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Military Tour Wrap-Up

Military Tour Wrap-Up

Jul 26, 2014

This week we finished the Military Tribute Tour. We went back to Kuwait for 3 shows, and then did our last show on the tour in Djibouti. It was a bittersweet experience having it come to an end, but it made such an impact on me.

 

 

 

 

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It was interesting to me as this was my first time coming back performing with the title “David Archuleta” and having to embrace that since my mission. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, but there was a different motivating factor this time, which was that this tour was all about giving tribute to the troops. We flew out to these countries; to these military bases on our own time and without getting paid anything. We came out to get to know them, and express our gratitude for them with what God gave us in our abilities and talents.

I would divide the focuses on this tour into 2 different categories: 1st, Getting to know who these men and women were and 2nd, Getting to know what they do.

Traveling to the different bases in each country gave us a realistic view of what is going on and the work that these troops do. They showed us everything from the aircrafts and vehicles to the loading areas and offices; from the chow halls where they eat to the living quarters— whether they were buildings, CLU’s (containerized living units), or tents. We saw all of the different parts it takes to put it all together, and all of the people it took with different skills.

That's how flat it was in Kuwait.  But yes, those are camels

That’s how flat it was in Kuwait. But yes, those are camels

My favorite part of these tours and staying on these bases was getting to meet these servicemen and women and hear their stories. One of them I met in Camp Patriot in Kuwait. She was a Captain, and had an 11 month-old daughter, but she had been away from her for the last several months. On top of that, her husband was also deployed in another camp in Kuwait, so neither of them are able to be there with their new daughter to watch her grow during these first months of her life. The daughter stayed with grandparents in the meantime.

I was impressed to hear stories similar to this time and time again. A lot of times we have stereotypes for these men and women of what kind of lifestyle they come from, what matters to them, and how normal they really are. I met parents, grandparents, people my age and even younger than me everywhere. They all were far away from family and loved ones, and while they are fulfilling to their amazing duty to serve our country it still is no easy task to be away from family and loved ones in tough circumstances that are not your typical home environment. I jumped at the chance to listen to them, and simply be around them. If there was nothing else I could give to them, at least I could give them my time— there is nothing more valuable to me than that, and so I am glad that I could give even a little bit of time to be with them and get to know who they are and what they do.

At the end of the trip we were able to go to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We did a faith-based meeting (also known as a fireside) with stories and music similar to what we were doing on the tour, only more faith-focused. I really loved getting to do these firesides throughout our trip when time permitted, and to feel the hearts and spirits of these strong-spirited youth in these parts of the world.

A group of the Ethiopian girls who came to the fireside.

A group of the Ethiopian girls who came to the fireside.

After this fireside we went out to an Ethiopian restaurant where they had traditional Ethiopian dancers and an Ethiopian band. It was awesome! A few people in the restaurant recognized me, along with a worker, and the next thing I know the owner comes up to ask if I would sing for everyone there. At first I felt awkward, but in the end I thought “eh, why not?” and got up to sing 2 songs: “Stand By Me” and “Everybody Hurts” which I had been singing during the military tour. It was quite the experience being backed up by an Ethiopian band along with my voice coach, Dean Kaelin who was on the tour with us. Good times!

The bomb suit was a little big on me

The bomb suit was a little big on me

It’s been unforgettable. I am taking so many memories with me from these past few weeks. I just want to thank again these men and women in the military for serving and doing what they do. I am so grateful that they took us in and allowed us to experience a little bit of their experiences. It means so much to me, and to everyone on our tour. We appreciate you and your time you shared with us. Military Tribute Tour accomplished!

Visiting the rescue crew in Djibouti

Visiting the rescue crew in Djibouti

Well that’s a wrap for this blog. Thanks for reading!

David

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49 comments

  1. REBrenda /

    God bless you, David. May you continue to keep God close to your heart and share His message of love, compassion, and peace. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks David! I love your compassionate heart and charitable mindset! You are the best!

