Soldier for a day — Singer Kellie Pickler conquers Schofield Barracks

| November 25, 2016 | 0 Comments
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Country singer Kellie Pickler performs with her band for the Hawaii Army community at Weyand Field, Nov. 18, 2016. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field aboard Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Country singer Kellie Pickler performs with her band for the Hawaii Army community at Weyand Field, Nov. 18, 2016. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

Country singer shares Army life experiences during her USO tour

Story and photos by
Kristen Wong
Contributing Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Hawaii Army community gathered at Weyand Field, here, Nov. 18, for a free USO concert by country singer Kellie Pickler.

This date was the singer’s first time in Hawaii.

“It’s been absolutely beautiful,” Pickler said of the islands. “It’s been so amazing, so we look forward to coming back for sure.”

She performed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, too, Nov. 17, during her Hawaiian trip.

Country singer Kellie Pickler rappels down one of the smaller walls at the 25th ID Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Pickler and her group watched survival demonstrations at the academy, and rappelled. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field, here, Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

Country singer Kellie Pickler rappels down one of the smaller walls at the 25th ID Lightning Academy, Nov. 18.

Experiences
While in Hawaii, Pickler, her husband, Kyle Jacobs, and her bandmates kept busy with recreational activities, including skydiving.

After arriving, here, Pickler took pictures with Soldiers and their families at Bronco Café and the Outdoor Recreation Center.

The group also went to the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Academy for demonstrations, including setting up animal traps, building fires and crossing a one-rope bridge. They took turns rappelling down the academy’s walls.

Pickler performs with her band for the Hawaii Army community at Weyand Field, Nov. 18, 2016. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field aboard Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

Pickler performs with her band for the Hawaii Army community at Weyand Field, Nov. 18.

USO veteran
Pickler is currently on her 10th USO tour. She became interested in the USO in 2007 when she saw Toby Keith being interviewed about his work with the organization.

Pickler has performed worldwide, in places such as Italy, Afghanistan and Iraq. She has visited various military installations, such as Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Riley, Kan.;  and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

In September, she was one of the recipients of the Spirit of Hope Award, an award that honors people who have supported service members through various initiatives.

“We’re so blessed to have such a great relationship with the USO,” she said. “They enabled us to take ‘home’ to our service men and women serving all around the world.”

Pickler fuels a fire taco her husband, Kyle Jacobs, holds at the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Pickler and her group watched survival demonstrations at the academy, and rappelled. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field aboard Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

Pickler fuels a fire taco her husband, Kyle Jacobs, holds at the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Academy. 

Through her tours, Pickler said she has had many experiences, from riding on CH-47 Chinooks and UH-60 Black Hawks to shooting a howitzer. While she considered each of those moments “special in its own way,” Pickler said the most memorable moments are being able to hear personal stories from service members.

“These tours always put things into perspective for us,” she said. “It makes us count our blessings, and we’re very, very grateful for all our service members and things, and we’re so happy to be able to ‘take home’ to them. It’s truly a blessing.”

Sgt. Tyler Sullivan, an attack helicopter repairer with 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th ID, came to the concert because he loves country music and wanted to enjoy the free concert. It was the first time he’d seen Pickler in concert.

“The USO has always, always, always been good to us, said the West Palm Beach, Fla., native. “They’ve always put on great shows, always put great things together for the military in general. USO is a great thing.”

Sullivan said he’d like to see other country stars like Toby Keith or Tim McGraw come to perform in the future.

Pickler gives a big hug to Capt. Matthew Jones, an infantry officer with the Jungle Operations Course at the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Pickler and her group watched survival demonstrations at the academy, and rappelled. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field aboard Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

Pickler gives a big hug to Capt. Matthew Jones, an infantry officer with the Jungle Operations Course at the 25th ID Lightning Academy, Nov. 18.

Plenty of work
Pickler continues to keep busy, touring throughout the year. Last year, she released a line of merchandise inspired by her great-grandmother, Selma Drye, with the Grand Ole Opry.

She also recently finished filming the second season of “I Love Kellie Pickler,” a reality TV show on CMT. Her cover of “White Christmas” comes out today, and she plans to record more songs in January 2017.

“We’re staying busy,” she said. “It’s a good problem to have. A lot of people don’t have any work; so, we’re not going to complain about having work.”

Country singer Kellie Pickler and her group pose with members of the 25th Infantry Division Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Soldiers from the Jungle Operations Course gave survival demonstrations at the academy, and the group was given the opportunity to rappel. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field aboard Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

Country singer Kellie Pickler and her group pose with members of the 25th ID Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Soldiers from the Jungle Operations Course gave survival demonstrations at the academy, and the group was given the opportunity to rappel.

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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