Kellie Pickler deciding she wouldn’t be spending this Christmas with friends and family, or at a fancy Hollywood party, or even at home in front of the television.
Instead, the American Idol finalist and Dancing With the Stars winner traveled halfway around the world to visit American service members in southern Afghanistan. Pickler arrived to shake hands, sing a few songs, and thank the service members for their sacrifices, even as support for the war in Afghanistan has reached a new low.
Still, the country remains very dangerous. In the last 10 days, there have been eight Americans killed, including six in a helicopter crash about 100 miles from where Kellie Pickler and her band performed on Christmas.
Pickler said she remains a supporter of the effort.
“Who is that? She is a very pretty woman. Will she take a picture with me?” said Edris Searat, an Afghan interpreter working with the U.S. Air Force.
While Kellie Pickler has never served in armed forces herself, the singer said she has gone through her own version of “boot camp” — American Idol.
“With American Idol, you develop backward as an artist because it’s more like a karaoke show where you’re singing cover songs from different genres that don’t necessarily fit you as an artist,” she told Newsday earlier this year. “It’s almost like musical boot camp, but in a good way. You learn quickly about the touring process and the whole recording process.”
Kellie Pickler is familiar with real war efforts. She has traveled on six USO tours, including trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.