  3. Amy (in VA) /

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your experiences and what you’ve learned with us. I hope you were ok with being “David Archuleta” as you toured and shared your talents. You have always used those talents to bring joy and love and positivity into people’s lives and you are STILL doing that! I hope that felt good and right to you. :)

  4. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing it with us!!

  5. christopher95814 /

    David,
    I just wanted to thank you for your beautiful song “Angels”. I was driving home last Sunday from visiting my father in his last stages of his life (stage 4 cancer). While driving home I listened to your song and with the windows down and eyes bawling I asked God to please take him home. When I got home from that drive, I found out that he passed away within a few minutes of that request. I just want to thank you for the comfort that song brought in that moment, and your gift to minister in such a way. Thanks for all you do.

  6. Hi David! A little late to comment, but I truly love and appreciate this blog. It’s been nice to read the recaps from all who went on this Military Tour,(grateful as well to Dan, Dean, and Jason) but I really appreciate hearing about the tour in your words and from your perspective. ~so,Thank You~
    You mentioned that you were unsure about how it was going to feel performing as “David Archuleta and having to embrace that since (your) mission,” and I wonder how it ended up feeling? As a fan,over the years,I can say how grateful I am for all “David Archuleta” has done for me and how very much you’ve touched my heart with your voice and through your words.I do hope it felt “ok” for you because through every photo I’ve seen of the troops during this tour,and every tweet they’ve shared, I believe your voice, your listening ear, and your words truly did make a difference. :)
    I am moved by what you shared as being the emphasis and objective of your trip~ To give of your time to listen and learn from the troops, (also) to give of your talents to be used by God in ministering to them. It show’s your beautiful “servant’s” attitude and heart! Oh, and the payment you received although not in dollar$, I think is immeasurable/ priceless. :)
    Thank you, too, for sharing some of the experiences of daily life for the troops there and for the personal sacrifices they face. I’ve learned a lot. Oh~ and I love your photos!
    What an amazing trip and experience this was for you; I’m just so happy that when “opportunity knocked,” David Archuleta opened the door and said “yes.” :)

  7. roxfox /

    Congratulations on a successful tour! Thank you for your service and thoughts. My father and grandfather served. Currently my cousin is retiring soon from Intelligence in the Air Force. He never could share much lol. And just spent time with a nephew who flew Blackhawks for the Army. He had great stories!

  8. PlatinumArchie /

    Tho I’ve been enjoying family activities this past weekend, I’ve been able to check “social Media” once in a while and read your latest blog with great fascination, and that goes for all the blogs of the Military Tour! Only through you, Dan, Dean and Jason, could I have had this chance, for a little insight into how the Armed Forces are serving the USA and humanity, so far removed from my everyday life! And after your 2-day travels back to *home and family*, undoubtedly experiencing a lot of jet-lag, you manage to attend and support David Cook at him Sandy concert! You are always giving of yourself! Somehow, just saying “thank you” doesn’t seem quite enough! I am very proud to be your fan, “forevermore”! ♥

  9. You make me so proud to be a fan of yours. Even if we do not share the same religious beliefs, your values and life choices are what set you apart from other talented artists.

    May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Here’s hoping to see you again in Manila!

    ps: The sweetest mangoes in the world are waiting for you :)

  10. sunshine /

    THANK YOU DAVID FOR THIS WONDERFUL BLOG :))

  11. Shanny in Australia /

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing David. So glad you’re all home safe too. What an amazing experience huh? I can only imagine how much ‘food for thought’ these experiences must have provided. A part of Chords of Strength part 2 maybe…? :D

    Rest up and shine on.

  12. MunkFOD /

    Thank you so much for the awesome blog! You men made a huge difference in our troops lives! I am sure they are very grateful! And the firesides.. what a great faith builder for all who had the opportunity to attend! Giving of our time and talents! yup! That’s what its all about! :D I was thinking….you mentioned how this time the tour was different because the focus was about serving others and making a difference in their lives. What perhaps you don’t realize, David, is that whatever tour you go on throughout the world, even tho you may get paid, you touch people’s lives…. bringing hope and happiness. Your life is a life of “making a difference” for which we are all very grateful! So thank you! And best wishes to you in your creative, performing endeavors!

