Wayne Newton has been a staple in Las Vegas for years.
He’s worked with everyone from the Rat Pack to Elvis Presley — and even palled around with presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. But what he’s most proud of is his work with American troops.
“I think that if I’ve been given any talent at all in this lifetime, it has been to bring a moment of home to our men and women of the armed forces,” the 75-year-old singer told Fox News. “It’s really been the most gratifying thing I’ve done in my life.”
Beyond simply performing for the troops, Newton provides a special service that he has offered to military members since the Vietnam War.
“I would tell the audience, ‘If there’s anybody you want me to call when I get home and tell them that I saw you, write down your name and give me a message that’s personal to them so they will know it’s not some idiot trying to make this stuff up,'” Newton said.
He explained that he’s made over 50,000 calls on behalf of service members — including proposing to a girlfriend for a soldier in Iraq.
“She said, ‘This is really Wayne Newton?'” Newton said of the experience. “I was afraid she was going to ask me to sing ‘Danke Schoen’… There was silence. And I said, ‘Well, you gotta tell me something because I gotta call him back.’ She said, ‘The answer is yes, Mr. Newton, but I want you to know that I’ve been waiting 25 years for that ‘bleep’ to ask me to marry him, and now he chickens out and has you do it!'”