NAPLES, Italy -- Long-time USO supporter and iconic game show host Alex Trebek, along with his "Jeopardy!" crew took time out of their busy schedules to visit Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples on Oct. 6 in search of new talent for the popular game show's upcoming "Salute to the Military" competition.
Trebek's visit to NSA Naples consisted of an autograph signing, a mock "Jeopardy!" game, a tour of the base and area attractions, and a chance for servicemembers and their spouses to be contestants on the show. Mrs. Laura Hitchcock, a Navy spouse, was first in line to meet Trebek.
"I've been watching Alex and 'Jeopardy!' since I was a little girl," she said. "Meeting him will make my year, even my decade."
Trebek is a recipient of the USO Bob Hope Award for his achievements in entertainment and commitment to servicemembers, and this visit to Naples kicks off his 13th USO tour since 1987.
"I have always been a passionate supporter of our men and women in uniform," said Trebek. "There is no better feeling that showing our troops just how much we care."
Trebek was not the only one from the show visiting the Neapolitan city. A member of the Clue Crew, a team of roving correspondents that record various clues from around the globe, also came along for the ride. Since the Clue Crew's inception in 2001, the team has recorded clues on all seven continents, including 280 different cities, spanning 48 states and 44 countries.
"This is my eighth season with the 'Jeopardy!' Clue Crew and my second USO tour," said Kelly Miyahara. "I absolutely love Italy and to be here in support of our servicemen and women is super exciting."
For those servicemembers and their families that did not get the chance to make the morning's festivities, Trebek took to the Naples High School football field to flip the coin for the teams' homecoming game amid a very grateful crowd.
Jeopardy!, the winner of a 2011 Peabody award and 30 Emmy awards, including the 2012 Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Program, was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most awards won by a TV Game Show. Entering its 29th season, the series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication with 25 million viewers each week.
Trebek and crew are scheduled to visit bases in Italy and Germany through Oct. 13 in search of contestants to appear on the show.
"Naples is our first stop," said Oname Thompson, communications manager for USO. "We're very excited to kick things off here and hoping that throughout our travels, to find as much diversity as we can in order to showcase all the branches of service and the wonderful things you guys do. We're here to bring you a touch of home."