  13. Kathy /

    All I gotta say is Thank You David, Dean, Dan, and Jason! You all have warmed my heart and filled my mind with much to think about. Our troops deserve so much support and love from all of us. God Bless you all for sharing all your wonderful talents with these very deserving folks!

  14. rocktellme /

    Welcome home David! Thank you so much for sharing your unforgettable experiences!
    Though you said “We appreciate you and your time you shared with us” at the end, I also see how much the troops appreciate you, Dan, Jason and Dean for visiting them.
    I appreciate you all made my eyes wide-open, knowing what’s going on and some part of their activities.
    Glad you were happy to have chances for some firesides through the tour!!!

  15. Monica /

    Hey Buddy, I’m so thankful you guys took us along with you on this tour via blogs, video’s and photo’s. I had a lot of respect for our troops before hand but this was such an eye opener. Will be doing what I can to pay it forward for them. I’m so glad you had this opportunity to make things a little lighter for them, even if it was for a brief while. I know they appreciated it. May God bless you!!!

  16. pepper /

    Welcome back David and thank you for your blog. It’s wonderful to read about your experiences on this very special tour. You have touched lives and made a difference, you all gave your time, talents and your hearts on this tour. We are fortunate to have been able to follow along somewhat with the updates we received. Thank you for sharing and bless the troops.

  17. violet4ever /

    Welcome home to you and the rest of the show! And thanks to all four of you for visiting the troops and telling all of us about what their lives are like. They have a hard job and you guys made it a nicer for a while :)

  18. kmd23 /

    Great Blog. Thanks David :)

  19. pabuckie /

    Thank you David..I loved hearing your perspective on this tour. I also loved what you said about “giving them your time”. You did just that, and I really admire what you, Dan, Jason and Dean have done. I’m sure you have so many wonderful memories from this trip. Welcome Home! You all have opened our eyes to a better understanding of just how much these soldiers do for us. You inspire many, David, through your music, your words, and your actions. I feel blessed and grateful to be a fan of yours. Love, Patty-Ann

  20. Tin Hermoso /

    Thanks David for sharing all your first time experiences from this amazing Military Tour.
    aND Gosh.,you did it free!! That was so good of you <3
    Giving your precious time with this brave men and women.,shows how you appreciates them…and taking time to listen and hear their stories really shows how sincere you are being with them at this tour.
    God bless David :)
    Continue sharing a lot of moments of you here.
    Your good at making blogs :) But a video will be appreciated too.

    We love you David. <3 :)

  21. supergrandjudie /

    David, thank you for the blog. You and Dan, Dean and Jason did a great service to our servicemen and women. Your generosity of giving of your time and talent are a gift of love for your fellowman. God Bless you all. The men and women you entertained are grateful for your time and effort. They give so much for us, it was great of the 4 of you to let them know we appreciate their sacrifices to keep us safe. Your pictures helped us get a better understanding of what they go through on a daily basis. <3 U

  22. Becca /

    thank you so much for writing this blog. Been reading Deans, Dans and Jason blogs and its nice to get your perspective on how it went for you. Thank you too for doing that for our men and women of the US military. I swear we dont appreciate them enough. All the sacrifices they make for us. Thank you again David. Hope to thank you in person one day

  23. kaleiluvshawaii /

    Welcome Home David! What an amazing experience for you and the rest of the “Fab4″ – thanks also to Dan, Dean & Jason for sharing their blogs, pics and vids with us so we could share in the adventure! The service men & women stationed all over the world deserve support and it’s wonderful you were able to give them a “little bit of home’. Love the “bomb suit” haha!

  24. Mary Dee /

    Welcome Home, David.

