Many country music stars have great big hearts, and Kellie Pickler is definitely one of them. She received the Heart for the Warrior Award from the USO of North Carolina on Saturday (Oct. 19) at the Ninth Annual Salute to Freedom Gala in Raleigh, N.C. 

The Heart for the Warrior Award is given to those who continuously lift the spirits of troops and their families, and Pickler has done that many, many times with selfless service and contributions, ranging from covering Maxim's military issue to sending gift baskets to even getting tattoos to commemorate her USO tours.

The singer, who comes from a military family, participated in her first USO tour in 2007 and hasn't stopped since. The 'Someone Somewhere Tonight' hitmaker has performed for more than 30,000 troops stationed in eight different countries, gracing them with her undeniable talent and lifting their spirits.

“I am so honored to be here,” said Pickler during her acceptance speech. “I am so blessed to have such a beautiful friendship with the people that make up the USO.  I come from a military family. I've always had a great deal of respect for our servicemen and women."

Added the singer, "I work a lot with the USO, I love working with them. We've been able to do so many tours overseas. To be in a position where you can take a little piece of home to your service men and women, why would you not do that? They need to know we have their back because they have ours.”

Along with presenting the songstress with the award, the gala also honored service members and people from the community who support America’s military heroes. The festivities included a live auction which included a signed guitar from Pickler, and in total the auction raised $81,550.

In addition to receiving awards, Pickler is readying her newest album, 'The Woman I Am,' which streets Nov. 11. The troops worldwide are most definitely grateful for the woman Pickler is!

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