A TEAR FOR THE TROOPS
Gene Simmons, of KISS fame, gets emotional taping message for Canadian soldiers
The head of the KISS Army shed a tear for Canada's army during a message for our troops.
In town to marshal the Rexall Edmonton Indy, Gene Simmons took a moment after a press conference yesterday to send out a message to Canadian soldiers.
'Hi guys, it's Gene Simmons. We know you're in Afghanistan, we know it's a tough one, I just want you to know from my heart we love you,' Simmons said for the camera just before he had to stop and wipe his eyes.
Sgt. Dan Milburn with Army News was in awe that someone of Simmons' stature would be moved to that extent for soldiers not even from his own country.
'I'm speechless. We had to pause the camera so he could have a moment. He's quite a person,' said Milburn.
It was the second time that Simmons recognized the two soldiers filming for the military.
A well-known supporter of the American military, Simmons took time out of the press conference that had been focusing on his time in Edmonton and his association with the IndyCar series to salute the soldiers.
'I like the fact that there's a bit of civility when the Canadian flag goes up and your national anthem is sung everybody quietens down a bit,' said Simmons.
'You don't have to salute, no one's forcing you to do anything, but just for a few minutes you shut your mouth and give it the respect it demands. I think that's part of our lives that's been tossed aside.
'Culture has become cynical and we don't even respect what we should.
'The two powerful and attractive gentleman (pointing to the soldiers) back there are wearing your uniform. They're the ones who make your lives possible.'
The room began clapping and when the applause wound down, Simmons continued.
'And they deserve your respect because they have earned it. The rest of us just yack, they walk the walk.'
Army News was at the Indy races all three days gathering wishes from the drivers to soldiers overseas or at home.
'It's a big push for them to see someone like Gene Simmons or Paul Tracy. That's pretty cool,' said Milburn.
A KISS fan himself, Milburn was impressed Simmons gave the soldiers so much recognition.
'I've never had something like that happen when he told everybody to stand up and clap for the guys in the back of the room in uniform. It was unreal. My year has been made.'
Milburn ended the session by asking for Simmons's autograph for his wife, to which Simmons, upon hearing her name, replied, 'Oh yeah, I remember her.'