Arlington, VA (PRWEB) December 08, 2014
USO veteran entertainers Kellie Pickler & Rob Riggle join General Martin Dempsey on his fourth & final annual USO holiday tour as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also accompanying the Chairman as his special, celebrity guests are star of the Fox musical drama “Glee” Dianna Agron, Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister, star of the USA Network legal drama “Suits” Meghan Markle & eight-time Pro Bowler/former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. Continuing a long-standing USO holiday tradition, General Dempsey & his group of familiar faces are actively entrenched in the tour’s second phase. ***USO photo link below, with images added daily***
Much like his past USO trips, General Dempsey’s holiday tour is designed to deliver a much-needed break to troops, by giving them an opportunity to talk with & meet some of their favorite stars.
Three days into the Chairman’s moment-filled USO holiday tour, the group has visited three military bases & one ship at sea, as well as created precious holiday moments for more than 1,400 airmen, sailors, Coast Guardsmen & soldiers, & their families. Among the locations visited so far are Andrews Air Force Base (Maryland), Naval Station Rota (Spain), the USS Ross & U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza (Italy).
This tour is part of an ongoing USO tradition of partnering with senior leaders & working with celebrity entertainers to bring a touch of home to troops stationed abroad. The USO has worked with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2000.
General Dempsey led his first USO tour in December 2011. To date, the Chairman has led four USO tours to eight different countries & lifted the spirits of 22,158 troops. He has moreover enlisted the support of 22 USO tour veteran, to include Jordin Sparks, Minka Kelly, Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles, Matt Hendricks, Matt Light, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen, Adam LaRoche, & Jep & Willie Robertson. Among the countries he has visited with the USO are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan & Saudi Arabia.
This trip marks the fourth & final USO tour for General Dempsey; the eighth for Pickler, who traveled with General Dempsey in 2012 & spent Christmas with troops in Afghanistan last year; the second for Riggle, who traveled to Kuwait & Iraq in 2007 & entertained more than 3,400 troops; & the first tour for Agron, Fister, Markle & Urlacher.
DIANNA AGRON is a true renaissance artist, effortlessly navigating between film & television as easily as she does between singing, dancing, acting & directing. Dianna’s break through role was playing the beloved “Quinn Fabray” on the hit series “Glee.” She enchanted audiences in her four years on the show & moreover in the feature film “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.” Agron will return as a special guest star in several episodes this season. Most recently Dianna was seen opposite Robert DeNiro & Michelle Pfeiffer in the feature film “The Family,” directed by Luc Besson. In 2011, Dianna appeared in the film “I Am Number Four,” directed by DJ Caruso & moreover in “The Romantics.” 2014 has been a prolific year for Agron, completing production on multiple features including the romantic comedy “Tumbledown” opposite Jason Sudeikis & Rebecca Hall, “Bare” directed by Mark Polish opposite Mark Polish, Andy Garcia & Justin Bartha,” “Zipper” opposite Patrick Wilson, & the independent ensemble “Conspiracy on Jekyll Island.”
Born in California, DOUG FISTER made his highly-anticipated Washington Nationals debut in May 2014 & went on to have a tremendous first season in D.C. With six years in the majors, the 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher is 60-56 with a 3.34 ERA in 155 games. Known for his work ethic & consistency, Fister has logged at least 160 innings in five straight seasons & averages just 18.5 seconds between pitches – making him the quickest worker in the National League. Fister was acquired by the Nationals in a four-player trade with the Detroit Tigers in Dec. 2013. He has moreover previously played for the Seattle Mariners.
MEGHAN MARKLE stars as ‘Rachel Zane’ in USA’s provocative drama, “SUITS,” which returns for the second half of season four in winter 2015. Markle is a graduate of the prestigious Northwestern University with a dual degree in Theater & International Relations. Her film credits include: “Horrible Bosses,” “Get Him to the Greek,” “Remember Me,” “A Lot Like Love,” & the UK produced indie thriller “Anti-Social.” Prior to landing her break-out role on SUITS, Meghan had notable recurring & guest starring roles on television series including “Fringe,” “Without a Trace,” “CSI: NY,” “CSI: Miami” & “The League.” A Los Angeles native, Meghan is actively involved in the socio-political arena, previously working at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires in the Public Affairs sector. She now works closely with The United Nations Women, where she was a presenter at UN Headquarters for the HeforShe Gender Equality Campaign in September 2014. Markle was moreover a panelist on the esteemed list of speakers for One Young World (Dublin, 2014), including former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. She recently launched a lifestyle website http://www.TheTig.com celebrating fashion, travel, food & redefining the idea of beauty – The TIG is lauded as Best of the Web in both InStyle Magazine & Elle Magazine.
