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> Jordin part of USO Holiday Tour, December 2011
jdanton2
post Dec 12th 2011, 5:11 PM
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Jordin does not take a break. she is going to perform for the troops. thumbsup.gif



http://www.cisionwire.com/uso-media-room/r...-staff,c9198915



General Martin Dempsey to Lead USO Holiday Tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

12/12/2011 4:33 PM EST

Jordin Sparks, Minka Kelly, Robert Horry and Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles to Join Chairman on Morale Boosting Trip

WHAT:

USO Holiday Tour Led By General Martin Dempsey

WHO:

19 Recordings/RCA Records recording artist/actress Jordin Sparks
Actress/model Minka Kelly
Seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry
Comic/’Steve Harvey Morning Show’ co-host Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles

WHEN:

December 2011

WHERE:

Various locations
Note. For security reasons the countries and tour dates cannot be released.

WHY:

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will soon journey overseas and lead his first-ever USO holiday tour featuring Jordin Sparks, Minka Kelly, Robert Horry and Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles. Continuing a time honored tradition, General Dempsey’s USO tour will deliver smiles and boost morale with countless opportunities for troops to take photos, obtain autographs and spend time with his star-studded guests.

The USO has worked with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2000. This fall, the USO bid a farewell to Admiral Mike Mullen, who led ten USO tours to 13 countries and lifted the spirits of more than 79,000 service members. Like many senior leaders before him, General Dempsey will ensure all Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors, Coast guardsmen and serving civilians are touched by leading his tour to four countries in eight days.

Taking a break to salute America’s troops, 19 Recordings/RCA Records recording artist Sparks just wrapped up filming her first major motion picture “Sparkle” and USO tour veteran/actress Kelly recently starred in the feature film “The Roommate” opposite Leighton Meester. Adding to the line up is seven-time NBA champion Horry, and Miles, who portrays widely popular ‘Nephew Tommy’ on the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

This trip will mark the first USO tour for Sparks, Horry and Miles, and the second for Kelly, who traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2008 and visited hundreds of troops and military families.

QUOTES:

Attributed to Jordin Sparks:
"It is such an honor to be invited by General Dempsey on his first official visit overseas as the new Chairman and to be a part of a USO holiday tour. I have such a profound respect for our men and women in uniform and can’t wait to thank them in person for their service."


Attributed to Minka Kelly:
“I really enjoyed my previous trip to Guantanamo Bay a couple of years ago as I learned so much. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the USO again and to accompany the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a real privilege.”

Attributed to Robert Horry:
“As the son of a former soldier I know too well the sacrifice our troops and their families make each and every day they put on their uniform. It is an honor for me to participate in this USO tour and accompany General Dempsey as he makes his way abroad to visit troops."

Attributed Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles:
“Making jokes is what I do for a living but I am taking this trip very seriously. It is a privilege to have been asked to accompany Chairman Dempsey on his annual USO holiday tour and I look forward to the trip."

Attributed to USO President Sloan Gibson:
"The USO is proud of our tradition of partnering with senior military leaders to deliver goodness and cheer to our troops, especially at the holidays. It is a great honor to support the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey on his trip to visit the troops and we extend our deepest gratitude to our celebrity volunteers who are so graciously donating their time at this important time of the year."

###

Oname Thompson, USO
(703) 908-6471
[email protected]

About the USO

The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.

The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Procter & Gamble. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit http://www.uso.org.





according to this Tweet Jordin will be in Afghanistan on Friday. thumbsup.gif


QUOTE

msavilla Michael Savilla
Im SSgt. Michael Savilla and i am in Bagram, Afghanistan. Just found out that you will be here friday.hope i can make it! @JordinSparks
2 hours ago


This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 12th 2011, 5:20 PM


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post Dec 12th 2011, 5:11 PM


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Mr.JordinSparks
post Dec 12th 2011, 7:36 PM
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This is great, I'm glad Jordin is staying busy thumbsup.gif


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post Dec 13th 2011, 3:01 AM
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stonash7
post Dec 13th 2011, 6:08 PM
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jdanton2
post Dec 14th 2011, 9:00 AM
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Jordin is on her way. thumbsup.gif


