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USO Announces Lineup for Annual Chairman's Holiday Tour

Friday, December 06, 2013

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey is poised to once again take a little laughter and music to deployed troops as part of the Chairman’s annual USO holiday tour.

Joining Gen. Dempsey to bring special moments to troops serving overseas are: Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche; Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Bridget Kelly; former New England Patriots offensive tackle and three-time Super Bowl champion Matt Light; actor and comedian Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles; stars of A&E’s hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" Jep and Willie Robertson and former correspondent for NBC's “The Voice” Alison Haislip.

The USO has worked with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2000 to make this tradition of taking celebrity sports figures and entertainers overseas to visit troops over the holidays happen. Gen. Dempsey will lead the group on a seven-day, four-country USO tour to five military venues. (Dates and locations are withheld for security reasons.)

This trip marks the second USO experience for Miles, who traveled on Gen. Dempsey’s first-ever USO holiday tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2011 and the first tour for LaRoche, Kelly, Light, the Robertson brothers and Haislip.

“I’ve wanted to take this tour for a long time and to finally be able to go and thank our service members is an honor," LaRoche said. "I’m looking forward to going over and getting to know these brave men and women and do whatever I can to bring them some holiday cheer.”

Willie Robertson sees the opportunity as a way of returning a small favor for all that troops do for Americans.

"We owe our servicemen and women and their families so much more than just a holiday or two; we owe them our thanks each and every day we are alive," Robertson said. "I am honored to have been invited to join the Chairman on his annual USO holiday tour and look forward to the trip.”

Even for a big, tough Super Bowl champ, Light is anxious to extend a light touch that can go a long way.

“This is the first chance I’ve ever had to go overseas to see firsthand what our service men and women face every day," Light said. "Most Americans see what they go through on TV or hear from other people, but to actually go over there and see their day-to-day life is something that I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to go over and bring a little bit of back home to them by sharing some stories and laughs and try to lift their spirits.”

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Photo caption: Gen. Dempsey addresses the crowd of troops during his first USO tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2011.  


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