Halle Berry Connects With the U.S. Military

Photos courtesy CBS/Cliff Watts

Finding out someone values and appreciates what you do can keep you floating at cloud level for weeks, especially when the someone is actress Halle Berry and you find out what message she has for the U.S. military serving overseas.

“There are few things I do that are more important in so far as what I do as a public person as when I go on my tours overseas,” Berry said during an interview with the American Forces Network (AFN) Broadcast Center’s Rock Grant.  “I know it’s so worth my while to let them know they are not forgotten and to say thank you.  It gives me so much pleasure,” she said.

Berry frequently visits American military personnel overseas on USO tours.  Once she even surprised a sailor in Italy by taking part in his re-enlistment ceremony by the famed Trevi fountain.

Berry voiced her latest message of support for the U.S. military when Grant visited her in Hollywood at an event promoting upcoming CBS TV shows.   AFN is airing a number of CBS TV shows for the overseas military audience, including the second season of Berry’s science fiction show “Extant.” Grant also interviewed stars from the thriller “Under the Dome,” and the new drama “Zoo,” based on the best-selling book by James Patterson.

The AFN Broadcast Center, located right here in Riverside, has a mission is to provide overseas military personnel and their families many of the same hit TV shows they would see if they were serving in the States.   “Many stars like to connect themselves and their show with the military,” said Grant.  “You know someone like Halle Berry means it.  She’s gone overseas, met with troops and spent time with them.  She doesn’t have to do that.” 

“Some stars had no idea their shows were seen by U.S. military communities overseas on AFN,” said Grant.  “When they find out that AFN is the military’s radio and TV network overseas, they want to use us to get out messages of support.” 

Some stars, such as Ethan Hawke, Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore, have family members who were or still are in the military.  Other actors who play military roles in shows and movies study for roles with military advisories, gain renewed respect for the services and want Americans in uniform to hear from them as people, not just movie stars. 

While Grant can’t deny he enjoys the chance to meet people like Halle Berry, there is something else he gets out of it.  “As prior service military, one of the best parts of my job is that I can get to help bring up the morale of my brothers and sisters whenever I get a message of support for them letting them know they are appreciated and they are missed.  That can be huge; especially when they are in far off places, or serving overseas without their family.”