A native of Albemarle, North Carolina, KELLIE PICKLER gained fame as a contestant on “American Idol” at age 19 followed by a move to Nashville, where she has recorded four critically acclaimed albums (Small Town Girl, Kellie Pickler, 100 Proof, The Woman I Am), performed around the world & made countless television appearances – including a 2013 win on “Dancing with the Stars.” The granddaughter of a former U.S. Marine, Pickler’s favorite experiences are the eight USO tours to 12 countries she has shared with more than 34,000 troops & military families. Whether serving as ambassador for the USO’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign, helping female troops pamper themselves through the USO’s “Ladies Night” program, or auctioning off her Ram truck to benefit wounded warriors through the USO Warrior & Family Care initiative, the songstress always steps up to support & show her gratitude of America’s military community.
ROB RIGGLE joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1990 at the age of 19. After serving nine years on active duty & completing deployments to Liberia, Albania & Kosovo, he discovered his love of comedy & separated from the military in 2000. Immediately enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Riggle’s unit was among the first to respond to the attacks at the World Trade Center. Recalled back for one year of active duty in 2001, he was twice deployed to Afghanistan & was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2009. On January 1, 2013, Riggle retired from the military after 23 years of service & with more than 19 medals & ribbons, including the Combat Action Ribbon. While serving our nation, he made his comedic debut on “Saturday Night Live” in 2004 & went on to serve as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” as well as to star in countless hit shows including “The Office,” “Arrested Development,” “American Dad!,” “30 Rock” & “Modern Dad,” among others. Equally as successful was his presence on the huge screen, having been featured in such blockbusters as “Step Brothers” with Will Ferrell; Jon Lucas’ “The Hangover;” “21 Jump Street (and its sequel “22 Jump Street”)” starring Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum; “The Internship” with Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson; & “Dumb & Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey, among others. When not acting on sitcoms or in movies, Riggle can be seen on “Fox NFL Sunday” as the pregame show’s comedic prognosticator.
A professional NFLer who spent his entire 13-year career playing for the Chicago Bears, BRIAN URLACHER announced his retirement from football in May 2013. The 6’4″, 260-pound linebacker left behind an impressive legacy as one of the best linebackers in football for almost the entirety of his tenure. He set franchise records for linebackers in solo tackles (1,052), assisted tackles (306), sacks (41.5) & tied Dick Butkus for second place in interceptions (22). Among all defenders, Urlacher’s tackle totals are tops in Chicago Bears history. With eight Pro Bowls under his belt & four first-team All-Pro appearances, Urlacher is one of the best linebackers of his generation.
Attributed to General Martin Dempsey:
“I will never forget the time when I was a young lieutenant back in ’74 & had just arrived in Germany & was lost. I stepped inside a USO center & spoke with one of the nicest ladies who happily helped me. In my dealings with the USO over the past few years, spearheading tours around the globe, I can confidently say that the USO is as helpful & comforting today as it was back then. This year’s tour has been just as memorable.”
Attributed to Dianna Agron:
“This is a trip I have wanted to take for a while. I am so grateful to have this experience, & to our soldiers who dedicate their lives to our country. This is a tremendous way to close out the year, it feels like a real gift.”
Attributed to Doug Fister:
“It is an honor & a blessing to join the final holiday tour hosted by Chairman Dempsey. It’s truly a humbling experience to be a small part of USO history, representing the Nationals. Our main focus is to lend our support to the countless men & women who fight for our freedoms, & personally thank them for the sacrifices they make every day. This tour is very personal to me & my family as my grandfathers & many other family members proudly served, setting an example for us all to follow.”
Attributed to Meghan Markle:
“I have always had such a profound respect for our nation’s troops & military families. I cannot thank them enough for everything they do for us. I am delighted & honored to be visiting the troops to say ‘thank you’ & wish them a pleased holiday.”
Attributed to Kellie Pickler:
“Feeling blessed to have the opportunity to go back out on the road with General Dempsey & be a part of his final USO holiday tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was honored to tour with him in 2012, & I am having a tremendous time again this year. This is my eighth USO tour, & it is honestly a joy for me to be able to bring a piece of home to our service men & women while they serve abroad.”
Attributed to Rob Riggle:
“Military service has always been a part of me, a part of who I am as a man. As a Marine, who not only served active duty yet moreover reserves for the vast majority of my life, it is complex for me to see this tour as just a week-long trip. Being with the Chairman & back on a USO tour again is much like returning home for me. There is unquestionably comfort in this visit & I am honored to be a part of it.”
Attributed to Brian Urlacher:
“My kids & I have always enjoyed giving back, especially during the holidays. Whether we are handing out presents to those less fortunate, helping out my old high school or visiting hospitals, volunteering is important. When I received the invitation to join General Dempsey on his last USO tour this holiday, I jumped at the chance to obtain involved. I respect our troops & their sacrifice, & am fortunate to have been invited.”
USO Tour Photos: http://bit.ly/1vZBl1t
About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops & their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports & military bases in the U.S. & abroad, top quality entertainment & innovative programs & services. We moreover provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition & families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs & services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners & the dedication of our volunteers & staff.
In addition to individual donors & corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation & TriWest Healthcare Alliance & Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG & Wawa Inc. We are moreover supported through the United Way & Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this significant mission, & to learn more approximately the USO, please visit uso.org.