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
Just had some amazing, real Irish coffee at the airport in Ireland. And just had acupuncture on the plane. Seriously. I love it. original.gif
15 hours ago




QUOTE

countryfurtick Reginald Furtick
What up @JordinSparks and @MinkaKelly it was great 2 meet you guys 2day...#MuchLove #Beautiful!! pic.twitter.com/SMUsAQoY
9 minutes ago


QUOTE


IAmSteveHarvey Steve Harvey
Our own @nephewtommy is currently in mid air for the USO Tour with Minka Kelly, Robert Horry, and @jordinsparks! We will keep you posted!
1 minute ago


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jdanton2
post Dec 14th 2011, 1:58 PM
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Jordin is in Kuwait.



QUOTE

JoshuaMcGee_83 Joshua McGee
@JordinSparks I just saw you in Kuwait..thank you all so much for coming through showing some love for the soldiers!
19 minutes ago



QUOTE

TiffannieB Tiffannie Bond
@JordinSparks, #Eagles cheerleaders and @MinkaKelly saw the boy in Kuwait. Thanks for the smiles! #loveisabattlefield pic.twitter.com/XRdefHH9
5 minutes ago
https://twitter.com/#!/TiffannieB/statu...5890176/photo/1

This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 14th 2011, 2:00 PM


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jordinbsparks
post Dec 14th 2011, 7:59 PM
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Robert Horry and Jordin Sparks USO Tour 2011


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM3HxEgSHrI


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jdanton2
post Dec 15th 2011, 7:11 PM
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QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
I missed @EstelleDarlings by a few days over here! Saw your signed poster! original.gif
14 Dec


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
I have a new best friend: @minkakelly grin.gif
9 hours ago


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
I had an amazing time in Kuwait!! original.gif
9 hours ago


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
@
@RKHorry Hi Robert. Youre sitting across from me. *waves*
9 hours ago


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
Ditto!! grin.gif RT @minkakelly: Honored to be on this trip w u guys @the_uso @JUDEEANN @Rkhorry @nichetsmith @nephewtommy”
8 hours ago


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jdanton2
post Dec 16th 2011, 7:54 AM
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from someone who met Jordin. pic at link. thumbsup.gif


http://navybradbutler.blogspot.com/2011/12...tars-in-er.html



Friday, December 16, 2011
USO Stars in the ER
I got to meet Jordin Sparks and Robert Horry. They were on a USO tour that came through Kandahar. Jordin Sparks was very nice and I got my picture taken with her. We talked about the "west side" of Phoenix, and I told her I still live in Phoenix, work at Thunderbird, and was born at Maryvale. A family friend was her dad's high school football coach in Phoenix. She gave me grief about my UofA scrubs (thanks Amy, I wear them every day on call!). Jordin even sang for us and told us about her new movie coming out in August. It is a remake of 1976's "Sparkle" that she stars in with Whitney Houston. I told Robert Horry I was from Phoenix. He was not impressed;)
Posted by LCDR Butler at 12:30 AM

This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 16th 2011, 7:54 AM


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jdanton2
post Dec 16th 2011, 1:38 PM
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another press release.


http://www.cisionwire.com/uso-media-room/r...-minka,c9200392


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Kicks Off USO Holiday Tour with Help From Jordin Sparks, Minka Kelly, Robert Horry and ‘Nephew Tommy’

12/16/2011 9:50 AM EST

ARLINGTON, VA. (Dec. 16, 2011) – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey leads his first-ever USO holiday tour overseas, bringing with him 19 Recordings/RCA Records recording artist Jordin Sparks, actress/model Minka Kelly, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry and comedian Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles. **USO Photos Included, See Below**

Details:

