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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | July 17, 2012

'Deebo' gets lifted with the 1st Helicopter Squadron

By Senior Airman Amber Russell 11th Wing Public Affairs

Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., a character actor and professional wrestler widely known for his role as neighborhood bully Deebo in the Friday trilogy movie series, made a visit to Joint Base Andrews 1st Helicopter Squadron on July 12.

The 1st HS flew Lister and Elaine Rogers, USO Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Chief Executive Officer and president, to Dover Air Force Base, Del., to visit the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Office and USO there to visit the troops.

Just before being escorted through the visitor's center gate, the larger-than-life actor shook hands and laughed with a few Team Andrews members. The laughter heightened when Tiny stepped into character as Deebo.

After "Deebo" doled out a few pretend choke holds to his fans, the group headed to the 1 HS to go to Dover AFB and visit troops that support wounded warriors.

This was his first visit to Andrews, as well as his first flight on a UH-1 helicopter.

"His flight time was very nice," said Staff Sgt. Mark Cornett. "As we are fans of his for his movies, he is a fan of ours for our commitment to the military."

Lister has participated in several meet and greets with service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., and the Pentagon Program Lunch for Wounded Warriors.

Upon arriving at Dover AFB, Tiny did a meet-and-greet at the USO where the troops were waiting. Next, he and his entourage went to the AFMAO to spend time with troops who take care of fallen soldiers. Here, there was another meet-and-greet followed by USO-sponsored lunch.

After spending time with the troops there, the service members at Dover gave their guests a scenic tour of monuments in Washington, D.C.

When they arrived back to Andrews on the UH-1 Helicopter, Tiny continued to spread joy and laughter to troops here, by taking photos with them and stepping into his Deebo character.

Additionally, the actor who grew up in Compton, Calif., shared his sentiment on why he chooses to share his celebrity with military members.

"I wanted to go to Dover because I come from a deep city and I know they're dealing with some deep issues there," said Lister. "I'd like to bring some joy and ride the Beach Cruiser [bike], which will be waiting there, one last time for the military."

"It was just crazy," said Barrett. "He put people in headlocks, everyone was taking pictures, we gave away some autographed copies of his Friday movies for the troops, and he even had people doing push-ups. It was very fun."

Rogers said the sole purpose for the fun that day was to support our troops.

"The mission of the USO is to lift the spirits of America's troops and their families," said Rogers. "The USO Metropolitan in Washington has a very big celebrity entertainment program. For troops, the USO is like home away from home. "