Movie star Bruce Willis performs music for hundreds of soldiers in northern Iraq

Friday, September 26th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TELAFAR, Iraq (AP) _ Movie star Bruce Willis brought a rock concert to a desert airfield, with his band entertaining hundreds of soldiers some 35 miles from the Syrian border.

Hundreds of soldiers _ some sitting atop helicopters, others lounging in Humvees _ sent cheers and whistles into night air Thursday as Willis and his band belted out rock and roll and the blues.

Most soldiers here said they didn't know Willis was a singer, but they approved of what they heard.

``Somebody that supports the military like he has and that comes to visit soldiers _ that's important to us,'' said Spc. Greg Pagan, a bus driver and a postal officer with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st's Airborne Division in northern Iraq.

``It's awesome. It's great for morale'' said Col. Michael Linnington, commander of the brigade's ``Iron Rakkasans'' _ the 187th Infantry Regiment.

``He's my favorite actor and my age,'' said Linnington, who turns 45 next week. ``He's a macho actor. Soldiers identify with action movies and action actors. He's a guy's guy.''

Willis, sometimes donning a military hat or a military jacket over his sweat pants, sang mostly oldies as he and his band _ the Accelerator _ stood atop two flatbed trailer trucks.

``We're here to support you,'' Willis told the soldiers. ``If you catch him, just give me four seconds with Saddam Hussein.''

The crowd cheered.