Bowling Green Resident Returns From Entertaining Troops in Iraq

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You may have spent your Thanksgiving here at home or traveling to see friends and family. But Bowling Green resident and WKU professor
John Martin spent his holiday in Iraq, performing to thousands of American troops.

It was a life changing trip, and now, he's sharing the story of his experiences.

It was a performance for hundreds at Fort Stewart in Savannah, Georgia. But the Michael Scott Band will always remember it as the night General Lynch with the Third Infantry Division asked them to perform for the troops in Iraq.

Today, the band is back in the United States, and guitarist John Martin's Bowling Green home is full of reminders of his two week trip to the Middle East.

"The culture, the landscape, everything is different than anything I've ever seen before," John explains.

Stationed in Baghdad, the group flew by Blackhawk helicopter to eight bases where they played to thousands.

"Walking onstage you're trying to keep concentration, because if you take a second and think about where you're at, I tried not to do it, but every once in a while I'd just get flashes of where I was," John adds.

While in Iraq, the band stayed concerned for their safety. On one occasion, their helicopter was targeted and shot at.

"There was a great sense of danger all the time," remembers John.

But he feels his performance is the least he can do for the men and women serving in the Armed Forces.

"You'll never know how important it is to the troops until you actually see their faces," says John. "It just gave everybody a few minutes, an hour or hour and a half that they didn't have to think about their job or think about where they were. They could just relax and have a little piece of home come at them at the same time."

John adds that what the troops seemed to enjoy most about the shows was when some of the upper brass would take the microphone and sing some Country and Rock classics.

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