The Voice


David Archuleta – A Blog from Afghanistan

Posted by djafan on Friday, July 18, 2014

Photo 1: I don’t think that’s how you properly salute, but oh well haha. We have to wear the body armor sometimes when we travel from one base to another on military aircraft here in Afghanistan.


Hey everyone,

I have written a letter to my family and friends, but I decided that I should share it with all of you as well:

First off, I am sorry that I can never write less than an essay and that my emails are always so long! But please bear with me and my imperfections with this one.

I wanted to write to all of you seeing as this last week has been quite incredible for me. Right now I am writing this to you as blasting winds full of dust attack my face and my eyes (I’m outside to have some time to myself). I am currently in Afghanistan, and as I don’t know when I will ever be here again I would like to take the time to write to you under interesting circumstances.

What am I doing here? I was invited by a man named Dan Clark. He is a world renown speaker who is the main contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He has spoken many, many times to the troops all over the world. We are joined by a professional impersonator/comedian named Jason Hewlett (he’s hilarious), and my voice trainer Dean Kaelin (accompanying me on the piano and guitar, and performing himself a number) to do a military tour. It is a tour with the focus to inspire and give an uplifting message to the troops as we entertain.

July 8th we left for the Middle East. We began in the country of Bahrain– a country I had never even heard of before. Afterwards we went to Kuwait. It was amazing to see how empty it is here terrain-wise: sand, sun, dust, and desert. However, due to oil and gas these are very wealthy countries. We visited an Islamic mosque and I was amazed to see that they believe in prophets, and even believe in Jesus Christ… As a prophet of God; not as the Only Begotten, yet they believe that He will come again. It is Ramadan here which is the month of fasting, where they cannot eat or drink from sunrise until sunset. We cannot eat or drink in front of them, and have to keep long-sleeve shirts and pants when in public Muslim-eye to not offend their traditions.

Anyway, this is a military tour, not a desert tourist trip. I wanted to express my love for these military men and women. Here in Afghanistan– along with in Iraq–they are in combat and there are attacks going on. I was surprised at the friendships and the respect the local people have with and for the troops, as the reason why we have been in these countries is to protect these people from opposing groups who seek for power and are extremists and terrorists trying to overtake the countries. We are now making transitions to let the Afghan military take charge of defending their own country so that they may strengthen their own sense of duty and value those rights and liberties more by taking the lead themselves.

We have met so many fathers who have yet to meet their newborn babies in person; they are out in this blazing heat of 100-140 degrees day to day (and wow it feels like a hair-dryer blowing in your face!). We have seen and felt their appreciation for us being here as we “come out of our way” to meet with them, perform for them, and let them know we love them — it is the LEAST we can do!! It is amazing to have them come up and say, “you don’t know how much this means to us. Thank you for coming to see us and break the routine. You bring a piece of home.”

These are people who learn what the word “duty” means. They literally put their lives on the line with rockets being shot at the bases, mines exploding their and civilians’ paths, and suicide bombers coming at them. It is real, but they do it because of their duty to our families and to our country, and to their duty to protecting countries and people who cannot do it alone. How grateful I am for their dedication and for them being awakened to their duty.

I hope the next time you see one of these service men and women, you think of their commitment that they have to this duty: to protecting our amazing and beautiful country where we have freedom, and working to help others have freedom as well. We take what we have for granted– whether- we go to the air-conditioned malls, or sit at our peaceful homes bored. Let us think twice about our liberty that we have in this promised land, and how God has truly blessed us. During this trip we are also getting to do some special faith-based events that we call firesides. It has been a wonderful bonus to the trip.

We have one more week of shows, and I will try and give you another (shorter) update as we come to a close.

I hope you are all well!


P.S. I’ve attached some photos.

Photo 2: This is a mortar with some army men that is setup to shoot back quickly at locations where incoming attacks come from.

Photo 3: These army men use those giant explosion-protected vehicles in the back to search for mines. They basically go through explosions many times so that it doesn’t happen to other military troops and civilians in normal cars or walking.

Leave a comment >>>

Dan Clark shares video!


123 Responses to “David Archuleta – A Blog from Afghanistan”

  1. Abrra said

    I love his “verbosity”! So good to hear from him, personally. I like the other men blogging, but to have David communicate with us is the best!

    Kinda liking the cap….had to make a collage.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


  2. betsy said

    I have never been so proud of him. Bursting here. He articulated what has been going on like a master.

  3. djafan said

    Abrra, #ProudFan

    Betsy, Bursting with you!

    This on David’s Facebook…hmmm.. go sign up!

    David Archuleta @DavidaArchuleta · 3h
    : Track David ArchuletaGet notified by email, mobile, or Facebook whenever David Archuleta announces a concert…

  4. djafan said

    Dean’s latest blog!

    Ok, today was much more peaceful. I didn’t mean to make everyone nervous with my last post. We actually feel very safe here. The soldiers are doing a great job and we are exclusively on bases throughout our tour. However, we are in a war zone and things are constantly happening. Troops go out on missions daily either by air or on ground.

    We flew on a C-130 plane to Jalalabad which is fairly close to the border with Pakistan. It was probably collectively our favorite day on the tour thus far. The troops were super happy to see us. They gave us a great tour of their base, which was like a small village. The perimeter of this camp was 3.5 miles. The biggest problem here is with IEDs, which are the hidden explosives that insurgents hide in the ground. There is a group of brave young men that go out frequently to check for and dig up these explosives before they can hurt anyone. There is amazing equipment that helps them be able to do it with relative safety. There is tons of high-tech stuff as well.

    This is also a big helicopter air base and we got a great tour about the blackhawk and apache helicopters. We also visited the med station. There were several huge David Archuleta fans there. It was really fun. We performed a mini-concert for them since they were working and would not be available to come to the show. The show was in the camp chapel. There was a huge U.S. flag as our backdrop so it looked really cool.

    The terrain was much different here; quite a bit of water (lakes, rivers) and lower elevation (900 feet), so it was hot and humid. Yesterday we were really high (7600 feet), and Bagram is 4500 feet).

    At the end of the day we flew back to Bagram on a Chinook helicopter again. No excitement in the flights today! Here are a few pictures.

  5. MT said

    I don’t even know what to say. My thoughts are kind of all over the place; worry for David and crew, worry for the soldiers in harms way, proud of David and team for going there to show support and entertain them, and heartbroken for all the men and women who have to live in those conditions facing danger every day. God Bless them all.

    As always, thanks so much for all the updates. It’s nice to see David doing a blog himself.

    LOL Loving the pic with the army gear and pink shirt. 🙂

  6. MT said

    That picture is worth a thousand words. (I’ll try not to use them all. LOL Promise!) It’s funny, and adorable, and heart warming, and yet so very sad at the same time.

    When you think about it, it’s funny to see David in a pink shirt mixed with Army gear. (You have to admit it’s a strange look. The grins on the faces of the men behind him makes me think they might agree.) But at the same time, it’s so sad that there is an actual NEED for him to wear it when he travels there.

    You wonder, “Why on earth would someone ever deliberately and knowingly put themselves in harms way like that!!?!” But when you look at the faces in all the pictures we’ve seen, when you read all the tweets from military personnel saying how much it means to them to have someone go to these lengths to bring them a song and a laugh, some inspiration and some appreciation, then you know why David has done exactly that. It’s the kind of person he is and one of the many reasons we love him. ♥

  7. Abrra said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    5 hours ago
    What a great show!! #entertainment #thankyou #Davidarchuleta #jasonhewlett #danclark #bagram #afghaniland

    Another lovely picture of the gang !


  8. jans11 said

    Always good to hear from the man himself! Love him in caps, even tho it makes him look a little younger. But, I like him in anything, even the pink shirt! 🙂 He would probably look better in army drab, but who cares! 🙂

    MT, I’m kind of like you on thoughts. I’m happy for him, but concerned about safety since it has gotten so bad over there. I don’t dwell on it and pray for them that they have a safe trip home. ♥

  9. Abrra said

    The love and excitement is too hard to capture in just one photo!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Dan Clark
    Follow · 10 hrs
    The journey continues! I am amazed by the support given to us by those attending our shows. Walter Clark was kind enough to take some photos during our most recent show. Very cool!! Armed Forces Entertainment — with Jason Hewlett, David Archuleta and Dean Kaelin.

