Friday, March 14, 2008


Hank Cramer, a Western Music Association cowboy singer from the Pacific Northwest, has been selected by the Armed Forces Entertainment Network to travel overseas and entertain American troops in combat zones later this year. The music tour will take him to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the Philippines. Hank’s touring troupe will include cowboy poet-humorist Paul Steuermann as the opening act; Mark Iler on tenor guitar and harmonica; Davey Hakala on fiddle; and Kurt Mesford on lead guitar. Hank’s son, Hank Cramer IV, will run the sound system and serve as “roadie”.

Hank, a retired Special Forces soldier, volunteered for the music tour and was selected by an audition board that met in late January. The precise tour dates have not yet been set, but Hank and his band will travel for up to 45 days. AFEN provides a service similar to that of the USO. While the USO engages major celebrities, AFEN’s role is to bring high-quality but lesser-known talent to entertain troops in remote locations.

Hank served 28 years as a soldier in both the regular army and reserve, with deployments to Central America, the Philippines, and Afghanistan. He is also the son of the first American soldier killed in Vietnam (Captain Harry Cramer of 1st Special Forces Group). Hank is glad for the chance to bring some smiles to today’s young soldiers serving in faraway places. “I know they’ll be laughing at Paul Steuermann’s jokes and stories, and they’ll be tapping their toes and singing along when the band kicks in,” Hank says. “These kids are doing a tough job under hellacious conditions, and they don’t get a lot of entertainment out there. I’m glad for a chance to lighten their load, and deliver a big ‘Thank You!’ from back here in America”.

A national-touring folksinger, Hank is based in the tiny mountain town of Winthrop, Washington. He has fifteen CD’s and three movie sound-tracks to his credit. Heartland Public Radio chose his song “My Sweet Wyoming Home” as the #5 Cowboy Song of 2007, while Texas Public Radio’s “Random Routes” named two of his songs to their Top Twenty . Hank is a member of the Western Music Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a Life Member of the Special Forces Association.

When not on the road touring, he lives on a micro-ranch with his wife Kit, daughter Kelsey, and their many critters.

For more information, e-mail or call (509) 996-3528

1 comment:

ken wellard said...

Good for Hank. He is a true patriot.I recently heard where many in the "Holly Wood Bunch" are refusing to sign up with the USO to perform for the troops due to their opposition to the war. Somehow, they are holding the troops responsible for their own political beliefs. It is refreshing to see the likes of Hank. We wish him our best in this very worthwhile endeavor.