Robin Williams gets huge USO Tour surprise in 2007, and handles it perfectly in this video from Kuwait.
At sundown on military installations worldwide, the flag is lowered. In some places it is to the sound of a bugle playing Taps, and sometimes to Retreat.
The striking of colors is a tradition held in high regard in the military.
So when it played in the middle of Robin Williams’ set while on a USO tour in Kuwait, he was completely stunned by the reaction of the troops.
The crowd went silent and turned on a dime to face the flag.
Williams handled the situation perfectly.
Robin Williams Gets Huge USO Tour Surprise
by David Bedard
JBER Public Affairs, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
7/28/2011 – JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Customs and courtesies during the daily sounding of “Reveille” and “Retreat” differ slightly between the Air Force and Army on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The songs, played through the installation’s mass notification system, signify the raising and lowering of the national colors.
According to Chief Master Sgt. Lisa Kuehnl, 673d Air Base Wing command chief, and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Kimball, 673d ABW command sergeant major, the differences pertain mainly to rendering honors, when driving a vehicle and in the numerous bugle calls encountered on the former Army garrison.
“On Air Force installations, the normal protocol is, if you are outside, in uniform, you should face the flag or the direction of the music if the flag is not visible, and render the proper honors: stand at attention and salute,” Kuehnl said. “If you are not in uniform, you would stand at attention, face the flag or the music, and you can use what is called the ‘civilian salute,’ place your hand over your heart, or you can just stand at attention. Civilians would basically be the same as a military member not in uniform.”
Kuehnl said honors are simple enough when driving a vehicle on the former Air Force base side.
“If you are in a vehicle, then you stop the vehicle, normally pulling off the road completely and sit quietly in the vehicle,” she explained.
Kuehnl said she turns off her radio in respect of the music honoring the colors, and she opens her window so she can best hear the honors.