SOURCE: USO

USO

December 19, 2016 11:39 ET

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Lead Second USO Holiday Tour of 2016 and Join USO in Asking America to be the Force Behind the Forces

Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Jeff Ross, Robert Irvine and Gail Kim to accompany General Joseph Dunford to Middle East and help the USO reach 1.4 million messages of support before the end of 2016

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - December 19, 2016) -

WHAT: USO Holiday Tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford

WHO:

Country music star and TV personality Kellie Pickler
Singer/songwriter Kyle Jacobs
Comedian and "Roastmaster General" Jeff Ross
Celebrity chef Robert Irvine
Former WWE Diva-turned-five-time TNA Knockout Champ and TNA Hall of Famer Gail Kim

WHEN: Winter 2016

WHERE: Middle East
Note: For security reasons, locations and tour dates cannot be released at this time.

WHY: Just two weeks after returning from his six-day USO Holiday Tour to Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan and Germany, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will turn around and do it again. This time, General Joseph Dunford will visit and spread holiday cheer to service members stationed in the Middle East. Joining the chairman are country music star and TV personality Kellie Pickler, singer/songwriter Kyle Jacobs, comedian and "Roastmaster General" Jeff Ross, celebrity chef Robert Irvine and Gail Kim, a former WWE Diva-turned-six-time TNA Knockout Champ and TNA Hall of Famer.

The trip comes on the heels of the USO's latest announcement that it reached its 75th anniversary goal of collecting one million messages of support to troops and upped it to 1.4 million messages -- one message for every active-duty service member -- by the end of 2016. Committed to connecting service members to family, home and country this holiday season, Dunford's special guests are calling on Americans to join the Force Behind the Forces -- a new brand awareness campaign encouraging Americans to demonstrate their appreciation for and support of those who selflessly serve our nation -- by visiting USO.org/message and sending a message of support to our nation's men and women in uniform.

The upcoming USO tour will mark the 11th for Pickler, eighth for Jacobs, sixth for Ross and Irvine, and third for Dunford. Collectively, the group has visited 17 countries and entertained more than 100,000 service members and their families since 2003. The trip is the first USO tour for Kim.

A legacy, which began 16 years ago when the USO first partnered with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dunford's upcoming holiday tour is scheduled to visit five military bases in four days and host five variety-style USO shows for virtually every branch of the armed forces.

QUOTES:

Attributed to General Joseph Dunford:
"Over the past 14 years, our young men and women that have gone forward knowing that they had the support of the American people. Certain organizations are the physical manifestation of the support of the American people, and I don't know an organization that does it any more than the USO. For the last 75 years the USO has brought a little bit of home to service members serving overseas. But I would just tell you that it's more than just connecting the American people with their young men and women in uniform. It's more than making them feel like they have support back home. It actually has a lot to do with their combat effectiveness. It actually has a lot to do with their will, spirit, and discipline, and commitment, and focus that they have in accomplishing the mission every day."

Attributed to Kellie Pickler:
"I have been so blessed to work with the USO for years now... I feel like my husband Kyle and I have such a beautiful life, and we are so blessed to live in a country where our dreams can become a reality, and we are able to use our careers as a vehicle to be a part of things that matter. The work the USO matters and helps to make a difference in the lives of all our service members. With their help, Kyle and I can always to do our part too. We urge everyone to visit USO.org/message today and do your part in sending a message of support too."

About the USO

The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: AT&T, the BNSF Railway Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL, Southern New Hampshire University and Four-Star Partners: Advisors Excel, BIC, ConAgra Foods, GEICO, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Starbucks, TKS, USAA and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

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