    It’s been quite the adventure you’ve taken us along reading your blogs and seeing all those pictures. Thank you, not just for this ride but mostly, for taking your time to be with our soldiers. May The Lord bless your generous spirit a thousandfold.

  25. kimk /

    Welcome Home David!!

    So glad you had a fabulous time and was able to bring a little joy to those that are protecting our freedoms.
    You guys are heroes in my book!

  26. padmango /

    Thanks for having the courage to be a positive role model. You are an inspiration to all of us. Never change!

  27. pat brack /

    Hey David! Thx for the blog! So nice to see how God continues to use your talents and sweet, sweet heart to bring light and comforting energy to so many other humans. Thx for the bomb suit pictures, David. It’s nice to know that in this new manly, articulate, and confident form – the adorable fun-lover is still in there too. You know, as your fans, it’s not just your voice we embrace so wholeheartedly – it’s your faith, your kindness, your readiness to say “yes” – your willingness to take risks for the right reasons. All of that. We love you. Thx, again.

  28. connie-da2014 /

    First of all “Welcome Back” and thanks for this final blog of yours about your amazing trip in ME and Africa . Im so happy for you for this experience . It’s something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Hope you had a good rest already and spending precious time with your family sharing them your the the amazing time with the military men and women. Love the ‘eh’ in your blog. Aww… Am I sensing a trip to Canada soon. Please, please come to Toronto eh ! So keep us posted. Nandito kami waiting for you. God bless!

  29. NorthCarolinaGirl-Marylee /

    Hi David ~ It must have been so wonderful and fulfilling to honor these brave men & women by giving of your time and talent. I SO admire your dedication to helping others. In fact, by doing so, you touch us as well ~ allowing us to be a part of it from a distance. Your journey, no doubt, will be another life changing experience for you & all because you cared enough to go that extra mile for our deserving troops.
    God Bless YOU and the Fab 4 ALWAYS! What an incredible TEAM!

  30. Rohdegirl /

    Miracles come at times when we least expect them. They can come in the form of a smile or a shared tear when they are so needed.
    Sometimes it only takes a kind word or the willingness to listen to make a huge impact on someone. The bonus is realizing in the end that you have been blessed as much(if not more than) those you have served. Thank you and your companions for showing these brave men and women what so many of us feel but do not have the opportunity express.

  31. DebVaFOD /

    What an amazing opportunity for you & what an amazing adventure you’ve had on this tour. God bless you & your comrades for giving of your time & talents to meet, inspire, & entertain our troops. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, your devoted fans!

  32. sunny /

    Thanks to you, Dan, Dean & Jason’s blogs, videos (Dan’s), Facebook & pictures you guys shared you let us be a part of your wonderful journey. I’m sure the troops really appreciated all of you for your talents and interest in what is going on over there. Personally, I don’t think I could have stood the heat or the living conditions, but you guys seemed to withstand it all with a positive attitude. THANK YOU for doing this and we are very proud of the 3 D’s & J!! ♥♥

  33. suzzyy123 /

    Thanks for another great blog David! As many have said already…we are so proud of you guys for giving your time and energy to our troops! I can’t imagine the tremendous amount of courage that it takes, being deployed over there, being away from family & facing all those dangerous situations every day. Glad you guys are back home safe & sound! I really appreciate you posting all the pics & keeping us updated throughout your journey!

  34. desert_rat /

    Thank you for this blog and kudos to you, Dan, Dean and Jason on a successful tour! Mission accomplished indeed.

  35. AnneMarieFOD /

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us David. I loved what you said about being able to give your time and listen to what our troops had to say about what they do on a daily basis. I’ve always appreciated what our service men and women do for us, but now I have an even greater love and appreciation for their sacrifices. What you, Dan, Jason and Dean gave to them was a true gift…something they will cherish and appreciate for years to come. Welcome home!! :)

  36. ds1no /

    Thank you for your understanding and support of our U.S. Military. My family member served 25 yrs in the Air Force and served 2 tours to Iraq during the Gulf War. The one time he left on Thanksgiving day and returned home on the Fourth of July. The military and their families make sacrifices everyday and our family will always appreciate and support them. I attend church services every Sunday on the military base and it is a special feeling to pray amongst our military members in uniform. Thank you for sharing your talent and uplifting their spirits during this military tour. It is so appreciated.

