Sisters in Arms, Comrades at Heart: A Valentine’s Day Celebration

Kelli Picker Skypes with service women at the USO in Kandahar

Kellie Pickler Skypes with service women at a USO in the Middle East

Songs have been written about them and movies made but nothing beats a real-life GNO! What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a good old-fashioned “Girls Night Out,” and lets be honest, most of us need one every now and again.

No matter the reason or occasion, women around the world have been getting together to laugh, bond and make some life-long memories and friendships. And our servicewomen in Afghanistan and Kuwait are no exception.  Amidst desert conditions, high-stress missions and the added strain of missing their family and loved ones, they’ve managed to take comfort and find strength in their sisterhood.

You won’t find them at their favorite restaurant, or catching the latest tearjerker at the local movie theater, because they’re on a mission to protect and serve and are deployed in theater.  But once a month, you can find them at their local USO centers taking a break from the stresses of deployment, letting their hair down and getting as glammed as one can in the middle of warzone.

Always looking for innovative ways to serve our troops, USO centers in Southwest Asia recognized that the deployed female military population was in need of some Tender Loving Care and instituted their monthly “Ladies Night” events, where troops are given a private space (women only) to pamper themselves.  From nail polish, to sweet treats and chick flicks, USO centers supply servicewomen with the touches of home they’ve been missing.

When six-time USO tour veteran Kellie Pickler traveled to Afghanistan, to perform and show her support for servicemen and women, she came home realizing just how hard it is to for a woman to feel like a woman when she spends her days and nights in the desert, dressed in camouflage.  Once she heard about the USO’s “Ladies Nights,” Pickler knew she wanted to get involved and what better time than Valentine’s Day.  That’s why this Feb. 14th, the singer/songwriter and a team of her sponsors shipped off a supply of items to USO Centers in Afghanistan and Kuwait– so that our servicewomen could have an extra special day of pampering.

“I am grateful to all of our servicemen and women for the sacrifices they make, but I have a special place in my heart for servicewomen. They are some brave, beautiful and dedicated women. That’s why I wanted to do something special just for them this Valentine’s Day.  While our servicewomen are spending this time away from their families and loved ones I wanted them to be able to take a moment and pamper themselves” – Kellie Pickler

Pickler’s support didn’t end there.  She wanted our servicewomen to know exactly how much she appreciated their sacrifices and she told them via Skype.  Troops at USO Kandahar and USO Shindand in Afghanistan and USO Camp Buehring in Kuwait LIVE chatted with the songstress and heard first-hand about how much their service means to America.  And for those USO centers that couldn’t participate, due to connectivity restraints, Pickler recorded a special message of support.

Everyday that our deployed servicewomen are away from home they are missing out on the opportunity to fulfill their roles as mother, wife, sister, daughter or friend.  And there is no doubt that they are missed by their families and loved ones. Even in the harshest of conditions and when the heartache of homesickness seems overwhelming, our troops know that they can lean on each other and that no one understands what they are going through more than their sisters in arms. While we can’t recreate the moments in life that they are missing, we can show our appreciation and let them know how much their service means to us all.   With support from the American public and celebrity volunteers like Kellie Pickler the USO will always be there for our troops delivering goodness and support wherever they serve.   – Sharee Posey, USO Senior Communications Specialist

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See more pictures at the USO Kandahar Facebook Page and USO Camp Marmal Facebook Page!

Win Kellie Pickler’s Truck (and Help the USO in the Process)

For the last year, critically acclaimed country music singer Kellie Pickler has been driving a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn truck courtesy of Ram. Now, you have the chance to win it at auction.

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Pickler received a yearlong lease on the truck with the understanding that the vehicle would go up for auction in early 2013 to raise money for the organization of her choice. Pickler – a USO tour veteran – is putting the auction proceeds toward USO Warrior and Family Care, a comprehensive long-term initiative helping to provide wounded, ill and injured troops with the hope and confidence to sustain their journey towards a full and rewarding life.

“I love everything there is to love about my Ram Truck,” Pickler said in a release. “And I have to be honest I am a little sad about giving it up but its for a great cause, and we really want to raise a lot of money for the USO, so please log on and bid.”

Bidding starts today at 7 p.m. ET and will conclude at 7 p.m. ET on Feb. 1. Visit this link – or click on the photo – for more details.

Kellie Pickler Salutes the Troops in “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again”

Kellie Pickler shows her support for the Troops in her latest video, "Makin' Me Fall in Love Again."

Kellie Pickler shows her support for the Troops in her latest video, "Makin' Me Fall in Love Again."

Kellie Pickler‘s latest video might look familiar to long-time fans of the USO. The three-time USO tour participant and country music singer “chose a 1940s era USO theme to bring “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again” to life,” as revealed by the Charlotte Observer earlier this month.  Pickler has visited the Persian Gulf and other locations in support of the military, and her USO tours are always a huge hit.

This video had its world premiere on GAC just days ago.  You can also check out the video diary from her first USO tour on her GAC Artist Page.  But first…check out the “Makin Me Fall in Love Again” music video below – and keep an eye out for the USO banner in the background!

