First Chairman's Tour for Gen. Dempsey Includes Stars of Music, Screen, Hardwood, Radio
Monday, December 12, 2011
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will commence his first USO holiday tour in his new position that will feature singing sensation Jordin Sparks, actress Minka Kelly, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry and comedian and co-host of "The Steve Harvey Morning Show" Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles.
The USO has worked with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2000 and this fall, the USO bid a farewell to Admiral Mike Mullen, who led ten USO tours to 13 countries and lifted the spirits of more than 79,000 service members. General Dempsey will lead this tour to four countries in eight days. (Specific dates and locations are withheld for security purposes.)
The Chairman's Tour will mark the first USO tour for Sparks, Horry and Miles and the second for Kelly, who traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2008 and visited hundreds of troops and military families.
"I really enjoyed my previous trip to Guantanamo Bay a couple of years ago as I learned so much," she said. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the USO again and to accompany the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a real privilege."
For Sparks, she accepts the opportunity to tour as a tremendous personal and professional pleasure.
"It is such an honor to be invited by General Dempsey on his first official visit overseas as the new Chairman and to be a part of a USO holiday tour," Sparks said. "I have such a profound respect for our men and women in uniform and can’t wait to thank them in person for their service."
Horry, whose father was in the military, finds special meaning in his participation.
"As the son of a former soldier I know too well the sacrifice our troops and their families make each and every day they put on their uniform. It is an honor for me to participate in this USO tour and accompany General Dempsey as he makes his way abroad to visit troops."
Miles is happy to bring smiles to the faces of those who give so much to the country.
“Making jokes is what I do for a living but I am taking this trip very seriously," he said. "It is a privilege to have been asked to accompany Chairman Dempsey on his annual USO holiday tour and I look forward to the trip."
And USO President Sloan Gibson is looking forward to having all of these stars lifting the spirits of troops and their families.
"The USO is proud of our tradition of partnering with senior military leaders to deliver goodness and cheer to our troops, especially over the holidays," Gibson said. "We are equally as excited about the future of our relationship with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and extend our deepest gratitude to our celebrity volunteers, who are so graciously donating their time at this important time of the year."
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Photo info: From left to right, Minka Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Robert Horry and Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles
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