2003 - Operation: Let Freedom Wing
In May of 2003, Hooters hit the road with the Operation: Let Freedom Wing Tour, hosted by Armed Forces Entertainment, to entertain the troops in the ‘stans; Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Qatar. Hey, what’s that Qatar doing in here? Hooters Calendar Girls and UC3, a popular Hooters-sponsored singing girls’ group from the Tampa Bay area of Florida, flew with several HOA top guns and endured temperatures exceeding 112 degrees during their 16 day stay. The tour featured a 90 minute variety show packed with music and humor.
The show ended with a bang when UC3 sang “Anywhere USA” accompanied by 6 flag waving Hooters Calendar Girls sporting Hooters latest Military appreciation uniform, featuring camouflage patterned shorts and a tank top with the line “Weapons of Mass Distraction” on the back. The show, which was designed to resemble the classic Bob Hope USO tours, was described by many troops as the most fun and best attended morale show in years.
During the tour, the Hooters Group distributed 2,000 Calendars; 20,000 Let Freedom Wing Lapel Pins; 10,000 posters and 10,000 decks of special Hooters Calendar playing cards featuring 2 special “Jokers” Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The 7 shows were attended by over 15,000 troops and UC3 and the 6 Calendar Girls figure they signed over 100,000 autographs on the special tour merchandise.