Kellie Pickler sits in a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle simulator during a US
holiday tour stop at the Transit Center of Mansas, Kyrgyzstan.
Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class, Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
On Wednesday, Dec. 19, country star Kellie Pickler returned to the states from what was her sixth USO tour overseas to perform for U.S. troops as part of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s annual USO holiday tour.
Other celebrities that joined her on the seven-day, four-country tour throughout the Middle East include Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen of the Washington Nationals, Matt Hendricks of the Washington Capitals and comedian Iliza Shlesinger. All participated in an array of hospital visits and USO meet and greets, each tailored to bring a touch of home to the servicemen and women making the biggest sacrifice. Stops included: Bagram Air Base and Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart in Germany; and a visit with Sailors stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, among other locations.
“It’s always different coming here this time of year,” Pickler said, prior to her performance at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on Dec. 16.
“[During] the holidays, everyone wants to be home with their families and loved ones. And I know it’s just as hard for [your] families back home, so they’re making a sacrifice as well. I just want to say thanks so much for all that you do, and thank you to your families as they make a huge sacrifice. This time of year is really hard so I hope that you know that we love you. The USO, all of us, we are praying for a safe return home for you all. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
From left to right: Craig Stammen (Washington Nationals), Matt Hendricks (Washington Capitals),
Iliza Shlesinger (comedian), Kellie Pickler and Ross Detwiler (Washington Nationals). Photo Credit: Fred Greaves
In addition to Kellie’s web site, where you can keep up with her tour dates and latest news, you can also check out her facebook page, and follow her on Twitter @kelliepickler.
Still very busy with holiday preparations, but I’ll be back with more as often as I can!