AL ASAD, Iraq --
Bret Michaels band visited troops at Al Asad Air Base Oct. 6 while on a tour of US bases in Iraq in support of Armed Forces Entertainment.
However, Michaels’ trip wasn’t free it had to be funded in order to get the musician and his band here. Thanks to the dedication and desire to support the troops four friends from Florida raised the money in order to bring the band.
Mike Aby and Nikki Linn felt that they needed to show their support for the troops in Iraq and felt that the best way to do it would be to set up a concert for them.
“We had a friend who came back from Iraq and felt like he wasn’t supported and we wanted to show people that the troops were supported,” explained Linn.
“Just because those people are gone overseas does not mean they are forgotten,” stated Aby.
Aby and Linn along with their business associates Michelle Robertson and Mike Erthal set out to raise enough money to fund a trip for a band and provide some comfort items to the troops overseas.
They used fundraisers such as a concert they organized at a motorcycle event in Daytona Beach, Fla., in order to generate funds for the trip, as well as sitting in front of stores collecting donations, and receiving funds from various veterans’ organizations. The four friends managed to raise more than $240,000 in order to provide a little joy to service members who were forward deployed.
After calling on numerous bands to would show support for the troops and want to do the trip, Bret Michaels was the first one to say yes.
According to Aby and Linn, Michaels was anxious take the trip. He wanted to get over to Iraq right away.
Aside from funding the bands trip over, the four also purchased tens of thousands of dollars worth of mp3 players, DVD movies and T-shirts that were given out at the concert and on visits to the hospitals on the bases.
Michaels made a visit to the hospital at Al Asad and made a point to stop at each patient to greet them, wish them well and take a photo with them. At the same time Aby and friends were passing out their goodies to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that were currently in the hospital.
Michaels’ final event of the day was a concert for the troops at Al Asad, where he played various hits from Poison and other bands as well. The music was loud and the energy from the crowd could be felt throughout the room. Michaels also stayed after the show to take pictures with service members and sign autographs.
Michaels expressed his support for the troops and what they do as well as thanking them for all of their hard work that is keeping America safe for the future.
According to Aby and Linn they are not finished either, they have recently had a custom motorcycle built that will be sold for funds for future endeavors for the troops as well.