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Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class, Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Thursday, December 20, 2012) – 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.
 Credit: Fred Greaves
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.
 Credit: Fred Greaves
“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.”
Credit: Fred Greaves
For more information about the USO, download their official fact sheet here: http://bit.ly/yaebvo.

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