Toby Keith Went On 18 USO Tours In His Lifetime, Played For Over 250,000 Active Duty Service Members

Toby Keith country music
Mike Theiler/USO via Getty Images

There’s no doubt that the late great Toby Keith loved the country he lived in.

The country star was pretty open about his love for the U.S. of A., if that wasn’t already made clear by the many patriotic songs that he released over his career. The only song more American than his 2002 hit “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)” is the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Toby Keith didn’t just sing about his patriotism. He backed it up, and was one of the most popular USO (United Service Organization) acts in the 21st century. That’s why you saw so many branches of the military put out tributes to the country star upon his death, like the U.S. Army did with this post below:

As that post’s caption alludes to, Keith was very active when it came to the USO. During his lifetime, he was a part of 18 USO tours, and played for over 250,000 military service members when you combine all of those trips together.

Despite having to go into active war zones (and having plenty of stories to prove it), Keith never once doubted the good work he was doing. The “Big Dog Daddy” had this to say when he was asked about USO tours by On Patrol in 2008:

“I’ve got a family back home too, that starts to freak a bit when it gets to this time of year to come over here.

Once we’re gone, we’re over here, even after seven years, you still have to get your mind set that you’re going to be in a chopper, in a war zone, you’re going to come under fire sometimes. You’re going to be involved in some stuff.

But the second that it gets too hot, I look up and here comes a Cobra or an Apache (helicopter) to take us on in. You know they (armed forces) are going to make sure you’re taken care of.”

I’m sure it was that kind of stuff where Keith got a lot of ideas for his more patriotic songs. He knew he was in the danger zone, and he welcomed it. Why? He had the Red, White, and Blue to back him up.

That was made official when Toby Keith was awarded with the Spirit of the USO Award back in 2014. During his acceptance speech, he referenced some of the other all-time-greats that were known for their entertainment contributions to the troops:

“That caught me off guard. I saw a need and a void the great Bob Hope left behind, and no one was filling it, but as hard as Big Dog Daddy tried, I couldn’t bring Marilyn Monroe.”

And as much as he loved to perform for the active duty service members fighting the good fight, one could argue that the troops loved Toby Keith even more.

Watching the video below won’t only bring a tear to your eye, it’ll also show you how important Toby Keith was to not only the country music industry, but more importantly to the world.

The words in the middle of the caption perfectly explain how much it meant for Toby Keith to travel overseas and play for the troops:

“In the midst of war, a slice of home.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock