Kellie Pickler to Receive Special Patriot Award Honoring Chris Kyle
Kellie Pickler will be honored for her dedication to America's servicemen and women with a very special award.
Pickler frequently performs for troops both in the U.S. and overseas, having toured with the USO eight times. She is set to receive the first-ever Operation Troop Aid Chris Kyle Patriot Award at LP Field in Nashville on June 13, after she performs the National Anthem during the CMA Music Festival. Formerly called the Operation Troop Aid Patriot Award, it's been renamed this year in honor of Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL whose life was the subject of American Sniper. Kyle's parents will be on hand to present Pickler with the award.
"I think it will be by far the most incredible thing I've been able to be a part of in my career, absolutely," Pickler tells Rolling Stone Country. "We have worked with the USO for years and it's something that means so much to me."
Operation Troop Aid provides care packages for U.S. troops on deployment. Pickler is a longtime supporter of the organization. "I just think it's so important that our servicemen and women and our veterans and their families know that what they do, we don’t take for granted," she says. "It will be a special night and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also a little nervous ... my number one goal that night is to make sure [Kyle's parents] and his wife know that we do not take what Chris did for granted."
Though she's receiving a big honor, Pickler wants to keep the focus on others. "I didn't get in line to work with the USO and the Wounded Warrior Foundation and all the other organizations to be patted on the back for it," she says. "So for me, that evening is not about me. It's about all of our servicemen and women and their families and the sacrifices they've made."
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