    Walter Clark takes a selfie with David
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Mary Dee ‏@GoodPlaceDA2014 14h
    🎶 O say does that star spangled banner yet wave….🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸


  10. Abrra said

    Dean Kaelin updates on Facbook !

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Dean Kaelin
    2 hours ago
    Today was our last day in Afghanistan. We started by going around to some of the places where soldiers were working in the Bagram Air Base and probably wouldn’t get a chance to come to our show. We did little “mini-shows” for them where Dan told a story, Jason did some funny bits and David sang a song and I accompanied on guitar. They seemed to really appreciate it since they are the “behind the scenes people” with loading and maintenance, etc on 24 hour shifts and are often forgotten.

    We also got a chance to tour the airfield. We saw A-10s and F-16s (fighter planes) and got great information about them and what they can do. We saw a few take-off as well. They are LOUD! There were a couple of Air Guard units that are currently based here out of Kansas and Alabama. They are just “regular guys” with normal jobs, but are also in the guard and they got deployed. They were really nice to us and seemed very appreciative that we had taken the time to come to them. They are going out on missions every day.

    We did our biggest show so far in the “Clam Shell” in the evening. Once again we performed in a giant tent with winds howling outside and blowing the canvas on the tent around. The sound was pretty “echoie” since it was a large space with a cement floor. They use it as a full court basketball court as well as other things. We had a private dinner with the two base generals. They were very gracious. Military leaders all have their own special coin created. When someone offers exceptional service, the leader will sometimes “coin” the person. They do this by placing the coin in their palm and then shaking your hand, passing the coin to you. We have been “coined” at nearly all of the places we have performed. So I have a very cool collection of coins to bring home as souvenirs.

    The show was probably our best so far. The audience was great. They were very responsive, laughed and seemed to really enjoy it. The show clicked along really well. We changed things up a bit and David and I started with two songs we hadn’t done so far; “Stand by Me” and “Fields of Gold”. The other songs we did were “Crush”, “Imagine”, “Hero”, “Everybody Hurts”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and he did “Bring Him Home” as an encore. His voice sounded really great in the echoing “Clam shell”. Jason was really funny. Dan’s stories clicked and all and all we felt it was a great way to end our tour of Afghanistan. When “Vertical Horizons” was here on July 4th there were a couple of incoming mortars that hit nearby in the middle of their show so everyone had to hit the ground with their hands over their head until the “all clear” was given after several minutes and they were able to finish their show. Unfortunately we didn’t have that kind of excitement this time! haha


  11. Angelica said

    Terrific blog! David’s writing skills have improved a lot! Must be all the journaling and the long emails home the past two years plus the songwriting. Anyway, I always loved his written blogs and have missed that.

    I love the top photo and the expression on the faces of all the guys in the back. You just gotta love him. lol.

    From Dean’s blog above:

    “…we changed things up a bit and David and I started with two songs we hadn’t done so far; “Stand by Me” and “Fields of Gold”. The other songs we did were “Crush”, “Imagine”, “Hero”, “Everybody Hurts”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and he did “Bring Him Home” as an encore. His voice sounded really great in the echoing “Clam shell”.”

    What a great last show that must (and according to Dean) was. I would love to hear his voice on those songs in that “echoie” setting.

    I guess the next time we hear from one of them will be when they reach their new destination on this beautiful, unforgettable tour. I know the others are doing this with him and our military are extraordinarily brave, awesome people for what they do every day for us. But can I just say how very proud I am of David right now? Never more proud to stand by him.

  12. emmegirl14 said

    So beautifully put David – you and your tourmates have given me a much needed reminder of the realities of the incredible sacrifice these soldiers and their families make. We owe them everything.

    And so very proud of you Mr. David James Archuleta.

  13. bebereader said

    I agree with you, Angelica, about David’s writing. I was thinking that we should ask him to write an article for The Voice (haha) but that is just what he did! LOL Although he doesn’t write as often as Jason or Dean, when he writes, he’s concise and gets his point across with no rambling anymore. This is the first blog we have received from him in a long time and there’s a very obvious change in his writing skills. Our boy has grown in so many ways!

    Going into a war zone and entertaining troops is a selfless act. Having spent the last two years serving in Chile and then coming back home and almost immediately leaving again to do this tour…I can’t begin to express how awed I am by his humility, his strength of character, determination, generosity of spirit, all traits that young people today should aspire to.

    Through being a fan, I’ve been made more aware of the soldiers, the threat of battle they face every day and the physical conditions they’re under, and the psychological pain of missing their loved ones back home. Even without a war, this is a heavy load to bear.

    David’s is The Voice they need to hear to soothe and heal. As if the sound of his voice wasn’t heavenly before, something happened in the last two years that brought his voice to a new level. We first heard it in “O-ven” from Chile and now again in the BHH chip. It sounds like he’s not holding back now. I don’t presume to know but perhaps he has accepted that his voice is a gift that is somehow able to break through pain and provide some relief.

    I couldn’t be more proud to call myself his fan.

  14. fenfan said

    #6 MT – I was going to quote the parts of your comment that I loved but found myself highlighting the whole thing. So instead of repeating everything here let me just say thank you for articulating my thoughts exactly. How did you get in my head????
    May I add:
    1 He looks so young wearing those caps.
    2 He must be the only person on earth who looks adorable wearing body armour.
    3 Pink looks perfect with green when worn by Mr Archuleta!
    4 He seems to have a different outfit everyday. How many suitcases did he take with him?
    5 He must have done a lot of shopping before he left for the tour.
    6 I hope he included “and all you beautiful girls” when he sang Stand by Me, and pointed at all the woman soldiers in the audience while singing it and they all melted to the floor!
    7 I love that body amour photo. Wish he had worn the helmet!
    8 I don’t know whether that salute is proper either but it sure looks super cute and makes me want to salute him back.
    9 He looks spiffy in that striped shirt ensemble.
    10 How does he manage to stay so fresh while the others look rumpled in the desert heat.

  15. Abrra said

    Jason checks in from Kuwait!

    Jason Hewlett @jasonhewlett
    5 days in #Bagram, Afghanistan great, FOB #Airborne and #Jalalabad, today back in Kuwait, forgot how hot it could get here. Miss my family.


  16. MT said

    ” I don’t dwell on it and pray for them that they have a safe trip home. ♥” I’ll try not to worry too much and just hope everyone (David & team and the soldiers) are all enjoying the tour.

    14 Fen,
    LOL Love your additions, especially #8. 🙂

  17. Abrra said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    I am working on something very special!


  18. Abrra said

    We got a surprise today on Dan Clark’s Facebook. It was a video by Walter Clark, an Army nurse, recorded Bring Him Home. Here is the mp3 I made.

    (NOTE: This file replaces the one I put up yesterday. I deleted the other because it wasn’t the best audio)

    Bring Him Home Military Tribute Tour(best audio).mp3
    Audio (.MP3)
    [audio src="" /]

    Bring Him Home

    God on high
    Hear my prayer
    In my need
    You have always been there

    He is young
    He’s afraid
    Let him rest
    Heaven blessed.
    Bring him home
    Bring him home
    Bring him home.

    He’s like the son I might have known
    If God had granted me a son.
    The summers die
    One by one
    How soon they fly
    On and on
    And I am old
    And will be gone.

    Bring him peace
    Bring him joy
    He is young
    He is only a boy

    You can take
    You can give
    Let him be
    Let him live
    If I die, let me die
    Let him live
    Bring him home
    Bring him home
    Bring him home.


  19. bluesky4home said

    Listening to DA sing: If I die, let me die….. let him live.

    Few singers his age (few singers, period) could sing those words with more effect.

