Friday, September 4, 2009

OSU Tour Brings Hope to Troops in Harm's Way

Top Entertainment for Troops

OSU Tour Brings Hope to Troops in Harm’s Way

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—When duty calls, the members of the U.S. Military respond, no matter the cost. For those deployed to dangerous areas like Iraq and Afghanistan, answering the call of duty demands a high price—leaving the comforts of home, enduring long separations from family and knowing that at any moment their very lives may be required of them. These brave men and women deserve all the support we can give.

Operation Straight Up (OSU) is an organization dedicated to providing live, “Class A” entertainment for military serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and helping their children and families become stronger back home. OSU Tour offers a lineup of wholesome entertainment that carries a strong message of hope designed to help troops succeed in their careers and family lives and to ease their integration back into society. For the first time, OSU Tour has been officially approved to take its organization to Iraq. After a stop in Germany where they will entertain the more than 50,000 troops stationed there, the OSU tour members will perform for 12 days in Iraq.

OSU Tour shows feature Hollywood actors like Stephen Baldwin, NFL Super Bowl stars including Michael Irvin, NASCAR drivers, NFL Cheerleaders, NBA & MLB Players, World Champion Boxers, UFC Fighters, top names from extreme sports such as Skateboard, BMX and Moto-cross, stuntmen and much more. The lineup for the upcoming Iraq tour also includes the Flying Wallenda’s high wire circus act and one of the top five ventriloquists in the nation, David Pendleton.

OSU Tour offers more than just entertainment. Because the realities of war affect every area of a soldier’s life, OSU Tour shows are designed to increase the troops’ morale on all levels: mental, emotional, and physical.

“We believe OSU Tour can make our troops stronger and more mentally focused. We are not just entertainers. Our lineup includes some incredible motivational speakers, and we offer troops a message of hope,” says CEO Jonathan Spinks. “Our armed forces are suffering. Deployed troops often experience higher rates of divorce, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anger, suicide and domestic violence. We hope to be a catalyst that brings relief where troops need it the most,” says Spinks.

As a commanding officer in Iraq, OSU Tour spokesperson Chris Plekenpol experienced firsthand the trials of a dangerous deployment. “Now, more than ever before, soldiers’ families are on the verge of breaking up, and something has to be done. Soldiers returning from Iraq face incredible psychological pain because of what they’ve seen,” Plekenpol says. “This tour is the only piece of entertainment that might offer them something that can change their lives and impact their families when they come back.”

In order to make the trip a reality, OSU Tour must raise all the necessary funds. The cost for OSU Tour Iraq trip is $400,000.

“Lots of people talk about supporting the troops. This is a chance to really demonstrate that support in a tangible way that will make a difference to deployed troops and, eventually, to their families at home,” Plekenpol says. “At OSU Tour, we are simply a group of entertainers who want to offer hope and support to men and women in uniform. We are asking those who love the troops to help send us there.”

On the home front, OSU Tour offers support to widows of our fallen heroes, provides father mentors for the children of fallen soldiers, takes part in the Armed Forces Fathering Initiative, provides entertainment at school assemblies for military children and supports those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On Labor Day morning, September 7th, 2009, OSU Tour will present a nationwide Walk-a-Thon/Bike-a-Thon at Texas Motor Speedway from 7:00-11:30 a.m. The event, hosted by actor Stephen Baldwin and several NFL superstars, will include a concert and entertainment for the whole family. Proceeds of the Walk-a-Thon will support OSU Tour’s initiative to provide father mentors to military single mother homes. (To register to participate or to donate, visit

OSU Tour is a member of the Department of Defense nationwide program located at the Pentagon called “America Supports You.” “America Supports You” was organized to showcase Americans’ support for the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. For more information or to make a donation, visit

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