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Getting through with KISS

Posted on 12/01/2011
Gene, Paul, Eric, and Tommy- Greetings from the USS Bataan! My name is Captain Mike Beames with the United States Marines, and I am the Adjutant for the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently deployed on the Bataan. We have been deployed since March 2011, and we are scheduled to return home in February 2012. We have been assigned to U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility during this deployment, with port visits in Palermo, Italy; Palma De Mallorca; Souda Bay, Greece; and most recently Dubai, UAE. One of my favorite souvenirs from this deployment is a KISS T-shirt (Destroyer era) I bought during our port visit to Souda Bay. I have been a fan since 1989 when Hot in the Shade was released. I saw the band during the HITS tour in Fairfax, VA - my first concert. It was amazing. (On a side note, while I was majoring in Music Performance at West Virginia University, I had a chance to play with a percussionist named Brad Dutz during our annual percussion concert, who lists HITS as an album he played percussion on.) I also saw the band on the Alive 35/Sonic Boom tour in 2009 in Washington D.C. It was at this show that I purchased the Meet & Greet package and had the privilege to meet the band. I made it a point to thank Gene for all of the support towards the military. I think it's absolutely wonderful what you guys do and the support you give to the men and women in uniform. (I just missed the Camp Pendleton show in 2005, as I had just transferred to South Carolina the day prior.) Whenever things get a little rough during the deployment, I know I can always pop in my headphones, select any KISS album on my iPOD, and feel great in no time. I love the fact that I can crank up Carnival of Souls or Revenge while I'm working out in the ship's gym, or relax while listening to Unmasked or Dynasty. You guys are truly the best band in the world!!! Semper Fidelis, Mike
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