By Lauren Brant
Laughter echoed through the audience as acts recreated a Bob Hope USO Show for Vietnam Veterans. The community congregated at the Hay Springs American Legion on Sunday, October 1 for a USO Show that celebrated the service of our Vietnam Veterans who served between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975.
Pat Skinner has helped set up commemorative events in Hay Springs for the Vietnam War. She hoped the USO show brought awareness of veterans and how the times were. Hay Springs has also been designated as a WWII and Korean War commemorative community.
Sara Bounous opened the show with the singing of the National Anthem, followed by the Andrew Sisters’ performance of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
Miss Fur Trade Days Outstanding Teen 2017 Cherokee Purviance, Miss Chadron 2018 Kaelia Nelson, and Miss Nebraska Allison Tietjen were present for the show and performed on the piano, danced, and addressed the community, respectively.
A highlight of the show was when Ericka Gaswick performed These Boots are Made for Walkin’ with her backup dancers. Wearing blue dresses and hiking boots, they strutted across the stage and at one point laid on the floor to show off their boots.
Members of the Hay Springs High School choir also took the stage for three harmonizing performances. They sang Ballad of the Green Berets, Blowin’ in the Wind, and Blackbird.
Throughout the show, skits highlighted the issues on the battle field like unexpected wounds and chores like sweeping and mopping the floors. All the skits had a humorous tone.
Service men in the audience were recognized with a round of applause during an armed forces medley, which recognized the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy.
As the USO Show came to a patriotic close, the crowd joined in singing Silent Night, as was common for Hope’s shows since he toured during the holiday season. Tony Hindman served as the events emcee and closed the show expressing his gratitude for those who served. “We thank you for your service and if you haven’t heard that before today, we apologize.”
The event brought the community together for an evening of fun and stories, but also recognized members of the audience who served to protect the land of the free and home of the brave.