  20. bluesky4home said

    They may smile at his (seeming ) naiveté, or his “salute”, or his … just plain Davidness. They may wonder, and be drawn to him for reasons they can hardly explain. But when he sings, he’s got them. They know at that point that they are in the presence of a heart that resonates with their own hopes, dreams, fears, and loves.

    That is his goal. And he just gets better at it.

  21. emmegirl14 said

    bluesky, 19, 20 ♥♥♥

    Thanks for the mp3 Abrra. I will play this scratchy, beautiful, heart tugging recording forever. It is perfect.

  22. Abrra said

    Sunday puzzle shows the many careers of David Archuleta. I made it less pieces so you won’t give up. 😉


  23. jans11 said

    Enjoyed chat for a little while til I got a phone call. 🙂 Thanks Abrra for the song! I still wonder “how does he do it?”

    And thanks for the Sunday puzzle, Abrra. Another winner!

    All the comments seem to have a common denominator 🙂 and some of the words are put together so well. You say what I’m thinking but I can’t seem to get them out as well. And they are all describing a person that is so hard to describe, he is so unique! See, I’m not making sense, am I? haha

    Happy Sunday everyone! 🙂

  24. Abrra said


    We discussed in great detail how he does it, it’s a legitimate gift from his creator. The gift is bigger than music and David is destined for greatness. The theme in the puzzle picture is proof. I doubt there is nothing he can’t accomplish if he wants it badly enough.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    It’s just the beginning and look what he has accomplished in the short time back from Chile. He told us that this time around he is doing it his way. I find “his way” far more interesting.

    For those interested, Bring Him Home is on repeat in Unplugged until the men are back home safely. I did some volume adjustment and it sounds much better quality.


  25. Abrra said

    Dean Kaelin updates us!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Dean Kaelin
    6 hours ago
    Wow, the time seems to really be flying by. It is amazing that we only have one more week. Jason and I were “roomies” at Bagram Air Base and got along really well. We got up early (5:30am), ate and had to go through customs before leaving the country. (We have had to wake up early most every morning, but I haven’t minded for some reason.) There were somewhat tearful goodbyes as the 2 people who have been in charge of our tour over here and have traveled with us at every point said goodbye. They said they loved our show and that it was probably the best they had had, especially since it was so different than anything else they had seen, and also because it had an uplifting feeling and strong, positive messages. They invited us back at any time. In fact they asked if we could come back in October! They were talking with David about possibly doing a tour to Honduras. We’ll see.

    We flew back to Kuwait on an C-130. Everyone was hoping for a C-17 because the C-17 is a jet and the C-130 is a 4 engine prop plane. It was a 5 ½ hour flight in not very comfortable seats, no beverage service, SUPER loud, and not even a lavatory. It was extra long because we can’t fly over Iran so we have to go around. Basically, it was maybe the worst flight of my life. We were again travelling with several soldiers, most of which were returning from their tours and some on R&R. One woman who works as an electrician has already been in Afghanistan for 13 months. She is going home for 2 weeks, then will be back until October. She is part of the group that is “deconstructing”; basically, taking things down so that we “reduce our footprint”. Some of the bases are being turned over to the Afghan army, but several are being taken apart. There are a few bases that will still house American soldiers. At the height of the conflict there were over 30,000 military in Afghanistan. Now there is around 20,000 and by December we will have around 9,400. Many of the big, hi-tech trucks that we saw in Jalalabad that are used for mine sweeping operations are actually being shredded and the sheet metal sold for 12 cents a pound rather than trying to ship it all home. They said it is actually cheaper to destroy it and rebuild it then to ship it. Also, there is not a lot of wood in Afghanistan for building so they love it when we leave big piles of wood that they can use for building. There was a Special Ops” guy sitting next to me. You can tell them because they have the big beards that allow them to blend in a little with the Afghanies. He was watching footage on his computer of what I can only guess was from some of his missions taken with a helmut cam. Pretty intense stuff! These are the guys that go “outside the wire” and do the more scary stuff hunting down bad guys.

    We arrived back in Kuwait at the Ali Al Salem Air base. (Wow, it’s so much hotter here than in Afghanistan!) We are back in the same rooms and it is a little bit like heaven after Afghanistan; free internet (that actually works), private rooms and private bathrooms, etc, etc. I guess I’ve become pretty soft and spoiled over the years. Today was a rest day. (We need it after that flight!!) We are back doing shows tomorrow. No real exciting pics from today, so here’s a few from the past week and a half I haven’t posted yet.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Um, hey Dean? We will be the judge of what is exciting ok? Awesome pictures!

    And a tweet from Jason Hewlett

    Jason Hewlett @jasonhewlett
    A beautiful Sunday here in Kuwait. Woke up refreshed & grateful for life, support of family, friends, this opportunity, military. #Awesome

    An edit from Pocoelsy on Instagram

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    pocoelsy Finally @DavidArchie wares shades 😉 cool


  26. ray said

    just a thought that has benn running in my head for days now, if there is a secong comming of christ, david was sent to pave the way, i know crazzey isn,t it

  27. Abrra said

  28. lynnella said

    Just watched the unplugged video of Bring Him Home again for the umpteenth time. As I was watching it, I started tearing up. I watched it last night and that didn’t happen. But, today, it hit me, how God has been preparing him all of his life for that performance. Just for that moment in time to minister to those service men and women who needed that voice to comfort them. The most beautiful song, sung by the most beautiful voice. I’m sure none of them will ever forget it, nor will we.


  29. poof said


    I can’t thank you enough for quickly getting this video available to us. Those are the only words I Can speak right now. Just Thank You. Poof

  30. jans11 said

    You are right, Abrra. And after he was made the mold was broken as there isn’t or ever will be another like him!

    Ray, you might be right! 🙂

    Good to see David protecting those beautiful eyes of his! 🙂 Thank all you guys for all the photos, videos and posts!

  31. bebereader said

    Two of our staff writers are going through difficult times now, Skydancer and Sandy Beaches.

    We posted these messages on Twitter today.

    TheVoiceDA @TheVoiceDA · 6h

    It’s a sad day for one of @davidarchie’s fans, @skydancer1x. Her niece’s son, Ryan is very ill. Please send prayers. Thank you.


    djafan#DA2014 @djafanTheVoice · 9h

    @DavidArchie’s Please send prayers to @SandyBeachesNS son who is gravely ill. #PrayerIsPowerful

  32. bebereader said

    David’s BHH performance is being picked up by the media. For example, Rickey’s blog posted the video with this beautiful message:

    “David Archuleta sings ‘Bring Him Home’ in Afghanistan (VIDEO)
    by Rickey Yaneza on July 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    American Idol international superstar and adult contemporary prince Elder David Archuleta sang ‘Bring Him Home’ for the troops in Afghanistan.

    Beautiful. I am in tears. This was amazing.

    Best performance by David Archuleta ever. His maturity has now matched his singing. I’m speechless.

    David Archuleta is a gift to all of us.”

    credit: Finn Odair

  33. tawna21 said

    My goodness! I’ve been out of this loop for a couple of days,and miracles have happened!! David’s blog and the Bring Him Home video have eased my heart. Thank you so much for the mp3 Abrra. I’ve played it over and over as a balm to my soul since my Dad’s passing.

    Prayers for SB’s son. ❤

  34. jans11 said

    Prayers go out to Skydancer’s nephew, Ryan and Sandybeaches son. ♥

    Good to see the great article by Ricky! David is going to make a believer to the whole world. It’s inevitable!

  35. bebereader said

    Another selfie:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPicastbetamu
    2 hours ago
    One of our beautiful alumna dropping the anchor with David Archuleta @emklinkenborg #alphasigmatau #throwwhatyaknow ⚓️

  36. bluesky4home said

    Dear SandyBeaches and Skydancer,

    I am praying for you and your loved ones. Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as watching some one we love struggle deeply. May Gods good grace carry you, cradle you, raise you, and bless your dear ones. May His hand of merciful healing be not stayed. May His angels watch over you.

    Even as you feel your own love so strongly, even stronger may you feel His.


  37. djafan said

    So sorry to hear about your bad news Sky. Prayers going your way and to SB’s son. May God bring healing.

