Bomshel traveled to South  Korea to perform 5 shows for our U.S. Army and 1 private show for General Bell and other high ranking officials.

“The opportunity to perform for the troops in Korea was one of the most incredible honors and experiences of my life. I left with a profound appreciation of the soldiers who are serving our country so far away from home and a better understanding of a culture that I knew very little about.”  – Buffy Lawson, Bomshel


SFS Photos

Got up at 4 am to see the first “group” off to the USA. (Yesterday was my big Country Gold Concert in Kumamoto, Japan).   Everyone was on time and no problems getting them off.  Wanted to go jogging but didn’t have time before I had to be ready to depart to Korea with Bomshel. We departed on time and drove the 2 hours to the Fukuoka Airport. Didn’t have any problem checking in as the lady at Asiana remembered me from last year when I gave her a Charlie Daniels cd.  J  It was a really, really nice plane.  Of course, it was only an hour and 20 minute flight.  We landed and were met by an escort to take us through immigration and customs.  Then Shirley – our MWR escort – met us and we took the MWR bus to the Dragon Hill Lodge (located on Yongsan Garrison in Seoul).   Rooms were ready and we quickly checked in so Don and I could go to the base exchange to rent our cell phones.  I had emailed the phone rental company and they had everything waiting for us.  So, I now have a cell phone with a Korean number. Changed clothes quickly and were picked up by General Bell’s aide to have dinner at his home with him and his wife – Katie.  General Bell is a 4 Star and I have known him and Katie for several years through Charlie Daniels.  They are such wonderful people.  His aide is an Air Force F-16 pilot with the call sign “Spider”.  Really nice young man, as would be expected.  Another bus picked us up for the short drive to General Bell’s home.  When he tried to make the turn to pull up the hill to his house, the hill was too steep and the front of the bus got “lodged” on the roadway.   He kept gunning the motor trying to get up the hill but it only dug it in deeper.  It felt like we were going to turn over so we asked to get out and walk.  We didn’t think he was going to be able to back down the slope, but he finally made it after several attempts.  We told him to meet us at the BOTTOM of the hill when he returned. The General’s house is lovely and they are such gracious hosts.  I know my group was extremely impressed by how warm and hospitable they are.  The food was to die for!  I know we won’t have another meal that good while we are in Korea.  The conversation stayed lively at dinner since this is a very inquisitive group.  General Bell and Katie gave us some really special gifts but the best gift of all was spending the evening chatting with them.  Hopefully they will make it to one of our performances and then our final show is for them in the Southern part of Korea. Just before we departed, the conversation turned to our performance for them next week.  I sent a DVD with “The Bomshell Stomp” on it so that the attendees could being learning.  Believe it or not, General Bell even tried out the steps.  His “shake your booty” part could use a little work though!  Had better shut up because he’s much better than I am at it.  J It’s almost 2 am and I’m going to bed now.  Tomorrow is a day off.  Yippee! Jude

So, I forgot to mention one thing that had both me and Kristy enthralled during dinner last night.  The two men who were serving our food were the coolest!  They would stand across from each other with the dishes in their hands.  Then they would look at each other, nod almost in perceptively and simultaneously place the dish in front of the person.  Then when it was time to remove the plate, they did this in reverse. It was so cool!  Okay, I digress.  Got up and went to the fabulous gym here in the DHL.  Had a great “legs” workout and then got a Starbucks Latte and hit the shower.  Received an invite from Katie Bell to attend a Korea America Concert tonight.  Spent most of the morning trying to find out if everyone was going to attend.  Then I had lunch with Bill and Sal – my new best friends in Korea.  Bill has been helping me put together the private event for General Bell next week and he’s been awesome.  Was so night to meet with both of them! I had hoped to get down to Itaewan really early, but that didn’t happen.  Since Kristy, Buffy and I had decided to attend the Korea America Concert – we needed “appropriate clothes”.  I took Kristy down to Itaewan and thought I was going to have to sedate her.  She had no idea what to expect and was blown away.  She didn’t like the idea of bargaining but I sure don’t have a problem with it, so I handled the “negotiations” for her. We barely scratched the surface today and are depressed that we don’t have another day off here.  The underground and the shop where I buy all my bags are closed on Tuesday so I didn’t get much shopping accomplished.  Since we were pressed for time, we went down to my favorite sushi restaurant and pigged out.  Made it back to the hotel just in time to change for our big evening. It was SUPER COOL.  There was an orchestra and lots of “opera” singers.  It was held in a small high school auditorium across from the DHL.  Then after the concert, we went to a reception where there were more speeches.  General Bell was so kind to include us in this evening’s special events. Now I get to answer email for hours and hours!!! Jude

Slept 4 hours then got up to deal with email….hundreds of them!  Worked for 2 hours, then hit the gym again.  Trying to let my shin splints have a chance to heal.  Back to the room for a shower and another 2 hours of email before going to the lobby to make sure Don got off okay to Camp Hovey.  Met Buffy and Kristy in the lobby and we went to AFN  to do radio and television interviews.  The AFN studios have just been renovated and boy are they nice! As soon as we finished the interviews, we took the MWR bus to Camp Hovey — about a 2 hour drive.  Show tonight was outside and the “dressing room” situation was pretty much a nightmare.  It was not “secured” and people kept coming in to chat with the girls.  They finally managed to get their sound check done and got dressed for the concert.  The audience was huge – close to 1,000 people.  They said they do not get a lot of entertainment at this Camp.  It is an “unaccompanied soldier” camp.  So, you can imagine the “stir” that these two “bomshels” caused with the guys.  It was a rowdy crowd and the girls got a terrific response from the audience.  Their show is very high energy and the audience loved this.  My friend Darian from Stars and Stripes came over from Japan to handle our “contest drawing”.   One winner from each camp receives $50 cash, 100 free I-Tune downloads, an autographed cd and t-shirt from Bomshel and they get to come backstage with a guest to meet the girls and have their photos taken.  Photos will appear in Stars and Stripes Military Magazine in a couple of weeks.  Pretty cool, huh?  Stars and Stripes has been a HUGE supporter of my organization Stars for Stripes. The girls signed autographs for quite a while after their show ended.  Then we went to a restaurant that they kept open for us and had Mongolian Bar-be-que.   Left Camp Hovey at around 11 pm and got back to our lodging by midnight.  Now it’s 2:15 am and I’m going to sleep for a couple of hours. :)Jude

What a day/night. Running on 3 hours of sleep because of “email”.  Got up and at least took time to go for a jog so I would have the energy to finish out the day/night.  Had 174 emails last night that needed answering before I went to bed.  Just “gave up”!  Got back from jogging and threw my exercise clothes in the washer on our floor (so convenient).  Today is one of the last days I’ll have to shop and I really wanted to answer the emails quickly and get down to Itaewan.  It wasn’t meant to be.  Had a call from Don saying Buffy is sick and she thinks it is bronchitis.  I knew she was feeling bad last night.  So, spent the next hour trying to figure out how to get her to the doctor and get some antibiotics for her.  Finally settled on waiting until we get to Camp Humphreys where we will perform tonight. Then, I spent the next 4 hours trying to answer all the emails.  So, no shopping.  Tomorrow is my last opportunity and I’ll only have a couple of hours then.  So my dear friends – HOLD YOUR EMAILS UNTIL SATURDAY SO I CAN HAVE SOME SHOPPING TIME!!! J Osan AFB called and wanted to know if we could perform a show for them while we are here.  I had offered them the show many months ago and they declined.  I know that they always want a Friday or Saturday night and we didn’t have one available.  We are now looking at the logistics of doing it on Wednesday night, then flying home on Thursday.  We shall see! Got in touch with General Bell’s aide who assisted in getting us set up with a doctor once we arrive “The Hump”.   MWR had already taken care of getting her to the Infirmary as soon as we arrive.  The doctors were waiting for us and took a chest x-ray which confirmed she has bronchitis.  They said if she had tried to treat it herself and had not seen the doctor, it could have turned into bronchitis.  Personally, I still think it’s the “Korea Krud” that everyone gets when they breathe the air here!  They gave Buffy a shot and a bag full of drugs – seriously!  The base was definitely ready for our visit.  Everyone was so nice and the Colonel and other officers certainly made us feel welcome as did MWR.   I can’t believe how big the crowds have been for our shows and I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with the “email blast” that General Bell sent out prior to arrival regarding their performances.  Plus, there are a lot more posters at each base than I’ve ever seen before. Girls did a short interview with the local base newspaper and then met the Stars and Stripes winners.  The base commander and several other officials and their families came backstage to meet the girls.  We had about 850 people at the show which is terrific.  Lots of ROK soldiers (Republic of Korea) who seemed to really love Bomshel!  J  It was another terrific show and Buffy got through it like a true champ.  If she had not mentioned her illness, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.  They were able to get the base commander on the stage and had him do the Bomshel Stomp with them.  General Bell and his wife Katie had planned to attend the performance tonight at Humphreys since they can’t come to the show at Yongsan tomorrow night due to a schedule conflict.  But, as luck would have it, the rain started and they were unable to helicopter down for the performance.  It’s been beautiful every day until today.  Someone just didn’t read mine and Katie’s “rule book” and there will be hell to pay.  Was really looking forward to having them see the show. But, at least they will see a shortened version when we perform for them on Tuesday night. Girls signed autographs for everyone in line and then we went to dinner at the Alaska Mining Company – a restaurant on base where I’ve eaten many times.   I saw lots of people at this base that remember me from previous visits.  Always nice to see old friends.  Questions were the same – “who are you bringing us next and when”.  They say I always bring them the best entertainment.  J So, answering emails but not until 4 am tonight.  Show tomorrow night is here at this base. Jude

