The USO <3s Rodney Atkins

Tennessee native and American country superstar Rodney Atkins just recently returned from Kuwait and Afghanistan after a weeklong USO tour. This isn’t his first time supporting the troops, though. In 2011, Rodney partnered with Applebee’s to help launch a military support campaign to honor veterans and active duty military personnel worldwide. The “Thank You Movement” officially launched last October and allows folks to post thank you messages on, Applebees’ Facebook page, Twitter using the hashtag #ThankYouMovement, or YouTube. Veterans and servicemen and women can then go online and see those messages.

 During his most recent endeavor, Rodney visited eight bases and performed six formal USO shows in addition to several “unplugged” performances for wounded soldiers and service men and women unable to their posts. He also posed for pictures and signed autographs with over 3,400 service members at Camp Buehring, Camp Arifjan, Camp Leatherneck and Kandahar Air Field.

Rodney Atkins on his 2012 USO Tour

“I can’t say enough about how amazing my USO tour to the Middle East was,” Atkins said. “From all of the skilled and brave service men and women I met to the warm reception I received throughout my time downrange.  I learned a lot, had a great experience and, most importantly, made a lot of memories.  I can’t wait to go back out again and extend my thanks.” – Joseph P. Scannell, New Media Intern

New Video from Emily Riesen Benefits the Troops!

Meet country singer/songwriter Emily Riesen, the artist behind the new single "All Out of Smiles."

All Out of Smiles” is the new video from Emily Riesen, a rising star on the country music scene.  It was filmed on location at Fort Bragg and features the real men and women of our U.S. Special Forces.  You can preview the video below.

Here’s the cool part: ALL proceeds (100%) from every download (available on the iTunes link below) will be donated to charities supporting the families of our service men and women. It is a song of hope which recognizes the sacrifice of the families of our military heroes, as well as the sacrifices of the service personnel themselves.

If you love it as much as we do, we encourage you to share this with everyone you know as a thank you to military families!

Sloan Gibson, President & CEO of the USO, has personally endorsed the song and its message.   The former US Army Ranger and West Point graduate has this to say about the song: “I want to personally encourage everyone to go to iTunes and download Emily Riesen’s great new video, “All Out of Smiles”. This wonderful new song from Emily pays tribute to our men and women who wear the cloth of our nation and especially to their families whose sacrifice often goes unrecognized. All download proceeds will go to programs that support our military families!”

Click here to download the song from iTunes and support our Troops today!

USO Tour to Persian Gulf Featuring Zac Brown Band

The Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band will soon depart on a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to the Persian Gulf.   This is the band’s second USO tour and the third for Zac Brown, who traveled on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USO Holiday tour in 2008 and performed at the USO Fort Hood Community Strong event in 2009 with his band.   Together, Brown and his band have entertained and boosted the morale of more than 23,000 troops!

Named “Best New Artist” at the 2010 Grammy Awards, the Zac Brown Band was recently nominated for four Academy of Country Music Awards including “Entertainer of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” “Single Record of the Year” and “Top New Vocal Group.” During their nine-day USO tour, the band will visit multiple posts, sign autographs and perform countless hits, such as “Chicken Fried,” “Toes” and “Whatever It is.”

Check out the video below that the band made to chronicle their Grammy Experience…