The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, spread Holiday Joy to the military service members stationed at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, with a USO Holiday Troop Tour, Dec. 9.
Country music artist Kellie Pickler, retired Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, actress Dianna Agron, comedian Rob Riggle, actress Meghan Markle, Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister and USO President Dr. J.D. Crouch II joined the Chairman's Holiday Tour.
Dempsey took to the stage, thanking the service members in attendance for everything they do.
"We all know the importance of what you guys are doing over here and we appreciate the remarkable job you all do. Whether it's your first tour or seventh tour of duty, thank you!" said Dempsey.
He then spoke of all the wonderful things the USO have done for the men and women of the Armed Forces since its inception in 1941, before thanking Dr. J.D. Crouch II, and his wife Kristin for joining him on the tour.
The show was kicked off by an unforgettable performance from comedian and Master of Ceremonies, Riggle, who entertained the troops with an abundance of jokes, poems, and even opened up the stage for a few questions from the approximately 500 service member's in attendance.
Riggle, a military veteran of more than 20 years was followed by Glee star Dianna Agron, who sang some of her favorite songs and encouraged the Troops to join her singing "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" further enhancing the holiday spirit inside the Air Force hanger.
After each performance, Riggle came back on stage to introduce the next guest who thanked the service members for their selfless service and shared a little bit about themselves and what this tour means to them.
"Every time I was on the field before a game and the National Anthem would play the hairs on my arms would stand on end, so it's an overwhelming honor to be here today," said retired Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher who was joined on stage by actress Meghan Markle and Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister.
Being stationed away from Family and friends during the Holiday Season can be a testing time, but seeing artists such as Kellie Pickler, on her 9th USO tour perform a plethora of hit songs, shows service members that the American people truly do care about them and believe in what they are doing.
"The USO Show was great. It was an amazing opportunity to get to meet a few stars and athletes such as Doug Fister and Brian Urlacher," said Cpl. Clint Underhill, a native of Evansville, Indiana, and a command driver for the 4th Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade. "Along with the athletes we had the chance to speak with General Campbell and General Dempsey. To see dignitaries such as them, take time out of their schedule to meet with myself and many other Soldiers during the holiday season was a real treat," he added.
For the past four days, the tour has been very busy visiting service members in Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Afghanistan before heading to Great Britain next, something that did not go unnoticed.
"It was extremely commendable for the celebrities that appeared to have taken time out of their busy schedules to show us, as serving veterans, support as we provide a level of freedom to our nation," said Spc. Andrea Rodriguez, from the 4th RSSB. "To me the experience was an enlightening morale booster for which I will have the pleasure of sharing with my peers in the years to come."