Pickler and Pals – Final Photo Essay

Country music star Kellie Pickler reunites with Jamey Johnson (far right) and Randy Houser (far left), and kicks off 2010 with USO entertainment tour to Persian Gulf. Seen here, the trio visits and performs for service members stationed at FOB Bucca Jan. 14, 2010. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Troops line up for autographs and photos following a USO concert at COS Kalsu Jan. 16, 2010. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Country music newcomer Randy Houser performs a song for troops stationed at Continuing Site Camp Scania Jan. 16, 2010. Catapulting into country music stardom following the release of debut album and emotional ballad “Anything Goes,” Houser is quickly winning over audiences with his believability and riveting vocal prowess. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Country music singer Kellie Pickler encourages troops stationed at FOB Bucca to join her in singing one of her songs, which soldiers Jenna Stenger, 24, and and Gina Velasquez, 30, cheerfully accept Jan. 14, 2010. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

At Continuing Site Camp (CSC) Scania, soldiers gather around as country music singers Kellie Pickler, Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser perform a private USO concert Jan. 16, 2010. In the Persian Gulf to extend their thanks, the trio is visiting numerous combat outposts and performing a series of shows exclusively for U.S. troops. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Troops hold up a sign reading "We Love You - 354th MP Company" during a USO performance in the Persian Gulf Jan. 14, 2010. The concert featured country music star Kellie Pickler, singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson and country music newcomer Randy Houser. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson sings a song for troops stationed at FOB Basra Operations Center Jan. 14, 2010. A former U.S. Marine, who served eight years of military service, Johnson is known for his songwriting skills and has worked with some of the best in the business including Trace Adkins, George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson and the Oak Ridge Boys. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson (3rd from L) talks with Army and Navy River Patrol Boat operators during a break before a USO concert at FOB Basra Operations Center Jan. 14, 2010. In the region with pals Kellie Pickler and Randy Houser, this is Johnson's first USO tour. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Kellie Pickler and the tour group arrive by a CH-47 helicopter at FOB Bucca to perform another USO concert Jan. 14, 2010. A former “American Idol” contestant, Pickler released her self-titled sophomore album in 2008. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Pickler and Pals Perform! A Photo Essay

Country music star Kellie Pickler, reunites with Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser kick off 2010 with the USO Tour to the Persian Gulf to bring country music to the front lines. The trio will visit numerous combat outposts in the region, performing a series of shows and posing for photos. The audience was estimated to be between 600 (USO) and 1150 (MWR by 3 counts). (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Rotating their songs between one another and feeding off of each other's energy, country music stars (L to R) Jamey Johnson, Kellie Pickler and Randy Houser perform a two hour USO concerts for troops serving in the Persian Gulf. This is the first USO tour for Johnson and Houser, and the third for Pickler. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Drawing more than 500 U.S. troops, country music singer's Kellie Pickler, Jamey Johnson and Randy Hourser perform together as part of their second USO show Jan. 13, 2010. In the region to boost morale and bring familiar sounds to those serving overseas, the trio will visit numerous combat outposts in the region, perform a series of shows and pose for photos (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Hundreds of U.S. troops stationed in the Persian Gulf gather to kick back and relax as three of their favorite country music stars perform a USO concert Jan. 12, 2010. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Country music star Kellie Pickler, reunites with Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser kick off 2010 with the USO Tour to the Persian Gulf to bring country music to the front lines. The trio will visit numerous combat outposts in the region, performing a series of shows and to pose for photos. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

Award-winning singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson belts out a song for troops as part of a two-hour USO concert in the Persian Gulf Jan. 12, 2010. A former U.S. Marine who served eight years of military service, Johnson is known for his songwriting skills and has worked with some of the best in the business including Trace Adkins, George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson and the Oak Ridge Boys. This is his first USO tour. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

After performing a hi-energy USO concert for more than two hours, country music stars Kellie Pickler, Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser take time out to talk one-on-one with troops and sign autographs Jan. 12, 2010. Kicking off 2010 with a bang, the trio will travel throughout the region to visit troops and extend their heartfelt thanks. (USO PHOTO BY DAVE GATLEY)

Kellie Pickler, Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson head out on Tour!

Kellie Pickler

Kellie Pickler on tour - December 2007

Seen on Twitter: “@kelliepickler Started packing 4 my USO tour. Think I’m gonna leave the Red High Heels at home 4 this trip. Easier 2 jump in/out of helicopters in flats.”

So true, Kellie.  And we hope Randy and Jamey pack their comfy shoes, too, for their first USO tour to the Persian Gulf.  Pickler is heading out for her third trip, having already visited the region before, in 2007 and 2008.

As “The Boot” reporter Donna Hughes reports: “Speaking of the trek with the notoriously rowdy Randy and Jamey, Kellie jokes, ‘I’m sure I’ll have some very interesting stories to share when I get back. I’m sure there will never be a dull moment with those two.'”  You can also see more of Pickler’s previous USO adventures on the “Country Music is Love” website and at USO.org.

P.S. Get all your USO Celebrity Entertainment Tour info and more @the_USO on Twitter!