Brenda Valentine, First Lady of Hunting®, is among a select group of outdoor legends invited by Armed Forces Entertainment in conjunction with Paralyzed Veterans of America Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund (PVA_ORHF) to tour active-duty military bases to honor America’s currently-deployed, fighting men and women. The tour will take place in early 2012.
The inaugural Outdoor Legends Tour includes an all-star list of participants, including: Valentine, Jim Zumbo, Jim Shockey, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Ryan Klesko, Michael Waddell, Jerry Martin, George Thornton, Bill Miller, Jose Wejebe. Lt. Col Deal and MGen. Randy West, USMC (ret), a PVA-ORHF Board member, will help lead the tour.
Lt. Col. Lew Deal, USMC (ret) and PVA_ORHF team leader, said he believes this is the first time celebrities and personalities from the outdoor world have been organized to meet the troops in person. “For those currently serving in a war zone there are few things that mean as much as knowing the folks back home care about you. This is a unique gathering of well-known television hosts, industry leaders and recognized outdoor personalities who are taking the time to tell our troops– in person and face- to-face, that the outdoor community cares about them and is eager to welcome them home…and back into the outdoors.”
The Outdoor Legends Tour will spend 10 days touring bases in Southwest Asia, meeting as many soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines as time allows. “It’s a hand-shake tour,” Deal said. “There will be no production crews, no agents or sponsors. ..just high-profile outdoor people mingling with the troops, posing for some personal photos and saying ‘Thanks you for your service.'”
As the official Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel overseas, Armed Forces Entertainment and its performers have the honor of supporting soldiers, airmen, Marines, and sailors by bringing the best in American entertainment. Col. Kathleen Weatherspoon, Chief, Armed Forces Entertainment, is looking forward to the feedback on this tour. “Not everyone wants to hear a rock band, or meet a movie star…so we try very hard to provide individuals/groups from different genres to reach various segments of the military audience.”
Valentine, said she is extremely honored to be a part of this tour. “I have received so many letters and emails from servicemen and women telling me how much they miss the opportunity to hunt and fish and thanking me for bringing the outdoors to them through television and magazine articles. It is me/us that should be thanking them, for protecting our country and way of life: the Legends Tour will offer that opportunity.”