By Joseph Andrew Lee
Service members across the world are being treated to Santa hats, laughs and a whole lot of music.
This year’s USO Holiday Tour tour is visiting six military bases, putting on five shows and bring cheer to every branch of America’s armed forces. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts featuring the American entertainers have are already popping up of service members interacting with the USO entourage.
“It is amazing each and every time we get a chance to go out and do something for our troops,” said Chris Daughtry, front man and founder of the four-time Grammy-nominated rock band Daughtry. “They have the real job. They do the hard work and we get to have fun and play music for a living because of them. So, anytime I can link up with the USO to visit and perform is always awesome and is our way of saying thank you.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. and USO President and CEO Dr. J.D. Crouch II lead a troupe that includes Daughtry, Emmy-nominated actress, producer and director Elizabeth Banks, comedian Sydney Castillo, Boston Red Sox pitchers Heath Hembree and Steven Wright, songwriters Kyle Jacobs, Brett James and Billy Montana and longtime comedian-producer-director David Wain.
“This trip marks my sixth USO tour in five years,” said Kyle Jacobs, on his first USO tour without wife Kellie Pickler. “She really wanted to be with me and visit our troops but couldn’t make it out this time.”
The USO Holiday Tour was started in an effort to lift the spirits of 200,000 service members stationed overseas at any given time, separated from their family and friends and the comforts of home during the holiday season.
“I am honored to join Gen. Dunford and the amazing talent on this year’s chairman’s USO holiday troop visit who have volunteered their time to help us bring a touch of home to those who deserve our appreciation: the men and women of the armed forces,” Crouch said.