Kellie Pickler returned to the U.S. on December 19 from 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. She was joined on the seven-day, four country tour throughout the Middle East by Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen of the Washington Nationals, Matt Hendricks of the Washington Capitals and comedian Iliza Shlesinger.
“During the holidays, everyone wants to be home with their families and loved ones,” Kellie said before a performance at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. “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.”
Kellie and fellow celebrities participated in hospital visits and USO meet and greets, each made to bring a touch of home to the servicemen and women. 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.