Over the weekend rapper Coolio wrapped up his third USO tour with a show at Peacekeepers Hall on Eagle Base in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the trip, Coolio also performed and visited with tr
Over the weekend rapper Coolio wrapped up his third USO tour with a show at Peacekeepers Hall on Eagle Base in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the trip, Coolio also performed and visited with troops in Kosovo, where he signed autographs, took photos, and ate with troops in an effort to boost morale.
"I perform for soldiers because they are important," Coolio said in a statement. "They are willing to die in order for me to be able to do the things I do everyday ... for my kids to be able to go to school, and to be free. I just think it's my responsibility as a human being and an entertainer to see the soldiers."
As for the troops, Coolio's visit was an appreciated break from the norm. "I thought it was a great time and a lot of fun. The interaction with the crowd was the best," said Specialist Steve Connelly. "I'm just really grateful that he's able to come out here and do the show, it's a great service and I respect him for it."
"I'm not a real big rap fan, but I really enjoyed the show. I thought he did a great job and the soldiers enjoyed the show," said Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Pysher, the senior noncommissioned officer for approximately 1,500 soldiers in Task Force Eagle, headquartered at Eagle Base. "I think its important because it shows that the people back home appreciate what we're doing here and what they've given up and sacrificed by coming here."
Prior to his performance, Coolio met with local media, and explained that the tour opened his eyes to the country. "If it wasn't for the military I probably would not have ever come to Bosnia for vacation," he said. "I probably would now because I found this hotel by the water. But before that I wouldn't even think about coming to Bosnia because of the political climate.
After a few hours of conversation with the hotel owner's son, whose childhood classmate was killed by an artillery shell while standing outside of a school, Coolio said he came away with a better idea of why the soldiers are on peacekeeping duty. "I've gotten another perspective on it now," he said.
Coolio -- who probably had something of an understanding of what troops go through to prepare for duty thanks to his recent win on Fox television's "Celebrity Boot Camp" endurance competition -- has been concentrating more on acting in recent months. He'll be on the silver screen in two films next year, one of which is the martial arts action/adventure "China Strike Force," which will also several songs by the artist. He'll also be seen opposite Ben Affleck in "Daredevil," set to open on Valentine's Day.