Photo Flash: KELLIE PICKLER Celebrates the Holidays with 7th USO Tour in Middle East
Country music singer/songwriter Kellie Pickler is back at it again - this time celebrating the holidays alongside troops and bringing the USO's "Every Moment Counts" campaign to life as part of her seventh USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour. On a mission to share, give and take a moment to thank service members for their sacrifice as well as encourage the nation to support the USO's national, year-round initiative, Pickler is visiting troops stationed in two countries in just nine days.
Six days into the moment-filled USO holiday tour, the singer has visited with, dined alongside and performed for hundreds of troops stationed at the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing as well as Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) Walton, Pasab, Lindsey and Simmons in The Middle East.
Busy bringing the USO's "Every Moment Counts" campaign to life, Pickler traveled to two remote forward operation bases on Christmas Eve and helped USO volunteers deliver hundreds of gifts to 800 service members as part of the 2013 USO Christmas Convoy. Among the items she helped deliver to FOB Lindsey and Simmons were a TV, an Xbox, video games, movies, cameras, cell phones and USO Care Packages.
Designed to bring a touch of holiday happiness to troops stationed in the most isolated front line outposts where the small comforts of home are especially hard to come by, the USO Holiday Convoy has been in operation since 2010. This year's sponsors include Activision, EA Sports, LockheEd Martin, Bank of America, and the New York Yankees in conjunction with USO Metro New York.
Apart from the Convoy, Pickler is also scheduled to perform a total of five USO shows, visit a military hospital and spend quality time with troops at a USO center, among other activities.
A long time supporter of America's armed forces, the songstress volunteered in February 2012 to help out with the USO's "Ladies Night" program - a monthly event hosted by USO centers in The Middle East that give female troops a chance to bond and pamper themselves. Backed by a team of her sponsors, Pickler wrapped up some of her favorite girlie items and sent them overseas for a special Valentine's Day edition of "Ladies Night." She then popped in for several virtual visits via Skype, where she chatted with servicewomen.
Adding to her long list of good deeds, Pickler auctioned off her 2012 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn truck (courtesy of Ram) and donated the proceeds, totaling more than $35,000, to the USO in support of USO Warrior and Family Care programs and services.
Since first volunteering with the USO in December 2007, Pickler has now participated in seven USO tours and 75 USO appearances (to include meet-and-greets, autograph signings, performances and hospital visits). She has also entertained more than 30,000 troops stationed in eight countries. Among the countries she has visited are Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Kosovo and Bahrain.
Over the course of three albums, hundreds of concert appearances, and a breathtaking 2013 win on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," Pickler's career has flourished since her breakout presence on "American Idol." The singer/songwriter released her fourth album, The Woman I Am, featuring her current hit single "Little Bit Gypsy," on Veterans Day 2013.
The USO kicked off the "Every Moment Counts" campaign on Veterans Day 2013 with help from American pop singer/songwriter Jason Derulo. The campaign encourages the public to visit USOmoments.org and "Take a Moment" to thank our troops and learn more about the challenges they and their families face, or "Give a Moment" by donating to the USO to help provide the resources that support our troops and their families at centers around the world.
"This tour has been incredible so far and I'm honored to be back in The Middle East, visiting and performing for troops, and bringing some much-needed cheer to all of those who are away from their loved ones this holiday." said Kellie Pickler. "I've been looking forward to this trip since I returned home from my last USO tour. It's been great to be a part of the USO's Every Moment Counts campaign for this tour."
About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America¹s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.