  38. djafan said

    Bring Him Home is on replay in my head. I don’t even have words, it’s all feeling and what a feeling that is.

  39. When we arrived home from the hospital today I sat outside in silence watching the wind in the trees, the summer flowers blooming so nicely while unattended and I listened to the children’s laughter coming from the neighbour’s pool.

    Then my cell phone started making its noises over and over. I was overwhelmed as the prayers were coming in from so many friends from all of the sites. I am so very grateful because I do believe in the power of prayer. I wrote once about the power of passion and a prayer. I never stopped believing in that.

    Last week I sat across from an Elder from Utah, (his last name I can’t spell at the moment), and he asked me if I believe in prayer. His looks resembled David in some ways which would make any David fan have a personal smile.

    My eldest daughter whispered to my son as she stood by his bedside telling him about the prayers being said for him. There is nothing any more important in your darkest hours than to hear about the love and the prayers from people everywhere. This is what David is doing at the very same time.

    Thanking you seems inadequate but ‘thank you’ so much to everyone and of course to Djafan


  40. Abrra said

    SandyBeaches and Sky

    Saying a prayer for your loved ones that they will be blessed with healing. #PrayerIsPowerful


  41. Abrra said

    It looks like David had great protector in this soldier who posted on Instagram!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    7 hours ago
    Was this guys security when we came down to the valley an preformed for us troops down here David Archuletta he sure can sing for sure #DavidArchuletta #Deployment #Entertainment

    David sent some tweets our way to let us know what he’s up to.

    David Archuleta @DavidArchie · 3h
    It was an amazing week in Afghanistan. So glad to meet the troops stationed there, and thank you for giving a warm welcome to us!

    David Archuleta @DavidArchie · 3h
    Back in Kuwait. Already had a show last night here and will have 2 more today.

    Weather in Kuwait 2PM (now)
    Hot, with blow dryer to the face wind predicted!
    Temp 113F


  42. Abrra said

    Dean Kaelin’s Facebook update today

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Dean Kaelin
    4 hours ago
    Yesterday we checked out of Ali Al Salem and drove to Buehring Camp, which is the closest U.S. military base to Iraq. Talk about desolate!! Nothing but flat land and sand as far as the eye can see. It is amazing. We even saw a few dead camels by the side of the road. Heck, if camels can’t even survive out here what hope is there for the rest of us?! Haha

    The base was as nice as they could make it being in the middle of nowhere in a desert, but it was far from nice. There were a lot of very young soldiers here doing their training. They had a very nice, little theater we performed in. It is the same place they use for showing movies. It seemed like a bit of a tough audience since they were so young. They didn’t even know some of the people Jason was impersonating I think. However, at the end they gave us a standing ovation so I guess we did ok.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    After the show we drove to Camp Arifjan. It was a scary ride. The freeway here is pretty crazy. And the security team that is driving us around are treating us like we’re the president or something. Whenever we travel there are 3 SUVs that go as a convoy. They split us up so that 2 of us are in two cars, then another vehicle follows up in the rear. The thing that is scary though is that they drive so close together it is like we are in the Daytona 500. Seriously! They were driving between 70 – 80 miles an hour with literally only 10 to 30 feet distance between the vehicles. I guess they do that to keep people from cutting into the convoy. At one point there was a car that cut in and broke up the convoy. You look over and it is a guy in all white robes with a beard and turban and such, so they don’t know if it’s a good guy or a bad guy. So they race like heck to try and force him out and get back in the convoy. Honestly, I felt safer on the helicopter in Afghanistan getting shot at by insurgents! Haha. I guess it’s their job though and they do it well. They are very concerned about security here. In Afghanistan nothing goes out alone, everything is in at least twos; planes, helicopters, convoys, etc. I guess they are responsible for our safety, but it seems a little over the top, especially since we are in Kuwait, which is overall pretty safe. Two shows tomorrow.
    More pictures here:


  43. Abrra said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    steve_keblish via Instagram
    13 minutes ago
    Best part of getting stuck in Kuwait an extra day? Meeting David Archuleta!


  44. Abrra said

    Thanks for the find angelbymyside at FOD comments.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Regional Command East
    Motivational Theater

    World renowed speaker/author Dan Clark, American Idol superstar recording artist David Archuleta, and celebrity impressionist Jason Hewlett performed for deployed troops and civilians at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, July 18, 2014.


  45. poof said

    I am again able to speak 🙂 (Though probably not well)
    David’s performance of BHH left me speechless. He often leaves me speechless but this song to the nth degree. I have been trying to figure out all the reasons for this and as usual, this is an impossible task. I even watched other performers renditions to try to understand it better.

    First, it was the setting. Perfect song, but only with David. It would not be for all the other amazing singers that perform it. I think this is because David comes across as so vulnerable. So human. So caring. He doesn’t “over sing it and make it theatrical. It is like your father singing to you; and wishing and praying with all his heart for the your safety and happiness. Because that is what David is doing; singing and praying with all his heart for all those in front of him. He looks so young up there, and all of that is forgotten because his love for them somehow connects directly with them. It doesn’t matter if the audience is young, male, tired, scared, bored or hungry. You can see it in their faces in the pictures, they have been “fed”.

    His beautiful voice and soul feeds me too. What a gift he has. What a gift he is.

  46. Angelica said

    Bring Him Home was no less than I thought it would be from David. Magnificent. They are certainly having an incredible adventure on this tour. Not crazy about the wild convoy ride in bumper to bumper traffic at 80 mph but glad they made it safely. #bringhimhome
    Nice treasure trove of photos from the flickr files of Regional Command East there, Abrra. Hope someone official took videos too and uploads. I believe someone on FOD commented they saw video being taken and not from a cell phone.

  47. bluesky4home said

    45 Poof. Yes, yes, and yes. Thank you for taking the time to consider, evaluate, ponder and comment. ❤

  48. bebereader said

    What’s David doing here? LOL This is a new expression we haven’t seen before. Thanks to Angelica for this pic, cropped from one of the flicker pics at the link in comment #44.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  49. bluesky4home said

    26 Ray. No, I do not think you are crazy. Seems to me that you are saying there is a power who cares about us, who knows we live in troubled times. Doesn’t seem crazy at all to me that such a power would find ways to reach out to and comfort His children. DA is one who not only is given a gift, but has the courage to use it in the most Christlike way he can.

    May we all find that bit of courage, whatever our beliefs.

    And sing.

  50. djafan said

    Ray, If your crazy then I’m a lunatic haha

    Bluesky you write such beautiful things “DA is one who not only is given a gift, but has the courage to use it in the most Christlike way he can.”

    Poof, I regain my speech, listen to the voice and loose it again. I’m stumped and overwhelmed with awe.

    SB, In these circumstances when we feel helpless all I can think of is to pray pray and pray some more (((hugs)))

  51. bebereader said

    The flicker pics need to be seen. I pulled out some of my favorites. So hard to choose.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    World renowed speaker/author Dan Clark, American Idol superstar recording artist David Archuleta, and celebrity impressionist Jason Hewlett performed for deployed troops and civilians at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, July 18, 2014.

  52. Prayers for Sandybeaches, son, family, and healthcare providers. Prayers for Skydancer, nephew ,family and Healthcare providers.
    Today is Hanne’s birthday and since she is an Angel now, Hope she can put a good word in for all who need extra strength right now.
    Bless Dan, Dean, David and Jason and all our Military. It’s a scary world out there right now.

    When I listen to David singing Bring Him Home, I can’t help but think of how he has sung that song since age 6 and that there is not greater time than right now. I hear him begging the soldiers to LIVE not only now but when they get home. I know the message is getting carried through.

  53. MT said

    Sky & SandyBeaches,
    Bluesky said it so much better than I ever could, but please know that I have you both in my heart and will be adding my prayers for healing and comfort for you both.

  54. MT said

    Thanks so much for all the info. For anyone who hasn’t clicked that link in #44 there are TONS of great pictures of all of the performances, photos with soldiers, shots of the audience reactions and much more .

