Beyoncé and Jay Z surprise US troops in Afghanistan with New Year’s Eve message – watch

Couple thank troops for their sacrifice in personal message

Beyonce and Jay Z surprised thousands of US troops stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan on New Year’s Eve with a screening of their On the Run HBO special as well as a personal message from Beyoncé herself.

The married couple were presented on a large screen at several military camps during the countdown to the New Year. In the message, Beyoncé expressed her gratitude for the troops and thanked them for their commitment. “I just want to say a big thank you to our troops for everything you do to keep our country safe,” she said. “We all sleep better at night knowing that you guys are protecting us, and we’re filled with gratitude.”

The screenings were attended by servicemen and women stationed at Camp Arifjan and Camp Buehring in Kuwait, and at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. “The message was heartfelt and it is amazing that someone at her level has the awareness and appreciation for what we do,” SPC Johnson, who was stationed at Camp Buehring, said. “The concert is also exquisite… the attention to details, the precision, and the energy is the same thing we try to bring to our training.”

Meanwhile, Beyoncé and Jay Z were criticised today by an animal welfare charity for posing with a tiger cub while holidaying in Thailand. Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, who works for the charity World Animal Protection, reprimanded the couple for turning a blind eye to animal cruelty. “A tiger is not a plaything,” Dr Schmidt-Burbach said about the photo, which was posted by Beyoncé on Instagram. “Their health and well-being should not be sacrificed for a photo opportunity. When you look behind the scenes, vacation snaps like these support an industry that relies on animal cruelty… this sordid side of tourism is conveniently hidden from public view.”

Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue #Thailand

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

Last month, Beyoncé and Jay Z made headlines when they met Prince William and Kate Middleton at a basketball game in New York. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were sat opposite the singer and rapper during a Brooklyn Nets vs Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, which featured NBA star LeBron James.