Well, at least I know “someone” is reading my road reports!  I meant to say that the doctor told Buffy that if she had tried to treat her bronchitis herself, it would have turned into “pneumonia”!!!  J So another good workout after 4 whole hours of sleep today.  Then showered and answered “some” of my emails.  Hit the streets to try and power shop.  So many of my regular “shops” are closed down. I went to my “secret bag shop” and they didn’t have anything I wanted.  Also went to my “copy watch” guy and he didn’t have anything good. Basically, I struck out totally.  Hoping we can go to Osan on our day off and shop there. Sound check was painless and I saw my old buddy Mario (I met him at Osan years ago) and John Robinson while we were rehearsing.  Back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the show.  Had great visits with my “friends” backstage before the show.  Colonel Taliente was there and I met him at Humphreys.  He has been instrumental in helping set up the event for General Bell.  Which by the way, something really cool happened today.  Spyder came by and dropped off beautiful color photos that General Bell had autographed to me, Buffy, and Kristy.  The photos were taken when we were at their home for dinner on Monday night.  I told Kristy, “That’s WHY he is a General” and she said “yes, but Katie gets a lot of credit, too”.  And it’s very true.  They are both such amazing people that it’s easy to see why he has risen to the rank of a 4 Star.

Our new friend – Todd – from Special Forces was at the show as were Sal and Bill and lots of other “old friends” I’ve made throughout the years from coming over here.  I was a little disappointed in the attendance at the show tonight.  Yongsan is usually our biggest crowd.  But, there were some empty seats tonight.  The people who were there were treated to another fantastic performance thought.  Someone with MWR told me that Yongsan should have the show on a weeknight not a weekend.  This Base has lots of families stationed here which means kids which means soccer games, etc. on the weekend.  The parents have too many commitments elsewhere on weekends.  The girls were given another presentation after the performance and then they signed autographs for a very short autograph line. Spyder, Kristy, Don and I weren’t down to Itaewon to eat Thai food.  Buffy went to bed and the musicians ate at the hotel.  Todd was supposed to join us but he hooked up at the hotel bar with the musicians and never made it down to eat with us.  The food was so incredibly HOT (spicy hot!) that we couldn’t eat very much of it.  Don’t get me wrong…it was good, but definitely too HOT!  Came back to the Dragon Hill Lodge and went into the bar to say goodnight to the boys and Todd.  Now it’s email answering time. Tomorrow we leave early for the DMZ then a performance at Camp Casey.  Can’t believe we only have 3 shows out of 6 left.  It has been such a great tour and I know we’ve made some troops very happy which is our only reason for coming here. Jude