    As for adding my comments about the blog and the beautiful photos and the full version of Bring Him Home, I am at a loss for words. #overwhelmed

  55. bebereader said

    I so agree Mt.
    Great pics in flicker:
    Here are some more:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    (Be sure to move this last pic to the right to see David’s smile)

  56. bebereader said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    27 minutes ago
    My hubby met to David Archuleta today in Kuwait! One similar thing , they went to LDS mission and learned spanish lenguague there! Mi esposo conocio a David Archuleta hoy en Kuwait,ambos sirvieron una mission SUD y aprendieron español ahi!

    How cool!

  57. skydancer1x said

    To all of you,my Voice family of friends.
    Thank you all.. for being the caring and wonderful people that you are, and thank you for all your prayers and words for Ryan,and my family.
    Ryan is resting peacefully.He left this world at 5:40 pm.last night,held closely and lovingly,in the arms of his parents.He was only 15 years old.
    “Bring Him Home” has taken on a new meaning for me,as David and his voice singing this song..has both released the anguish that I feel,and then quiets and soothes my soul.David has given me what I need at this moment,at this time.Peace.
    God on high
    Hear my prayer
    In my need
    You have always been there

    He is young
    He’s afraid
    Let him rest
    Heaven blessed.
    Bring him home
    Bring him home
    Bring him home.

    God has taken Ryan Home♥.
    Love you guys so much

  58. ray said

    sky am so sorry, so young to go,,he must have been good, and god needed him,

  59. djafan said

    Oh Sky.

  60. jans11 said

    Sky, so sorry to hear about Ryan. There are no words to help you now in your grief, but our prayers are with you and your family. I have been there and it hurts so bad. May you find some comfort in your loving memories. {{{{hugs}}}}

  61. jans11 said

    SB, thanks for your thoughts. I remember going through some of the same kind of thoughts where life still went on around me, but I felt helpless to enjoy it at the time. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers. {{{{hugs to you, also}}}}

  62. Sky, I am so very sorry…there are few words at this time to convey our sorrows. The Voice family is a very good family.


  63. MT said

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Much love and prayers for you all.

  64. So sorry Sky!! Thinking of you too SB!!

  65. tawna21 said

    Oh Sky. I’m so sorry for your loss and the pain that you feel right now. God bless you and your family thru this hard time. I can feel what you are going thru, having just lost my father. Know that you are in my prayers.

    SandyBeaches, may God bless you, your family, and all of those attending your son. My prayers are for your peace of mind and knowledge for the medical teams. Prayer is real.

  66. bluesky4home said

    Dear Sky — It is different for everyone, and yet somehow the same. A good friend of mine told me once that we only grieve for those things we value. But we all travel that path in our own way. I am so glad that you know you have many, many people around you who support you and will allow you to be and do this in whatever way is right for you. You are never alone.

    May Gods good grace carry you and all you love. You. are. loved.

  67. bluesky4home said

    Dear Sky…. May I share with you something I wrote back in 2011 to share with another friend? It comes with all my heart!

    “These are tender times. God be with you and those you love. I think He is closer at these moments when our hearts feel torn between two places: the one where we are, the other where we can see them go and cannot follow no matter how we reach with our hearts. But the wonder is – although our hearts ache from that stretching and we feel deeply our inadequacies, still He finds us. He reaches in and even binds together again those tenderly torn places, those loving attachments we have that, no matter how strong cannot hold our loved ones back. His love spans and heals those distances be they of life or death. May that bright love be with you. And Joy.”

  68. tawna21 said

    Bluesky #67… your thoughts are so beautiful, and so perfectly true! That is where I’ve been for some time as I watched my Dad struggle and finally be released from his struggles. Thank you for bringing your beautiful words here. ♥

  69. betsy said

    Dear Sky – thinking of you this morning. So very sorry.

    SB – Prayers for you.

  70. bebereader said

    Hoping today brings good news about your son. Sending prayers your way.

  71. bebereader said

    I’m so very sorry about Ryan. You know how my heart hurts for you, Sis.

  72. bebereader said

    It’s short but we’ll take it. It’s a video of David wishing someone Happy Birthday! (You probably need Facebook to see it)

    Love this story, following through her tweets:

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 19
    Pretty much made this because I heard @DavidArchie is coming to kuwait:D Marrying a returned missionary IS on my todo list.. #mormonsoldier

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 19
    It would mean the world to sing on stage with @DavidArchie when he comes to perform for us soldiers in Kuwait #SingAHymn

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 19
    Looooookkkk!!!:D 😀 😀 ❤ @DavidArchie #yaaas please let me sing with you on staaageeee

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 19
    @danclarkspeak @DavidArchie @jasonhewlett @ArmedForcesEnt feel free to bring some Mexican food. I miss it.

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 21
    Today you come to where I'm stationed. If I can't sing with you can you at least sign my guitar? D: @DavidArchie

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 21
    Can he be more amazing?@DavidArchie thank you for singing for us<3

    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 21
    Not only did he sign a cd AND my guitar. I got to sing for him<3<3<3 😀 @DavidArchie

    and this:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Danielle Cox ‏@danibear777 8h

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Danielle Cox @danibear777 · Jul 21

    Got to meet @danclarkspeak @jasonhewlett and @DavidArchie today. Beautiful show! Thank you so much for performing #lds #militarytributetour

    @california hippy
    Not at all my best picture buuuut it IS a picture with David Archuleta nonetheless(: #davidarchuleta
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    cha ‏@yosephinchres 1h
    “@daonly1uneed: Me Sanchez and @DavidArchie #troops #kuwait #hecansing #concert #motivation #stress #reliever”

  73. Angelica said

    Dear Sky, I am so very sorry that you and your family are dealing with such a painful loss. It is so much harder when the loved one is so young. I’m glad David’s song brought some peace to you at this time. My prayers for comfort for you and your family along with Tawna and hers. And continued prayers for SB that her son will be healed and completely well soon. (((Group hug to you all)))

  74. sweetonda said

    Sky, so sorry to hear of your families loss. I know the hurt it brings as my sister lost her son a few years ago. It is hard to see the young ones taken early. My prayers are added to the others for peace and comfort to you and your family members.

    SB, still praying for you and your son and that the outcome will be a good one.

    BHH has given me a needed uplift. Bless David’s heart for this and those who brought it to us. Continued prayers for their safety and also for the troops.

  75. Angelica said

    Dean Kaelin

    Monday, July 21st was our last day in Kuwait. We had a meeting with the Arifjan camp officers. They showed us all around and answered many questions for us about the military situation here in Kuwait and the area. They were very gratious and gave us coins and certificates of appreciation. We did a show at Camp Airfjan in the afternoon, then another one at Camp Patriot in the evening. Camp Patriot is right down by the water so we were able to go down to the beach and see the gulf as well as the army boats. We didn’t know what to expect because we didn’t know how many would be available in the middle of the day and we had heard that sometimes the Camp Patriot shows have only 10 to 20 people attending. Both groups received the show well and were good audiences though, and the small theater at Camp Patriot was standing room only.

    There was a great story from a soldier named Lowery from California. Two weeks ago he saw David Archuleta’s “Face to Face” interview that he did for the LDS church’s Young Men and Young Women. After watching it he was so touched that he prayed that he would one day be able to meet David Archuleta in person. He found out just over a week later that David was coming to Camp Patriot where he was deployed. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and had never been at a base where performers ever came and did a show. He was so amazed that he was in this small camp that usually doesn’t get entertainment and was able to hear David and meet him in person. Our program really touched him and meant so much to him. It is always interesting that we have so many “amazing coincidences” in the church!

    Before the show I was setting some things up and I overheard David sitting not far from me speaking to two of the members of our security team. He was talking to them about God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon. He pretty much gave them a first lesson right there. I mentioned it to David afterwards and he said it was the first time he had ever done that in English. Haha. We included one of the security guys in our prayer before the show. He was hesitant and said he had never prayed before. It was a cool experience. David had a hard cover copy of the Book of Mormon with him and he wrote his testimony in it and gave it to the head security guy, Joe. He’s still such a missionary!