  37. coleen /

    Thank you David for sharing your experience:) My mother always said “Heavenly Father moves in mysterious ways”. It’s always amazing to me how if we listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit He will lead us to our destiny. You had the courage to say “yes” to this invitation to perform for our troops as a singer and entertainer. I hope you learned from this experience that you are still a missionary doing His work touching the lives of others, bringing His love, His joy, His Peace by sharing the talent He blessed you with:) The world needs to hear your voice David! Welcome back my friend:) God Bless & Take Care, Much Love from All, Smouse Family:)

  38. Thanks for sharing with us, David! We’ve heard about your trip from your tour-mates but it means a lot to hear about it from you. Muchas gracias!

  39. syd-sf /

    Thank you so much David for sharing your memorable experience! You’re wonderful and so are our troops! Glad you were able to bring them some joy and happiness!

  40. DorkAngel-GBW /

    I appreciate your giving us insight into the lives of the women and men who are away for everyone they love and what’s familiar to them. This makes me even more thankful for the sacrifice they make to serve our country. Thank you and the TourTeam for bridging the gap between there and home. Peace♥

  41. Jana /

    David,
    Welcome home! Thanks for wrapping things up for us ! Great blog. :)

  42. erlindita /

    Thank you David for this last blog that wraps up your awesome Military Tour ! I’m sure you all left them with a little piece of home! Very proud of you 4!
    Thank you for allowing us to go on this tour with you, through blogs & photos!
    Proud to be a David Archuleta Fan & now a Fan of Dean Kaeli, Dan Clark & Jason Hewlett,
    God Bless you all for your time!
    God Bless our troops, BRING THEM HOME SOON!

  43. Martha /

    Thank you David for this! I can’t tell you how I looked forward to each day to learn of the experiences you all had! I live right in the middle of a military city (Ft. Bliss, TX) & learn all the time of soldiers being deployed. Many of those families are in our church. I got a call yesterday from a mother from out of town whose daughter lives here & had become severely depressed. Her husband had just been deployed. He was concerned in Afghanistan. Anyway, thank you so much for being there for these men and women. God sent you all & you were in the right place at the right time.

  44. Heidijoy /

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I worked for the US Army for over 20 years and know how important your tour was to them. It was also a great reminder to us Fans to not forget our Military.
    So happy they you are home safely and that you gained so much from the experience.
    Bless your heart!!!

  45. heartsong /

    Thank you so much for taking us on this journey with you, David. Between the blogs of all four of you, I got an amazingly vivid picture of what our men and women go through in their daily lives while serving not only our country but the country each of them are serving in. I’ve always appreciated that these men and women take time from their own lives to this but now I have a much greater appreciation.
    I’m glad to hear you, Dan, Dean and Jason are home safely and again thanks so much for sharing your talents with these very deserving troops.

  46. Abrra /

    Wonderful blog, David. This tour was just the right time for these soldiers to have a taste of music,laughter and inspiration.
    All 4 of you men are heroes in their eyes for giving of yourselves to make them entertained.

    Abrra

  47. Pastel /

    Thank you for the blog, David. I liked what you said here: “At least I could give them my time— there is nothing more valuable to me than that, and so I am glad that I could give even a little bit of time to be with them and get to know who they are and what they do”. So true! I know these troops appreciated it. It showed on their faces in many of the pictures I saw. An unforgettable experience for everyone involved. I’m sure you are looking to plan the next event :)

    And I love your use of of the word “eh”. One step closer to Canada lol ;)

    Thanks again for taking your time to write us.