Like I said, got to quit writing these road reports at 2 o’clock in the morning.  Lots of mistakes.  J Was not complaining about the crowd size at Yongsan.  It was still a “full” room.  I was just comparing it to the other two shows where the rooms were “packed”.  Of course, the other camps are in remote areas where there isn’t a big choice of other activities.  Yongsan is in the heart of Seoul with the majority of the people living “off-base”.  I was so surprised that all the restaurants in Itaewon closed at 9 pm last night.  We went to 3 different restaurants before finding the one that was open.  Itaewon “rocks” at night – with all the shops still open, bars everywhere, and bumper to bumper traffic.  But, only a handful of restaurants are open. Got up and answered email and got dressed for the DMZ.  There is a very strict dress code when visiting that area.  No frayed or torn jeans, no tennis shoes or open toed shoes, guys must have collared shirts, girls can’t show mid-drifts or dress provocative, etc. etc.  Everyone had been prepped prior to departing the U.S.  Kristy and I were wearing leggings with long tops over them.  Inappropriate.  We got sent back to our rooms to change.  J   I sort of wondered as I was dressing if it would be an issue.  Definitely don’t want to do anything that might be against their regulations as it is very important for us to maintain a good image for the U.S. We have a representative from the local USO on the bus with us for the drive up to the DMZ.  He is a Korean man and a “wealth” of knowledge.  He has been talking about Korea ever since we left the DHL an hour ago.  The group is loving learning all about Korea and the DMZ. When we arrived at the DMZ, I immediately knew something was “different”.  We are always greeted by our “military escorts”, but never a LTC and the JSA Battalion Sgt. Major.  When we went into the briefing room, the LTC told us that General Bell had visited a couple of days ago and wanted to insure that we were given the “red carpet treatment”.   They proceeded to do that – and more.   I’ve been up there probably 15 times throughout the years but never been allowed to walk halfway down the “Bridge of No Return”.  We had a delay in our visit to the JSA (Joint Security Area) because there was a repatriation taking place.  That’s when human remains are transferred between North and South Korea.  This one was not a “military repatriation”.  It was the body of a female north Korea found in the river in South Korea.  She was being transferred back to North Korea for burial.  Once that ceremony was over, we were allowed to go to the JSA.  We did the standard “tourist” thing where we went into the building and crossed over into North Korea and had our photo taken with a ROK soldier (Republic of Korea). But, here is the highlight of the ENTIRE tour.   Nothing is ever going to top this.  Betty and Tracy – sit down because you are going to laugh so hard you’ll fall over.  We are all standing on the steps of the Freedom House facing the North Korean guards and their buildings in North Korea.  The LTC was giving us an incredible briefing on that area –the history and protocol about what was acceptable.  We were all standing very quietly, completely enthralled by his speech.  Now how do I say this without offending anyone?  Oh heck, there’s no one on my Road Report list that I could possibly offend.  What am I thinking?  So, it’s dead quiet except for his voice when there is this minor “blast”.  My first thought was “surely not”!  It had to be something other than someone loudly passing gas.  Kristy’s head snapped around in disbelief and her face was priceless.  Then there was a series of several more blasts and it was very easy to identify where it came from.   Our little Korean USO guide definitely had too much kimchee for breakfast.  Everyone was now focused on him instead of the LTC and struggling not to laugh.    I knew I had to move away from Kristy (and from the USO guy – phewwww) or I would collapse.  I moved over by Eric who was standing on the other side of our group, thinking surely they had not heard it.  They had.  Eric was laughing so hard tears were running down his face.  I completely lost it.  The LTC had no clue what was happening and I’m sure was offended that we were all laughing at his very serious briefing.  When he finished and I could breathe again, I made sure to tell him and the other military personnel accompanying us what had happened. One of the soldiers had gone up to his buddy and asked if his fly was open or something thinking we were laughing at him.  Buffy and Kristy both thought it was one of their guys and were horrified that they might act that way.  Sure made for a memorable visit to the JSA. This may be “acceptable” behavior for the Koreans since I’ve noticed it quite frequently at the airport!!!  Katie – be sure and ask for this USO guide to accompany you on your visit.  Your nephews will love it.  J As I said, we visited places I’ve never been allowed to go on previous tours.  Then the LTC presented us all with a beautiful certificate which states that we are an “IMJIN Scout for commendable service in the defense of freedom along the Demilitarized Zone, Korea”.  How cool is that?  We had lunch at the DFAC and signed autographs for the few soldiers (yes, all Army up here).  Then we went to the gift shop to buy some DMZ souvenirs.  I have quite a few but am constantly buying more for gifts. We arrived at Camp Casey an hour later and Kristy said her throat was sore.  Can’t take any chances since we still have 3 more shows.  So, we went to the hospital and got her checked out.  Doctor said it isn’t strep or tonsillitis but gave her some antibiotics.  Said he would rather be aggressive than to take a chance that it might develop into something tomorrow.  I walked over to the Exchange Food Court where there is wireless internet and got a chance to catch up on some emails.  Katie Bell emailed me a great photo of all of us holding our certificates and standing on the “Bridge of No Return”.  I ran into my old buddy who was the MWR Director here at Camp Casey for years.  He’s now handling the USO here and doing a great job.  General Rameriz came backstage to welcome and meet the girls and I KNEW I had met him before.  He spent a lot of time in Iraq and Kuwait and saw Charlie Daniels and lots of my other tours that came through there.  It was so cool to talk to him about Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.  The only thing better than actually being in Iraq is talking to someone who has been in the same places I have.  What a wonderful man he is.  He really wants to go back over to the desert.  So do I.  Am so glad I’ll be able to spend Thanksgiving there with our troops.  Not sure what happened to our “crowd” tonight.  They were expecting about 800 people but by 7 pm when the show was due to start, the crowd was very light.  Everyone was running around making phone calls and looking worried.  We told them “Chill.  We will give the ones here the best concert they’ve ever seen”.  We don’t care if there are 5 or 5,000 people in the audience.  What this group lacked in size, the made up for in enthusiasm.  It was a great show and the girls had “fun” on stage.  They signed autographs and then we went to the restaurant for a very quick dinner.  Back at the DHL by midnight.  We have to check out and take the train down to Daegu tomorrow for our last show for the Army tomorrow night. Jude