    After the show we collected our bags and went to the Kuwait airport. It was midnight and it was a mad house! I was surprised. Kuwait is a very rich country. They say that one out of every four Kuwaitis is a millionaire. The airport was very nice! Getting through security was interesting, but we eventually got our bags through. Dan had lost his visa and had to jump through a few hoops. I snuck a few pictures of Kuwaiti women in their burkas. Most had their face uncovered, but some were totally covered except for their eyes.

  76. Angelica said

    David Archuleta ‏@DavidArchie · 2m
    Hello Djibouti. Staying in these CLU’s (Containerized Living Units)

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  77. Abrra said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    jaitlynn_yensvold via Instagram
    6 hours ago
    Meet and greet with David Archuleta after his mini concert❤️ #davidarchuleta #concert #military #mwr #bahrain #meetandgreet #raybans #tanktop #signedcd #bun #gay #lesbian #usa #american


  78. tawna21 said

    Abrra… this is screaming for a scream-cap or two…. towards the end when David puts on his helmet 🙂

    Who would have ever thought a portable container would become military housing!

  79. Angelica said

    Oh my stars! That footage someone took is AWESOME!! Jason going “What the crap?!!” and is that a grin on David’s face while he dons his helmet in case they have to do a crash landing?

    Of course, I can laugh about it now that we know they made it to safety. What a rush that must have been for the Archuleta! Hoping and praying they all come home safely tomorrow and we can take the kitty down from the window.

  80. djafan said

    This is what Jason wrote…THEY WERE BEING SHOT AT!!! CRAP!!!

    “Getting shot at in our Chinook ride over Afghanistan heading to perform for the US Troops at Airborne FOB. David Archuleta decides to put on helmet as machine guns ring!”

  81. Abrra said

    They are kinda far away, but here you go.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


  82. bebereader said

    Jason Hewlett’s blog

    US Troops Tour – Bagram, Afghanistan, Return to Kuwait, Addis Ababa & Djibouti, Africa
    July 22, 2014

    Upon leaving Kuwait on July 15 and our arrival in Afghanistan, following the most sobering flight of my existence and the observance of our military headed into the eye of the storm of war, it was a late night at the Airfield. Greeted by MWR Director, Elissa Weaver, who’s bright eyes, red hair, and ever-present smile gave us the sense that we had found a long lost Aunt in a foreign Country, think Mrs. Potts from “Beauty and the Beast”, sort of an Angela Landsbury voice and comfort, mixed with the no nonsense delivery of a cadet reporting to his sergeant, with the pedigree of knowledge of war of General Schwarzkoff, having been raised a military brat and traveled the world, military service is her life through and through and she loves it, even volunteered to come to Afghanistan to raise the morale of the Troops through entertainment, and she covers the entire country’s needs. And then we were whisked away to our living quarters.

    As jets, planes, helicopters flew past us in and out of the busiest airstrip in the Military, Humvees, and M-Wraps (if you watch the movie “Transformers” you will see these vehicles, twice the size of a Hummer in height and weight, able to withstand any size roadside bomb), and traditional Army vehicles, we rode on the bus which would be our transport at Bagram base for the next 5 days as our eyes were wide open to the hustle and bustle all around us. It wasn’t 10 minutes and there was a call of “Incoming! Incoming” which means, “Get on the ground, hands over head, we are being attacked by the enemy”. Following the scare, we couldn’t get our bags for over an hour.

    On the bus we listened to Elissa give us the directives for the trip in orderly fashion. In her matter of fact way she let us know our performances in Kabul and Kandahar were cancelled, following a suicide bomber killing some 80 civilians the day of our arrival only a few miles away, as well as numerous soldiers losing their lives in the past week from roadside bombs. Instead, we would be performing for the Prison employees who never have time to see a show, having to deal with the craziest, meanest people on earth, Taliban prisoner psychos devoted to killing anyone in their path, who don’t fear death nor value life. It would be our job to bring a smile to these soldiers who rarely have a chance to escape the walls of their work. We would then fly out the following morning to FOB Airborne, another base in the foothills of the Taliban’s target practice mountain region, the next day in Jalalabad, and finally a closing performance for the base that is Bagram.

    Bagram has become the thing of legend. Built up over the last few decades, it was beefed up when the US went after Osama Bin Laden. In fact, when the Navy Seals came in and killed the Taliban leader they landed across the street from our apartment and flew out from there. Rad. So I guess, in essence, Dean and I helped kill Bin Laden, which is pretty awesome.

    When you think of war, camps, bases, you probably think of M.A.S.H. with old green tents, limited food, and Alan Alda. That’s not Bagram, that’s Airborne, which I will describe in a minute. Bagram is pretty much the equivalent of an entire city flanked by 15 foot high cement walls called T-Walls that line the entire footprint of this base. It feels like an Army base, but looks like a Concentration Camp. Full on streets, even a road called Disney Way, named after a soldier who was killed in action here, huge buildings in college dorm like living, clam shells (huge tents tall enough to hold aircraft), and building after building side by side for miles. No colors, no parks, no swing sets, no green grass. The landscaping is rocks on top of more rocks, everything is gray – the buildings, the cement walls, the people’s faces from the dust.

    There’s more here plus pics:

  83. Angelica said

    Jason has written a huge and hugely entertaining blog. The caption he put on this pic…Push-ups with two studs.

     photo 82efbb8a-f5df-48c2-97bf-e23c352963a3.jpg

  84. Angelica said

    They left them with some free gifts. Click on name.

  85. tawna21 said

    Abrra, they are far away, but it’s the image of sneakers and battle gear (plus a little smile) that is intriguing. Thanks for doing them. 🙂

  86. djafan said

    Good Morning!

    Prayers for Sky and family and SB and son and family for continued physical and emotional healing.

    Wow that was some Jason blog. Loooong but full of great writing and pictures and a super scarry video!

    And David doing push ups is just is.

    I think the beginning of this is David singing Hey Brother by Avici which he did cover according to Jason’s blog. I want it.

  87. djafan said

    Here’s the link to the Troops Project being organized by Holly. Please note the deadline!

    Thanks to the Troops Project ~ from Friends of David Archuleta Worldwide

    Holly informed me that the deadline for all mailed items is August 15, 2014, and monetary donation deadline is one week before: August 8, 2014.

    Thanks Holly for co-ordinating this!

  88. djafan said

    An update from Dan!

    Update from the Middle East – Military Tribute Tour
    Military Tribute Tour 072114-10What An Experience So Far! We were shot at in our Chinook helicopter and returned machine gun fire on our way to an outlying FOB (Forward Operating Base). We have toured a Patriot Missile Battery to see how our Army keeps the peace and provides security to Bahrain and United Arab Emirates in the gulf, was given a hand made bracelet by Chris, the leader of the Navy EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist) assigned to Seal Team 8, who is clearly one of the coolest and baddest dudes I have ever met, and then given a flag that was flown over Fendy FOB Jalalabad, Afghanistan on July 4th 2014!!! (Can’t wait to frame it and hang it on my Wall of Fame!) But… now I am ahead of myself!

    Our tour took us first to Bahrain where we performed our “Evening of Music, Comedy and Motivational Theater” at three different bases – changing up our show content to accommodate the differences in each audience as we went. In one audience at NSA and the headquarters of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, we had an amalgamation of military leaders with their spouses and small children, mixed in with screaming teeny-bopper female fans who had a mad crush on David Archuleta!

  89. djafan said

    Nice article about the Military Tribute Tour by the 4.

    DVIDS:defense video & imagery distribution system

    U.S. Army Central
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    Story by Staff Sgt. Julius ClaytonSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon
    A day of inspiration for their heroes Staff Sgt. Julius Clayton
    David Archuleta, platinum recording artist and runner-up on Season 7 of the hit TV show American Idol performs and gives thanks to those serving overseas during an Armed Forces Entertainment show held here on July 21, 2014. The show was part of AFE’s South, Southwest, and Central Asia Summer Tour series. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Julius Clayton, U.S. Army Central)
    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Armed Forces Entertainment presented the Dan Clark and friends’ tour as part of their summer events series. This presented an opportunity for service members, Department of Defense civilians and military contractors to enjoy laughter, music and motivational speaking, while taking a break from the over 115 degree temperatures here in Kuwait.

