General Martin Dempsey to Embark on His Last USO Holiday Tour as Nation’s 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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Joining the General on his six-day, five-country USO tour are Dianna Agron, Doug Fister, Meghan Markle, Kellie Pickler, Rob Riggle and Brian Urlacher

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I am honored to join General Dempsey on his final USO holiday tour and help him, and our celebrity volunteers spread some much-needed holiday cheer to troops during one of the most difficult times of year...," said J.D. Crouch II, CEO and President, USO.

WHAT:    USO Holiday Tour Led By Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey

WHO:    Star of the Fox musical drama “Glee” Dianna Agron
Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister
Star of the USA Network legal drama “Suits” Meghan Markle
Country music artist/USO veteran entertainer Kellie Pickler
Actor/comedian Rob Riggle
Eight-time Pro Bowler/former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher

WHEN:        December 2014

WHERE:    Various locations
Note. For security reasons, the country names and tour dates cannot be released at this time.

WHY:    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will close out his four-year appointment as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a festive note as he prepares to lead his fourth and final USO Holiday tour abroad. Joining the Chairman on what will be a moment-filled six-day, five-country journey abroad are star of the Fox musical drama “Glee” Dianna Agron, Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister, star of the USA Network legal drama “Suits” Meghan Markle, country music artist/USO veteran entertainer Kellie Pickler, actor/comedian Rob Riggle and eight-time Pro Bowler/former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Part of an ongoing USO tradition of partnering with senior leaders and working with celebrity entertainers to bring a touch of home to troops abroad during the holiday season, General Dempsey led his first USO tour in December 2011. To date (not including this tour), the Chairman has led three USO holiday tours to eight different countries and created moments for 22,158 troops. He has also enlisted the support of 22 USO veteran entertainers, to include Jordin Sparks, Minka Kelly, Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles, Matt Hendricks, Matt Light, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen, Adam LaRoche, and Jep and Willie Robertson. Among the countries he has visited with the USO are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia.

This trip will mark the eighth USO tour for Pickler, who traveled with General Dempsey in 2012 and spent Christmas with troops in Afghanistan last year; the second for Riggle, who not only traveled to Kuwait and Iraq in 2007 but also served in the U.S. Marines Corps for 23 consecutive years; and the first USO experience for Agron, Fister, Markle and Urlacher.

QUOTE:    Attributed to J.D. Crouch II, CEO and President, USO:
“As millions of Americans all over the world are busy preparing for the holidays and making plans to reunite with their families and friends, hundreds of thousands of troops are far away from the comforts of home, sacrificing time away from their loved ones. I am honored to join General Dempsey on his final USO holiday tour and help him, and our celebrity volunteers spread some much-needed holiday cheer to troops during one of the most difficult times of year, the holidays.”

NOTE:    The USO’s “Every Moment Counts” invites Americans to join the USO and the Chairman’s Office in honoring, saluting and creating moments that matter for our nation’s troops and their families this holiday – like the 2014 Chairman USO holiday tour. The campaign centers around the countless every day moments – from family dinners and date nights to children’s births and bedtime stories – that our troops and their families selflessly sacrifice due to their commitment and service to our country. To learn more visit USOmoments.org.

About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

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