So, here’s something I forgot to mention last night.  While we were up at the DMZ, the LTC was explaining why we are having the troop drawdown and closing so many camps in Korea.  Basically, we are downsizing American forces because the Korean Army is strong and able to defend their own country.  My comment was, yes that was the goal and look at how long we have had been there while their Army worked to reach this point.  The Armistice was signed in 1953 and this is 2007.  You do the math.  Yet we expect the Iraqi Army to take over ALL their protection and bring our troops home NOW.  That invasion was in 2003 and it is now 2007.  I suppose everyone has heard the wonderful news that not one American was killed last week in Iraq. I see the progress we are making there and as long as I visit with the boots on the ground and the wounded heroes and they tell me they want to finish the mission because they believe they can succeed, I’ll make my decisions based on what they say.  NOT what I hear on the news.  Not trying to “sway” anyone.   Just wanted to share that comparison. We made it to the train station early because there wasn’t any traffic on Sunday.  The group loved the bullet train.  But, it’s so “quiet” on there (they frown on loud talking!  Wonder what they would think about our little Korean USO “popper”  J  ?  ) that everyone fell asleep instead of watching the scenery.   The ride is at about 180 miles per hour and smooth as glass.  We arrived at Camp Walker and I got to see all my “buddies”  — Lewis and Mr. Chandler – who always take such good care of us.  Met a new “friend” – M.J. who handles the lodging for several camps.  She is going to take me and Buffy shopping tomorrow.  Never been shopping in Daegu and looking forward to the experience.  I went over to the Dentist to get my teeth glued back in.  But they had told him I’d be there at 2 pm and it was almost 3 when I arrived.  Since it is a Sunday, he wasn’t there.  I am supposed to go back at 7 am tomorrow but not sure I’ll make it.  Sound check was painless and we arrived at 6:15 for a “meet and greet” with the VIPs.  CSM Duncan (I think that is his rank) was there with his lovely wife.  I met them last October with Charlie Daniels.  Their daughter is in Iraq and if she is still at the same camp, Ill be there in a few weeks with Aaron Tippin.  Told them I’d give her a big hug for them. Now, here’s the best part of the night.  This guy walked in and we looked at each other for several seconds.  Then we realized that we had met at Camp Summerall in Iraq in July, 2004 and again in September, 2004.  That is the camp that is so special to me because it’s where Josh Henry was killed the day after Chely performed for him.  That’s where I met my dearest friend – Commander Kyle – and is the Unit that I took Chely Wright and Josh Henry’s parents to Germany for their Welcome Home Celebration.  Seeing him made my day.  He has it set up for my “boys” to do “manly” things at Camp Carroll tomorrow.  They get to play around with the tanks and shoot a rifle simulator while I shop.  J The show was spectacular.  Great audience.  Not a full house but definitely a good crowd.  The band had problems on stage with the sound system.  One of the monitors totally “blew”.  I was not happy.  We have never used this sound company and I hope we don’t ever use them again.  I gave them a very “stern” talk after the show and told them how important it is that the show for General Bell on Tuesday night is absolutely perfect.  I think they understand the English phrase, “I will kill you if just one little thing goes wrong”.  LOL.  Buffy dedicated “The Power of One” to me.  She knows I love that song.  It was truly special of her to do that.  If you haven’t listened to the words of that song, do it right now.  Go to: or and listen to it.  It is so powerful and so true.  It’s what President Bush talks about “winning one heart at a time”.  Every time they sing it, I can see the little Iraqi children that we visited with in my mind.  So…another great evening and a wonderful way to end our tour for the Army bases.  The performance on Tuesday night will be at a hotel about an hour’s drive from here.  Tomorrow is “fun day” for everyone.  Jude