    The performance called for an afternoon of music, comedy and motivational theater and featured Dan Clark, A New York Times bestselling author, most notably for his contributions to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series; David Archuleta, the American Idol Season 7 runner-up as well as a platinum selling singer; and the one man comedy and music act Jason Hewlett.

    According to Clark, this tour is one of many he puts on for the military. He said it is a way for him to give back a little bit of his time and to help service members through motivational speeches. Clark said he also does a lot of resiliency training on military bases helping service members with professional, personal and family matters.

    “It is the greatest honor of my life to be able to bring this event to the dedicated and selfless men and women who sacrifice so much for our nation,” said Clark.

    “I got with David and Jason to see if they wanted to be a part of this and they were just as motivated as I was to give something back to those who keep us safe and out of harm’s way,” Clark continued.

    Since World War II AFE has been charged with providing entertainment to United States military personnel overseas by the DoD. Today they host more than 1,200 shows around the world, entertaining over 500, 000 service members at 270 military installations and proudly presenting thousands of volunteer entertainers to give military personnel a well-deserved break from the action.

    “I hope that they continue to bring events like this to Camp Arifjan and other overseas bases. It is a great morale boost and gives service members a break from their everyday routine,” said Tania Trowbridge, audience member.

    “The whole show was amazing, I really enjoyed each aspect because they gave you something different, and they made you laugh [Hewlett], cry [Archuletta] and think [Clark] all in one performance,” Trowbridge continued.

    Archuletta concluded the show by giving thanks to all those who serve overseas and protect our great nation with their lives. He also wanted the service members to know that his youngest sister always includes a prayer for those who are serving before their family sits down to dinner.

    The final song he performed was the Simon and Garfunkel classic “Bridge over troubled water” which brought the audience to a standing ovation.

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    Read more:

  90. betsy said

    Hi guys.
    “It’s a great morale boost” is what I see when I read this.
    They need it so badly, more than most know. These men and women have been out of the news/headlines/thoughts for a long time.
    I have been watching this trip closely, like everyone.
    David is such a class act.
    I guess what I’m getting at is I know from my son’s experience that not every entertainer is like that.
    Oh, but Vince Vaugn is. He brought a new movie of his over to the troops in Iraq before it was released here. He was so nice, so
    funny, so good to my son when he met him. These are things that they never forget. Just so you know.

    This post has been crazily heavily edited lol. It probably makes little sense. Guess I’m trying to say something without saying something.
    I’ll just let it be.

  91. djafan said

    Betsy, I get you ♥

  92. bebereader said

    Was hoping you’d comment, since you have firsthand knowledge on the subject of troops and morale. What you wrote makes perfect sense. And any more you want to say will be appreciated. You don’t even have to edit.

  93. bebereader said

    Cute edit by Mary Dee, found on Twitter.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Mary Dee ‏@GoodPlaceDA2014

    @suttygal @jasonhewlett made a new edit of them on the mid east map last night😃 now all of them are in gear🇺🇸❤️yay!!

  94. Abrra said

    Dean Kaelin updates the final day of the tour.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Dean Kaelin all photos

    Dean Kaelin
    28 minutes ago · Edited
    July 22, 2014
    Well, today ended up being a pretty wonderful last day of our tour. It goes to show that good things can come from not particularly great places. As I said yesterday, Djibouti has probably been my least favorite place as far as the base goes. But I personally had some very meaningful and memorable experiences here.

    First off, the people at the base couldn’t have been nicer. We went to several “Meet and Greet” opportunities at different parts of the base. Djibouti is an unusual base, in that it equally tries to combine all of the branches of the military. It is in a way a trial program to see if the different branches can work successfully and equally together. It seems to be working quite nicely. We had great experiences with the air commander who is a reservist. About 60% of the troops here are reservists, which is difficult on them because they leave jobs to be deployed. Sadly sometimes the job is not waiting for them when they return home since they are gone anywhere from 9 months to a year and several of the reservists have had multiple deployments. Plus the fact that most of them have established families back home they have had to leave. Their real world experience is a real benefit to the base here though. We also met with the joint command, got a tour of the Navy patrol boats and maybe the coolest part, a tour with the EOD guys that go in and diffuse bombs as well as many other dangerous activities. The guy that greeted us shook our hands without hesitation and with confidence, but as you shook his hand it was obvious he only had one finger. I asked him about it later and sure enough he lost most of his right hand in a surprise explosion in Afghanistan.
    Read more here:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


  95. tawna21 said

    Abrra #94… That bottom pic is too dang cute!! He looks like he’s as excited to be getting put together as he would have been as a youngster getting into his Dracula Halloween costume! 🙂

  96. Abrra said

    I saw the full picture and had to do a crop of his face. I hope they gave him a full length mirror so he could see the whole suit.


  97. jans11 said

    I agree, Tawna! Oh, those EYES! They will never change! They seem to be making light of a dangerous mission whenever they can 🙂 . They will have so many memories! God speed them a safe trip home.

    Thanks to for all the posts and photos! Kudos to everyone that makes it happen! 🙂

  98. Abrra said

    Late night (for us) Instagram post from @DavidArchie

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    davidarchieAnnnd the EOD specialists in Djibouti with their bomb-diffusing robots. Thanks guys for what you do. #iampuny #iwanttobelikethemwhenigrowup

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    davidarchieVisited the EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) specialists in our last stop of the military tour: Djibouti. I can’t believe the way these guys put themselves in such dangerous situations to save lives of people they don’t even know. They had me try on this 90-pound bomb suit that I could barely walk in and was sweating a ton– I cannot imagine trying to detonate a bomb in it. #Djibouti #ifeltlikeateletubby #EODspecialists

    And finally a teeny tiny snippet of Everybody Hurts


  99. Angelica said

    Well, that’s just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen since the bunny suit. I love his tags too. My husband was in the navy and used to say about the navy seals, “I couldn’t be a pimple on those guy’s butt.” LOL!

  100. bluesky4home said

    The snippet? No. way. at. all. like. the. recording.



  101. djafan said

    We need everything he every recorded live!!!!

    Angelica, lol

  102. bebereader said

    We do, djafan!
    Everything and More! LOL

    Lucky girl! Her uncle got a short video of David talking to her.

    .Carmalita.✈️ @Carmalitaa13 · 15h
    Got a video of David talking to me. I couldn’t be happier 😄
    .Carmalita.✈️ ‏@Carmalitaa13 20m
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    My uncle on the left and the branch president on the right after their early morning run in Dijbouti. 🏃
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    .Carmalita.✈️ ‏@Carmalitaa13 36m
    A video and an autograph. 🙌 I’m dreaming right? Thanks @DavidArchie 😍 You’re the best. 💙❤️

  103. bebereader said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Found on Twitter by Patty-Ann

    Patty-Ann ‏@pabuckie 49m
    COOL!! @DavidArchie meets Miss Africa.

    kim ‏@kimak 21m
    @pabuckie @DavidArchie when was that taken?
    Reply to @kimak @pabuckie @DavidArchie
    Patty-Ann ‏@pabuckie 18m
    @kimak @DavidArchie she tweeted it! Ethiopia

  104. djafan said

    But of course! Got to love him ♥

    David Archuleta ‏@DavidArchie 1m
    In Ethiopia. At a local restaurant when one of the workers recognizes me. Next thing I know the owner comes ask me to sing, so I did lol.

    BOTW snippet


    A post shared by Robert Baring (@bobbaring16) on

  105. djafan said

    10 hour layover!

    Jason Hewlett @jasonhewlett
    Left Djibouti today, arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia w/10 hr layover, so we did an LDS Fireside to a full house in this most beautiful city

  106. Abrra said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Dan Clark Facebook

    Dear David
    You are an Internationally known singer and celebrity. I am so glad that you OWN it and embrace it! Every time you acknowledge fans from all over the world, you put a smile on their faces, and mine.


