News: American Idol visits American heroes
Story by Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky
Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Public Affairs Office
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq – Though she may be best known for her red high heels, country artist and former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler traded her heels for something a little more comfortable in order to visit the troops on the ground in Iraq.
On Dec. 8, Pickler visited Forward Operating Base Kalsu to lend her voice to help boost Soldier morale.
Pickler, whose visit was part of a six-day tour throughout Iraq, said she volunteered to perform at smaller bases like Kalsu that are often overlooked by performers.
"It is nice to come and bring a little bit of home to the Soldiers," Pickler said.
To bring that piece of America here for the holidays, Pickler sang six songs, including her top-40 hits, "I Wonder" and "Red High Heels".
Helping perform those songs were two 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers, Pvt. Andrea Mixon and Sgt. Tiatiana Rieloff.
Both military police said they were huge fans of Pickler and enjoyed a chance to interact with one of their idols.
"It's the first time I've laughed since I got here," Rieloff said after singing back-up.
While also singing back-up, Mixon said she was glad her role put her in the limelight when a film crew focused in on her act.
"It got me on TV," she said.
Pickler said she will bring back plenty of memories from her tour.
Known for incorporating personal memories into her music, Pickler said a major reason she writes and sings country music, is because it is a genre that allows her to write such songs. It is also a major reason why several Soldiers said they enjoy her music.
Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Williams, S2, intelligence section non-commissioned officer in charge, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said she enjoys Pickler's music because it tells stories that everyone can relate to, and was pleased that she visited Kalsu.
Pickle said she plans to incorporate memories of her Iraq visit, including Kalsu, into future music.
"Gosh, it is just amazing what you see over here," she said.