My – where DID October go?  Seems I was out of the country the entire month. Got up and went for a jog.  The weather has changed and it is much cooler.  This is a very small base, so I had to “circle” several times.  Still having shin splints, so it was a painful jog…but at least I got it in.  Buffy and I went shopping with “MJ” (a WONDERFUL Korean lady who was educated in the U.S. and is married to an American and now handles the “lodging” at Camp Walker and Carroll) and her driver – Mr. Yi.  She took us to a huge shopping center call Suimun (pronounced something like Sun Moon).  Dear God – it was OVERLOAD.  I’ve never seen so many clothes, bags, you name it.  Problem is, the clothes are made for short little Koreans.  Buffy scored big time and got some fantastic bargains.  When the largest bra cup size in Korea is a “B”, I knew I was in trouble.  I did find a great outfit to wear tomorrow night to General Bell’s affair which was a priority for me.  But, forget finding shoes.  They said mine would have to be “custom made”.  We shopped and bargained for hours and Mr. Yi followed us around and held the bags.  We both got some great jeans with funky designs on them, too. Here’s something you’ll get a kick out of….there are NO dressing rooms.  Now, this place is packed with stall after stall after stall and packed with people trying to “dig through” the clothes.  So, we HAD to try on things and here’s what they do.  They give you this long skirt that has elastic in the waist.  You pull the skirt on over the top of your pants. Then pull your pants off and slip on the new pants.  Pull the skirt off and “wallah”!  I kind of wish this procedure was available in the U.S. when the lines are so long to get into a dressing room!  The same process happens with a blouse….skirt over the head on that one though. The funny thing is, Buffy tried to buy one of the skirts we were using as our “drape”.  MJ negotiated with the booth owner and got it for her free.  Not sure I would want a skirt that hundreds of people had been trying on. We took a break to go have traditional Korean food.  I’m not a big fan of Korean food but this was excellent.  We had Bulgogi with all the “trimmings”.  I even managed to eat the Kimchi! Spyder had taken the train down from Seoul and he and Kristy joined us for lunch.  Then we took them back to the shopping mall.  We left them there at about 6 pm and she was going strong! Our guys went to Camp Carroll today for a base tour AND they got to shoot the rifle simulators which they said were awesome.  When we all got back to the base, we went to the Evergreen Club for dinner but it was already closed.  The guys went to the Food Court and got Taco Bell and I went to the Shoppette and got instant Oatmeal!  It was a wonderful, fun day for everyone. Have to get up early tomorrow and go to “pack and wrap” and the Post Office to ship things home! Jude