  107. tawna21 said

    Abrra #106 – ditto 🙂

  108. Abrra said

    This must be at the Fireside that Jason spoke about. I bet David made these missionaries’ night!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Miss Africa Utah on Facebook


  109. rzay said

    in the pic of david on this tour,i cam see the grown up man in david, and to my hearst delight,in that pic of him in that bomb suite, i cansee the impish ,child in david, and i LOVE IT

  110. jans11 said

    His voice just resonates when singing live, especially in those different “buildings” over there. He is just fabulous and I’m so glad he is an international star now…he deserves all the fame and fortune he has worked so hard for. Keep on singing, David, we will keep on listening! 🙂

  111. ray said

    where did the z come from lol

  112. bebereader said

    I think it may shock David to be recognized in all the countries he’s been to on this tour. But it doesn’t shock us. No matter where you live in this great big world, once you hear his beautiful voice you never forget how it makes you feel. I know he’s not in it for the fame but being famous means more people can have the opportunity to be uplifted by his gift. That’s not a bad thing at all!

  113. Abrra said

    Jason Hewlett blogs from Charles DeGaulle Ariport in Paris, France

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Djibouti, although sweltering and hot, humid, and a shared base between all military branches (which can make for some confusing rules), was for me the best show on the trip. The crowd was drinking, great lights (first time we had lights), and although not the best sound system, this was a crowd ready for a show. A packed house – finally! I did some improv comedy regarding our stay on the base and it went over so well. We did a most fun show, with another standing ovation to end and a final moment to relish in the joy we could offer these wonderful people serving our country.

    Following the show at 11:30 PM we had a Meet & Greet in the Chapel and did a mini-Fireside, kind of a “Meet the Mormons”. We had a nice turn-out and this whole aspect of this tour has made it even that much more touching and poignant at each location. To help our fellow comrades realize we believe in Christ, we worship and live to spread the Gospel, has been eye-opening to those attending our impromptu meetings. I am continually amazed at Dean’s wit, his genius on the piano, his spirit which pretty much can barely be held inside the bounds of his physical body. He is a spiritual giant and has become one of my life heroes on this trip. Dan has been a friend for a long time, and I thought I knew all he could do. But my eyes have been opened to his ability to connect, to draw in any audience, his stories that resonate on another level, not just humorous or motivational as more inspirational, it has been incredible to watch him. And David, he is a most wonderful gift to our earth. His spirit is great, his heart is pure, his example something I wish I could emulate. We all need to “Mimic Masters” (a Chapter in my Book, “Signature Moves”), and I want to mimic all of these most marvelous men.

    By 1:30 AM our fireside was over. The spirit was there, the feeling of love and respect was strong, as we heard testimonies from those of many faiths. What an experience! Bed by 2:30, up at 6 for breakfast, on the bus by 8 for the long, sweaty, check point after check point Djibouti departure. The airport is literally on the base of Djibouti, but we had to go outside the gates to fly out, so in essence it’s a 5 minute drive. However, it took us 2 hours to get from the base, through all security, to the Airport check in, which was another fiasco, and finally to our gate by 11 AM in time for our 11:50 departure. From there we went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a most welcome layover, as the air was COOL, wonderful, beautiful greenery contrasting Djibouti’s desert sand conditions.

    Read more here:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    All photos Jason Hewlett


  114. Abrra said

    Dean Kaelin checks in with a final post about he tour to the Middle East

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    This will be my final post about our tour. If yesterday was the finale, today was the encore. I think that all the guys agree that although there have been many wonderful experiences on the tour, this was the best day of all. When I got our flight schedule I noticed that we were flying through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on our way home, and that for whatever reason we had a 10 hour layover there. I have been receiving the emails home from a friend, missionary and former voice student that is serving his mission to Ethiopia and currently is serving in Addis Ababa. I sent him an email and mentioned that we would be there for the day and would love to do a fireside or go tracting or whatever we could do while we were there. That started the wheels in motion and with the help of a wonderful senior sister missionary (Sister Wold) and a wonderful District President (President Biru) we were able to set up a fireside. (Another “amazing coincidence? You decide.) We were able to overcome several hurdles to be able to actually leave the airport, but we were picked up by the president and Elder Fuller and driven to the church which was only 15 minutes away from the airport. Driving in Addis Ababa is a very crazy and scary experience!!

    Read more here:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    All photos Dean Kaelin


  115. Abrra said

    This clip speaks for itself. 😉

    And a slow mo version .gif by SamG
    [video src="" /]


  116. djafan said

    Oh my gosh hahahaha Love it! It sure does speak for itself. NO wonder David included a lol in his tweet yesterday. And these are two great accounts of the experience. Hoping more video shows up!

    This from Dean.
    The president and senior couples then took us out to dinner to a way cool traditional Ethiopian restaurant. There was a band and dancers that were awesome. The place was packed and pretty crazy. Jason kept all of the little kids entertained by pulling faces. Little by little everyone was watching him. The kids in Africa are so my favorite!! Believe it or not, some people recognized David and somehow the word got to the restaurant owner and he came up and asked if David would sing. So David and I got to jam with the band. It was awesome and really fun. Unfortunately after David sang it got a little crazy with people coming up trying to get pictures with him and we became a security team whisking David out to the van. All in all, an amazing, special, unusual and memorable last day before flying home! It has been a great tour with many memories and special experiences.

    And this from Jason.
    But next came a real special moment, when the restaurant owner approached our table and begged David to sing. Now, I can only imagine how he felt. I’ve been invited to many a Christmas party and been disappointed to find out it was only because they wanted me to be the show after dinner without my notice or preparation. But this moment proved the humility of David and his kindness. I have been around other celebrities asked to do things and they say disturbing insults to the one asking. David tried to let them know he wasn’t prepared and was embarrassed, but not in a jerky way, just in a “who told them I could sing?” kind of way. After enough prodding he took the stage. Dean brought his guitar in case he’d have a chance to play with the band. When introduced the crowd kind of took notice and clapped a little, but once he laid into the first line of “Stand By Me” with “When the night has come”, there was a collective gasp and everyone reached for their phones to record it. With the flutes and drumbeats, and whatever other instruments were on stage, backing Dean and David’s performance, this was something most unique to witness. The cheers following the song lead to him throwing down REM’s, “Everybody Hurts”, to which the audience chanted “ONE MORE! ONE MORE!” upon his finish. Turning red from embarrassment we returned to our seats to sit back down and then came the flood. The whole room seemed to converge on David like a swarm of flies to a recent kill. We had to flank him with our people as we rushed him out of the place for his own safety. One guy grabbed David, in a headlock for a picture, Dan and I ripped the guy’s arm off David and yelled, “Hey, NO Touch!” It got scary quick.

    And that was our night.


  117. ray said

    O dear that laugh at the end should be on repeat,makes my heart sing,

  118. Abrra said

    Kari Sellards @kariontour 12m
    Welcome Home @DavidArchie 🙂

    Whew! They are safely back home.


  119. bebereader said

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Dan Clark ‏@danclarkspeak 3m
    Home sweet home! God bless America! #MilitaryTributeTour @jasonhewlett @DavidArchie #DeanKaelin

  120. bebereader said

    David Archuleta @DavidArchie · 2m

    After one of the greatest trips I have ever experienced, we are back home. A successful military tribute tour.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Welcome Home David!

  121. djafan said

    David on Instagram. So happy for him and that he is safely home.

    “After traveling to Bahrain, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia I got a quick snap of the welcome sign to home. This Military Tribute Tour has been incredible. I have gained an even greater level of appreciation for the troops and their families, and I will miss everyone that we got to meet. An unforgettable experience.”

  122. djafan said


    <img src=" photo fab4militarytour_zps21eeeb3b.jpg” alt=”” />

  123. Abrra said

    Pictures from the Ethiopian restaurant showed up overnight. I am not sure who took them. They were posted on twitter by MarthaPB @mlpb3

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Haha Good defensive position with back to the wall!


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