R&B artist Keith Sweat signs books for wounded warriors

benw@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 26, 2013 

Keith Sweat, a rhythm and blues artist known for his 1987 hit, “Make It Last Forever,” stopped by the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Benning Tuesday to cheer up more than 50 wounded and injured soldiers.

“I performed on military installations for most of my career,” Sweat said. “You’ve got to show support because they do this for us.”

Sweat presented soldiers with free, signed copies of his new book, “Make It Last Forever, The Dos and Don’ts.” The book signing was a chance to show love to the wounded and injured soldiers.

It was Sweat’s second visit to the post since last fall. His concert was cancelled but he still visited the post and signed autographs for soldiers.

Spc. Julia Lott of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., said his visit was a blessing to soldiers.

“I think it’s very good that he would come by and bless us with one of his books,” said Lott who is moving soon to a transition center in Florida.

Lott is one of 400 soldiers assigned to the battalion while they recover from injuries. She injured her knee while running in Kuwait in 2011.

A big fan of the artist, Lott said she knows most of his big hits. “I won’t sing,” she said smiling.

George Scruggs, a retired Army captain and civilian who works at the battalion, said he started buying the Sweat’s music when he was stationed overseas in the 1980s. “I like Keith,” Scruggs said. “He and I go way back.”

Scruggs said Sweat has bee an ardent supporter of the Warrior Transition Battalion.

“He is a big time celebrity to the soldiers,” Scruggs said. “All of the soldiers who are in transition got free books. We made sure they did not go unnoticed.”

Sgt. 1st Class Carlotta Cylar of Buffalo, N.Y., was left speechless after getting her signed book.

“I’m still marinating on it right now,” she said. “I got myself prepared for it last night.”

Master Sgt. Efrim Larry, who helped coordinate the event, said the visit was a real morale booster for the soldiers.

“It’s a morale booster and shows that you have not only celebrities but other people looking out for them and wishing them well in their speedy recovery,” Larry said. “It’s good.”

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