Forgot to mention one thing we saw at the “market” yesterday.  They were cooking up these huge “vats” of LARVAE on the street.  My gag reflex was working overtime.  I can’t believe they eat this.  I wonder if there are things in the U.S. that the Koreans think we eat that are totally gross?  I’ve tried to think of some things – like chitterlings and pigs feet – but feel sure they eat those here, too.  I remember being on tour with Pat Boone over here years ago.  I was crammed into an elevator with his musicians and the smell of garlic was overpowering (probably the same way we smelled after lunch yesterday! J).  One of the musicians turned to a local Korean and said, “How come everyone in Korea smells like garlic?”.    As I was trying to totally disassociate myself from him, the Korean man answered, “How come all Americans smell like sour milk?”.   Hmmm…. Was standing at the Post Office at 9 am this morning waiting for them and Pack ‘n Wrap to open up so I could ship my few purchases home.  Went to the gym for a great workout immediately afterwards.  Then back to the room to get ready for our trip to the Hyundai Hotel in Daegu – about a one hour drive from Camp Walker.  The hotel was beautiful with a spectacular view.  Daegu is the 3rd largest city in Korea and one that is rich in history.  Wish we had more time to “explore”.  Ballroom was set up and sound check was painless.  We were all concerned about the noise level but Don worked his magic and got everything under control.  Katie Bell brought me and the girls gifts – amazing jewelry that perfectly matched our outfits!  The generosity of her and General Bell continues to overwhelm us.

The girls, Don and I attended the cocktail reception prior to the evenings entertainment.  It was good for them to meet the other Generals and especially their wives so that they could see how nice Bomshel really is – totally non-threatening.  The Korean General’s wife had several photos taken with the girls.  And, I got some great coins! J   Once the cocktail reception was over, we went backstage for a dinner of authentic Texas Barbeque.  It was awesome.  We sat with a Korean soldier and asked him if he liked it.  He said it was great food.  There was a square dance caller at the event and I went out to watch everyone learn to square dance.  It was great to see all the U.S. and Korean Generals and high ranking officials and their wives having so much fun.  They were a few “females” short and one General tried to get me out on the dance floor.  But, I escaped.  I am NOT a square dancer. The girls put on their usual high energy show and I think the Koreans may have enjoyed it even more than the Americans.  General Bell presented Bomshel and me with beautiful certificates of appreciation and the girls finished out the evening by playing “Rocky Top” for him.  They signed autographs and took photos of everyone afterwards.  We made plans to have a final dinner with General Bell and Katie tomorrow night and then drove back to Camp Walker. Okay, here’s where I get serious.  This was such an amazing visit for Bomshel and for the troops whose lives they touched.  I know that I say this after every tour, but every one of these visits are truly life-changing – for me and for the celebrities.  While they may already have a good “knowledge” about the sacrifices made by our troops and their families in protecting our freedom, this brings it home — up close and personal.  It also shows them the history of “why” we are in this area and “why” we stay here.  I can – and do – evangelize constantly about the wonderful service our military provides but to experience it firsthand is the true wake-up call. And speaking of “wake-up call”, it’s almost 3:30 am so I am going to bed!  We take the train back to Seoul tomorrow and then fly home on Thursday.  Everyone is incredibly sad to be leaving and begging for a repeat visit as soon as possible. Jude

