Kellie Pickler Spreads Holiday Cheer to American Soldiers Overseas
Country girl Kellie Pickler spends so much of her life working on behalf of others, we wonder how she finds time to record her albums and perform concerts for a living. The good-hearted singer is apt to turn up at food banks, and her soft spot for animals is well-known. She’s also active in the fight against breast cancer, even shaving her head recently to support a close friend struggling with the disease. So it should come as no surprise that the ’100 Proof’ singer is spending part of her Christmas season in Afghanistan, where she is helping to spread holiday cheer to our men and women in uniform.
Pickler is among the celebrities taking part in Gen. Martin E. Dempsey’s annual USO holiday tour. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hosted the country star in Bagram, Afghanistan and at Kandahar Airfield, where she performed with her husband, songwriter Kyle Jacobs, and with David Michael Baker, who provided the musical backdrop for her vocal performances. The country cutie has also entertained service members aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan on her current overseas trip.
“It’s always different coming here this time of the year,” Pickler tells American Forces Press Service. “[During] the holidays — Thanksgiving has already passed — everyone wants to be home with their families and loved ones. Then, Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a hard time for all of you.”
The former ‘American Idol‘ contestant is from a military family, and she has been active with the USO since making her first overseas trip in 2007, which she calls “by far the most life-changing thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
She joined Gen. Dempsey in serenading the troops with ‘White Christmas,’ paying tribute to their hard work and sacrifice with a special dedication. “I just want to say thanks so much for all that you do,” Pickler told the assembled troops. “Thank you to your families — we know that they make a huge sacrifice.”
The singer added, “This time of the 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.”