Hollywood Celebrities Shake Hands with Service Members in Djibouti

Camp Lemonier, Djibouti - Specialist Charles Davis receives an autograph from filmstar Kal Penn at the recreation center May 15, 2009. Celebrities from the Hollywood Handshake Tour visited Camp Lemonier May 15-16 to show their appreciation and personally thank service members for their sacrifices. (U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer Second Class Kelly Ontiveros) CJTF-HOA Photo Camp Lemonier, Djibouti - Specialist Charles Davis receives an autograph from filmstar Kal Penn at the recreation center May 15, 2009. Celebrities from the Hollywood Handshake Tour visited Camp Lemonier May 15-16 to show their appreciation and personally thank service members for their sacrifices. (U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer Second Class Kelly Ontiveros)

Celebrities visited service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti during the Hollywood Handshake Tour May 15-16, 2009.

Christian Slater, Zac Levi, Joel Moore, and Kal Penn made the visit to personally thank members for their sacrifice and dedication.

"I have such a respect for the military," said Zac Levi of NBC's action series "Chuck." "To be a part of something so important, not just to our country but to the whole world, I really think it's cool."

The line to meet celebrities started forming early Friday evening inside the recreation area and concluded at 10:30 p.m. Then on Saturday morning, the celebrities set up to greet service members at a special brunch coordinated by Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) staff members.

"It was awesome, it makes you feel appreciated," said Hospitalman Dina Iacobucci, who had her picture taken with and received autographs from her favorite celebrities.

"I didn't know exactly what to expect," said actor Christian Slater, who appreciated the large turnout. "We are grateful for the men and women who are making such incredible sacrifices, and doing such great humanitarian things."

According to writer and producer Jeremy Boering, the celebrities wanted to meet and interact with service members and hear their stories.

Boering said, "This whole experience has been amazingly rewarding. I'm convinced the military either creates the best people in the world or recruits them."

In addition to meeting with service members, celebrities also visited Douda Village, the boys and baby orphanages, and the Djibouti Cheetah Refuge.

The tour, which was funded by the USO, also received donations from corporations such as Coca-Cola and AT&T, as well as private donations from service members and civilians.

"The wonderful thing about all of the activities is that it was a joint effort - MWR and military. I worked with many, many people to arrange the visits," said Karen Rhodes, MWR staff member.

The tour officially started May 10 with a visit to Bahrain, then flew out to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), and finished at Camp Lemonnier.

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Djibouti Camp Lemonnier

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