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  It’s 2:00 pm here and I just realized what day it is!!! J So, the maid and I have been playing “hide the bottle” every day at this lodging.  They were kind enough to give us this huge bottle of water in our refrigerator when we arrived.  We, of course, only drink room temperature water, so I took mine out and put it on the counter.  Next day, it’s back in the ‘fridge!  So, I hid it in the cabinet.  Didn’t work.  Boom…right back in the ‘fridge again.  If we had not been checking out today, I would have hid it in my suitcase, just to “win” the contest.  J Did I mention that General Bell and General Kim (the Korean General) both got up on stage during Bomshel’s performance and danced the Bomshel Stomp?  They were such good sports.  There is no way I would have done that.  It was obvious that Katie had been coaching General Bell on the “shake your booty” part since our first visit with them.  LOL. M.J. – the lady who handles lodging that took us shopping – called as we were leaving this morning.  She has been down at Camp Humphreys for a conference since we went shopping.  She just wanted to check and make sure everything was “good” with us.  What a special, special person.  She takes such good care of our troops, especially the young ones transitioning through.  The way it works, when someone comes into the country, they are “lodged” on base until their “escort” arrives the next day to take them to their assigned Camp and join up with their Unit.  Many times, the on-base lodging is full and the men and women have to stay on the “local economy”.  M.J. will NOT allow that under her supervision.  Some of the new guys and gals are babies – 19 and 20 years old – and have never been away from home.  She treats them like her own children and makes sure that “room is found at the Inn” for them as she does not want them spending their first night in Korea in a hotel in the city.  She is truly amazing.  She and I talked endlessly about “our boys and girls” in the U.S. military.  She is someone who will be my friend for life. God has brought this very special circle of friends into my life for a reason.  I won’t name names but you all know who you are.  That circle keeps expanding and you all keep meeting each other and making even more special friends.  Please welcome B.B., Katie, and M.J. erbecause they are definitely one of “us”. Here’s a cute story.  I get a LOT of emails to my Stars FOR Stripes website that is actually meant to be sent to the “STARS AND STRIPES” (military newspaper) website.  Usually, it’s not something I can answer and just refer the sender to the appropriate place.  Several months ago I received an email from a “mother” whose son was deploying to Korea for the first time and she wanted to know how he could get a cell phone over there.  I knew she meant to write Stars And Stripes but I also knew she probably wouldn’t get an answer from them.  And since I answer EVERY email, and I knew what he should do, I responded and told her what he needed to do.  I also told her that I would be in Korea in October and to please tell me what Camp he would be at and I would look him up and give him a hug for her.  We corresponded a couple of times and I got his location.  He found me at the very first show and then also came to another show at a different base.  He is just a baby – 20 years old – and so sweet.  I gave him a bunch of Stars for Stripes swag and took him backstage to have his photo made with Bomshel.   I sent him Mom the photos and here’s the response I got from her: Yes he is my pride and joy. Thank you for the pictures, he told me he had a wonderful time. Thank you for helping with putting that smile on his face, he has been going through a rough time and needed some fun.  Once again Thank you. This whole process took maybe one hour  total out of my life – a couple of emails and a little “face” time with a young man who is giving up years of his life to fight for our freedom. I slept 4 hours then went to the gym for a final workout.  We took the bullet train back to Seoul.  It is a 2 hour trip and I worked the entire way.  Would much rather have slept.  Checked back into the Dragon Hill Lodge and then Don and I returned our cell phones.  I’m already going through withdrawal without it. I took everyone out to Sartino’s (I think that is the name of it).  It is a fabulous Italian restaurant.  I could not believe how good the food was.  I had a fresh buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad and a pasta that had olive oil and black truffles on it.  David – reminds me of our favorite restaurant in Zurich with the white truffles!  Everyone loved the meal.  We walked through Itaewon and I made one purchase – a pashima!  Then back to the hotel to pack and answer email.  Have to get up at 4 am for the trip to the airport and flight back to the U.S.  Jude

Got a couple of hours sleep and hoping I get a few more on the flight home.  Everyone was in the lobby on time and ready to go – but VERY sad.  It has been such a great visit that no one wants to leave.  And, as luck would have it when we arrived at the airport, our flight had been delayed an hour for “crew rest”.  So we had a lot more time left in Korea than we anticipated. Flight to Narita was uneventful once we got airborne.  We had a very short connection time due to our late arrival.  Flight to Minneapolis was also uneventful except for several periods of turbulence.  We landed in Minneapolis and picked up all our luggage/gear.  Don and Michael got “tagged” by Customs and had to get in the line that had their luggage searched.  Not sure what they said that made them get singled out.  Our departure gate was in the “B” area and as far from our International arrival area as possible.  We all hiked over to the gate area and I went into the World Club to answer emails.  About 10 minutes after we arrived at the gate, an announcement was made that the gate had changed to “F”…back on the other side of the terminal.  We hiked back to that area to wait for the flight to depart.  When the time came for us to board, the gate agent announced that maintenance was on our aircraft.  About 10 minutes later, it was announced that our aircraft would not be flying but that we had another airplane – at Gate “G” – again a long hike away.  We finally departed and landed right on time in Nashville.  Good to be home for a couple of weeks.  Next week is the CMA Awards Show and I have several buyers in town from around the world – Greece, U.K., etc.   Then off to Iraq with Aaron Tippin to spend Thanksgiving with our troops. Jude