Wayne Newton has been performing since he was 5. He's learned life lessons from the Rat Pack, befriended Elvis and performed over 30,000 shows in Las Vegas alone. Still, the entertainer insisted none of these things matter in comparison to his greatest achievement: performing for our troops.
The 75-year-old singer told Fox News that the biggest highlight of his career has been performing for the men and women who serve our country.
“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,” he explained. “It’s really been the most gratifying thing I’ve done in my life.”
And Newton is so honored to entertain the military, he has a special tradition for the troops when he performs.
“It started in Vietnam,” he said. “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.’”
To date, Newtown has made over 50,000 phone calls to families and loved ones. And when it comes to those messages, he’s heard them all. But he will never forget when one soldier in Iraq asked Newton to propose on his behalf to an unsuspecting girlfriend.
“She said, ‘This is really Wayne Newton?’” he recalled. “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!’”
While Newton is determined to continue entertaining the troops, he hasn’t forgotten about his fans elsewhere. In 2015 he opened up his 52-acre estate, Casa de Shenandoah, to the public as a museum.
Earlier this year, Newton told Fox News that despite his non-stop schedule, he has zero plans to slow down anytime soon.