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August 19, 2014

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Photos: Terry Fator and Taylor Makakoa are honored by military in surprise salute

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Taylor Makakoa, Major Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army, retired, Terry Fator and Brigadier Gen. Charles Jones, U.S. Air Force, retired, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Military Honors Terry Fator, Taylor Makakoa

Terry Fator and his wife, Taylor Makakoa, are honored by the military Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Entertainer Terry Fator wasn’t expecting the tables to be turned on him when he paid tribute to members of the military attending his Mirage headliner show. He normally asks servicemen and servicewomen to stand for recognition and applause before he sings his own song ‘Heroes.”

They did so last week as normal, but at the end to Terry’s complete surprise, they all marched onstage. They presented the “America’s Got Talent”-winning singing-impressionist and ventriloquist and his wife, Taylor Makakoa, with a special plaque.

Brigadier Gen. Charles Jones, U.S. Air Force, retired, and Major Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army, retired, said the “Great Appreciation” plaque was to honor the couple for the unheralded years of support and acknowledgment that they have given to military charities, members and their families.

“Their support has been remarkable for America’s military men and women who have and are serving their country,” Gen. Jones told me. “Terry and Taylor not only keep that service in the forefront of his large show audiences, but also at all other occasions — everywhere they go. They do so with a real touch of class.

“We felt it was past time that they both should be recognized publically for this remarkable and selfless display of patriotism, helping to ensure that the military service is not forgotten.

“For decades, Terry has during every show he has ever performed before an audience taken the time and effort to ask all military personnel in the audience, those who have served their nation, to stand and be recognized to show his personal, sincere, heartfelt and patriotic appreciation.”

Gen. Jones asked me to point out that Terry and Taylor also have personally and anonymously without seeking publicity given generously from their own private funds, as well as from profits of the after-show sales of his souvenir puppets in his retail store at the Mirage theater.

“Together with keepsake items, they have contributed millions of dollars toward support of the military and Wounded Warriors projects. It’s remarkable patriotism and shows great respect for military personnel,” he added.

“We wanted to take our turn to recognize Terry and Taylor with the plaque as a token of great appreciation of their unsurpassed dedication and support.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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