Jimmy Buffett to salute Hawaii's Armed Forces
By Steven Kalnasy
| Marine Corps Base Hawaii | January 09, 2004
MCB HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii --
Legendary entertainer Jimmy Buffett, and local promoter Tom Moffatt will pay tribute to Hawaii's military personnel during Buffett's concert at the Waikiki Shell, Jan. 28.
When Moffatt heard about the free concert given by Buffett for the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in December of 2002, he suggested doing something to recognize Hawaii's troops
"The theme of the concert will be "Jimmy Buffett salutes the Armed Forces," said Moffatt.
During the Guantanamo Bay show, Buffett and Coral Reefer Band percussionist Ralph McDonald played a special unplugged gig for more than 1000 military personnel at the base. Wanting to show his support for the sacrifices being made by America's fighting men and women, Buffett said the free concert was "... A way to return a favor and to show his appreciation to the military for defending the United States and its ideals."
The show at Guantanamo Bay made a huge impact on the troops assigned to the base, and also touched Buffett and McDonald personally. "I was never in the military, but my brother was a Marine," said McDonald. "When we went down there, it was great to hang out with the Devil Dogs. After seeing what they go through every day, I have a newfound respect for what they do. I was real happy that Jimmy and I got to go and do that for the soldiers who give up so much of their lives, their time and their families for us."
Last year Moffatt helped Buffett fulfill a long time dream of playing on the beach in Waikiki when Buffett gave an impromptu performance at Duke's Bar & Grill. Buffett even managed to pair up with legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho for a duet of Ho's trademark song "Tiny Bubbles." The show was a huge hit.
"After the success of that event, Jimmy and I began working on this show. Jimmy loves coming here and wanted to do a big concert for his Hawaii fans," added Moffatt.
A long time supporter of America's military himself, Moffatt has worked closely with the Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots charity during numerous shows he's produced. "You've got to support the troops," he said. "Anything I can do to build their morale is small compared with what they do for us."
After receiving a framed American flag that was flown over the gate separating the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay and Communist Cuba from Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay commander Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, Buffett said he wanted to show his appreciation for a job well done. "I love my fans and I don't mind paying them back."