ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 30, 2005--World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE - News) Superstars and Chairman Vince McMahon take Monday Night RAW to U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan, December 7-9. Hosted by Armed Forces Entertainment, the tour marks the third holiday "Tribute to the Troops" WWE has produced since 2003. The tour and a live-to-tape performance of RAW in Afghanistan will be presented as a WWE RAW holiday special to air on USA Network on December 19 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).
In 2003 and 2004 Armed Forces Entertainment hosted WWE SmackDown® Superstars on tours and performances for troops in Iraq. This year's tour marks the first time that Superstars from RAW will conduct a holiday tour, meeting and performing before thousands of men and women of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.
The WWE Superstars will visit, sleep and eat with military personnel through a series of appearances with the troops. The tour culminates with a live performance of Monday Night RAW featuring WWE Champion John Cena®, Triple H®, Ric Flair®, JBL(TM), Mick Foley(TM), Big Show®, Carlito(TM), Shelton Benjamin(TM), Snitsky(TM), Women's Champion Trish Stratus®, Ashley(TM), Candice Michelle(TM), Maria(TM), Coach(TM), and Lilian Garcia(TM).
"Keeping troop morale high is one of the most important functions of Armed Forces Entertainment," said Art Myers, Director of Air Force Services, who oversees Armed Forces Entertainment. "The continued support from Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment, especially the live shows during the holidays, gives our military personnel serving overseas something to look forward to, taking their mind off combat duties," said Myers.
The WWE "Tribute to the Troops" tour marks the largest celebrity production to visit troops in Afghanistan, with WWE RAW Superstars visiting several bases throughout the country.
"It is important to us that we reach as many of the troops as we can, not only to entertain them, but thank them for their service to our country," said McMahon. "Going back on tour with Armed Forces Entertainment means we have another opportunity to tell the stories of the significant sacrifices our men and women in uniform are making for our freedom and the freedom of others. In particular, we are excited to be visiting and performing for the first time for our 'forgotten heroes' in Afghanistan who continue to risk their lives in the effort to establish a strong, free Afghanistan."
The "Tribute to the Troops" broadcast will mark USA Network's first television special event of the highly rated WWE Monday Night RAW weekly series since its debut on the network this fall. The special program will feature exciting matches from the live performance, as well as taped features that will share with the American public the experience of daily life for U.S. service men and women in Afghanistan as they continue to fight in the name of freedom.
National media outlet MSNBC is scheduled to provide news coverage of the AFE WWE tour. MSNBC's Rita Cosby has announced plans to broadcast "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct" live from Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 7, and Thursday, December 8, at 9 p.m. EST, to provide viewers a look into life on active duty for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and to chronicle WWE's tour.
Armed Forces Entertainment is the lead Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, with priority given to those in contingency operations and remote and isolated locations. The Department of the Air Force is the executive agent of Armed Forces Entertainment.
Founded in 1951 Armed Forces Entertainment brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops annually, embracing the best of Americana that stretches across all genres of entertainment. Visit www.armedforcesentertainment.com for more information.
For more information on WWE's activities with U.S. troops, visit troops.wwe.com.
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