas band. Because they were both Aggies and they knew that Trevino was an Aggie as well, they both agreed that it was a perfect opportunity.

Trevino said they were up to coming over here a few years ago, but due to other bookings, it just didn’t work out because they were already on tour.

“Ever since then, I have been waiting for the opportunity to come back,” Trevino said. “I've always wanted to come out and do this, especially to be able to come out here where a lot of the Texas troops are.”

After a few e-mails and phone calls, Cox said the Pentagon called them and told them some folks at Tax Masters and some of their employees deployed with the 36th Sust. Bde over in Iraq would like Trevino to come over and do a tour, and he agreed.

“Rick's people wanted to do it, they were jumping up and down to do this so we put it all together with MWR and the next thing you know, we are on an airplane to Kuwait,” Cox said.

Staff Sgt. Patricia Gutierrez, the MWR representative for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment on COB Adder and an Austin, Texas resident, said she loved the concert and that the crowd seemed to enjoy it as well.

“I loved the concert, I love Rick Trevino and I really enjoyed it,” Gutierrez said. “He is a really down to earth guy. The Soldiers all got up and started clapping and he got a standing ovation.”

Staff Sgt. Bedalina Rosario, an Austin resident and a 36th Sust. Bde. Fragmentary order manager, said it was nice to see Trevino and hear some of his new songs and also the old ones.

“It brought back memories from home. At the very end he sang an old song that originated from the late Freddy Fender,” Rosario said. “It just brought home a little bit closer to me here in Iraq.”

Rosario said she really enjoyed Trevino’s singing and grew up listening to Trevino.

After the concert, Trevino met with Soldiers and signed autographs with his band and talked to them about their experiences.

“We talked a little about where we both live and where we come from and I mentioned to him that it was good to hear the music from the past, right here in the middle of Iraq, Rosario said. “It couldn't have come at a better time, a good ole slice of home. He agreed and he was really supportive and appreciates what we do as Soldiers.”

Cox said he thought the concert was great and that it is amazing to watch the Soldiers.

“They really seem to be enjoying it and having a good time and kind of forget for a moment that they are away from their Families and home,” Cox said. “It's a real rewarding thing, it's been a great experience, I wouldn't trade it for anything.”

Trevino toured five locations during his tour to southern Iraq as well as a tour of the Ziggurat of Ur near COB Adder.

Trevino said he thinks a lot of people take for granted what the U.S. Soldiers are doing right now for our freedom and is impressed with the work the Soldiers are doing here.

“The troops are so impressive and to be able to see it first hand really gives you a chance to, number one, say 'thank you' and number two, you go back to the states and you realize what you've seen and you don't take it for granted, especially your freedoms,” Trevino said.

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Staff Sgt. Belinda Rosario, a fragmentary order manager with the 36th Sustainment Brigade,13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and an Austin, Texas native, meets with Rick Trevino, a country music artist and also Austin, Texas, native, after a concert April 25 at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tad Browning)

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Col. Sean Ryan, commander of the 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Ceder Park, Texas native, gives Patrick Cox, CEO with Tax Masters a certificate of appreciation and an American flag flown over Iraq at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq for sponsoring country music artist Rick Trevino's tour to Iraq. (US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tad Browning)

 

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Rick Trevino, a country music artist and Austin, Texas native, entertains Soldiers April 25 at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tad Browning)

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Col. Sean Ryan, commander of the 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Cedar Park, Texas, native, gives Rick Trevino, a country music artist, a certificate of appreciation and an American Flag flown over Iraq at Contingency Operating Base Adder on April 27 for entertaining the troops. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tad Browning)