Country artist and actress Kellie Pickler has achieved so much over her career. Between American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, CMT’s I Love Kellie Pickler, her talk show Pickler & Ben, four studio albums, three Hallmark movies and everything in between, the Albemarle, North Carolina native has accomplished so much in her career. But one thing she has immense passion for, outside of the entertainment world, is the U.S. Military.
To date, Pickler has completed a total of 12 USO tours and visited 13 international locations (Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Poland, Kosovo, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Norway), a ship at sea, and three domestic locations. Of her 12 tours—which started in 2007 in Iraq—the “Tough” singer has also brought home to servicemen and women on five annual USO Holiday Tours with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The USO has enabled me to be a part of something that matters, and I have built so many beautiful relationships in every place that we’ve been to,” Pickler told Sounds Like Nashville over a Zoom interview last week. “They’ve been a sanctuary and a safe place for me.”
Earlier this year, Pickler was appointed as USO Global Ambassador alongside actor and producer Wilmer Valderrama. As part of this ambassadorial role, Pickler has been supporting the United Service Organizations’ Give More Than Thanks initiative in conjunction with their 80th anniversary. Her goal? To “unite people as one, be a voice for the broken, heal, love, take care of others, and have community and fellowship around the world.”
“I know that’s a lot of things, but I think community is so important, and [so is] looking out for one another and loving our neighbors,” the benevolent songstress reflects. “I just want to be a part of things that matter.”
With May being Military Appreciation Month, Pickler is personally encouraging fans to support the troops by donating to the USO’s annual T-Shirt Campaign. Now in its 11th year, the effort is a special way for Americans to show solidarity and gratitude for those making the ultimate sacrifice.
By donating $29 or more, military supporters will get an exclusive t-shirt designed by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran Kit Hinrichs, which they can proudly wear to stand with those defending the nation near and far.
“You can get your t-shirt and we can be twins!” the affable Pickler quipped in her own USO t-shirt. “It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of. All proceeds go to support all of the programs that the USO puts on to keep families connected, and help enable us to take home to the military no matter where they’re serving.”
Sounds Like Nashville will also be sharing more stories from our chat with Pickler, including potential future projects she looks forward to being a part of. Stay tuned to find out more soon.