This tour is part of an ongoing USO tradition of partnering with senior leaders and working with celebrity entertainers to bring a touch of home to troops stationed abroad. The USO has worked with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2000. This fall, the USO bid a farewell to Admiral Mike Mullen, who led ten USO tours to 13 countries, lifting the spirits of more than 79,000 service members
General Dempsey’s eight-day, four-country USO tour is designed to deliver a much-needed break to those on the front lines by ensuring all Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors, Coast guardsmen and serving civilian employees get the chance to take photos, obtain autographs and spend time with his star-studded guests.
So far, this tour has visited more than 7 military locations and lifted the spirits of more than 3,100 service men and women stationed in Kuwait. Among some of the places visited so far, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, Camp Buehring, Camp Virginia and Camp Arifjan among others.
This trip will mark the first USO tour for Sparks, Horry and Miles, and the second for Kelly, who traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2008 and visited hundreds of troops and military families.
19 Recordings/RCA Records recording artist Sparks has released two albums since her big win on “American Idol” in 2007. Known for such hits as “No Air,” “Battlefield” and “S.O.S.,” she has toured with Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers and Brittany Spears, and won scores of awards including, two BET Awards, one American Music Award and one People’s Choice Award. Sparks will make her feature film debut in 2012 with SONY Pictures’ “Sparkle” starring Whitney Houston.
USO tour veteran/actress Kelly, best known for her role as ‘Lyla Garrity’ on NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” recently starred in ABC’s iconic series “Charlie’s Angles.” Her recent film credits include “The Roommate” opposite Leighton Meester, Mark Webb’s “500 Days of Summer” and Peter Berg’s “The Kingdom” starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner.
Seven-time NBA champion Horry retired from basketball in 2008 after played 16 seasons for the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. One of only nine players to have won seven or more championships in the NBA, he holds the record for greatest number of three-pointers in the NBA Finals with 53, eclipsing Michael Jordan’s 42. Horry is also the son of a soldier.
Actor, comedian, producer and entrepreneur, Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles wears many hats and has built a career that spans radio, television, film and more. The co-host of the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” Miles entertains more than 7 million listeners daily with his comedic antics and colorful characters.

Quotes:

Attributed to Jordin Sparks:
"I have had such a blast on this trip. It is funny, you have in your mind what you think this trip will be like, but then you fly over and it is nothing like you expected… it is more. Chairman Dempsey, the USO, all the military personnel on the ground have all been amazing and I salute them for their service.”


Attributed to Minka Kelly:
“General Dempsey’s USO holiday tour has been nothing short of amazing. Everyone I have met and spent time with are extraordinary. There are no words to describe how I am feeling. I am in complete awe of everything and cannot them everyone enough.”

Attributed to Robert Horry:
“I’ve always been big on family. And now thanks to General Dempsey and the USO, I have an even bigger one made up of all of the men and women I’ve met on this trip. Each of them hold a great amount of responsibility and do so with dignity and skill. I will keep them all close to my hear and pray for their safe return home."

Attributed Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles:
“This trip has been life-changing. Never before have I seen so many young men and women carry such great weight on their shoulders and do so with ease and skill. They are all examples of who we should be and I can’t thank them enough."

Attributed to USO President Sloan Gibson:
"As we celebrate the holidays and look towards 2012, the USO is looks forward to continuing our mission of supporting troops and their families. Partnerships with senior military leaders like General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and our celebrity volunteers make it possible for us to deliver the gift of home to our men and women in uniform and to let them know that America appreciates their sacrifices."




also



http://www.eurweb.com/2011/12/comedian-tho...roops-soldiers/




You are here: Home / Entertainment / Thomas (Nephew Tommy) Mile’s Hilarious Details of USO Visit to Kuwait
Thomas (Nephew Tommy) Mile’s Hilarious Details of USO Visit to Kuwait
December 16, 2011 Leave a Comment


thomas miles and troops*Comedian Thomas Miles a/k/a Nephew Tommy from the Steve Harvey radio show, has taken his comedic talents on the road to bring a smile to the faces of US troops and soldiers .

Miles, who documented his first trip to Kuwait, was joined by the likes of actress Minka Kelly, former NBA star Robert Horry, and singer Jordin Sparks.

He wrote in a post to EURweb that the troops were ready for some “ignorance” and he provided them with a good dosage. On the serious tip, Miles also noted how the visit is affecting him:

“This trip has been life-changing. Never before have I seen so many young men and women carry such great weight on their shoulders and do so with ease and skill. They are all examples of who we should be and I can’t thank them enough.”

Miles also mentioned how much the troops love the Steve Harvey Show. Check out Nephew Tommy’s hilarious description of his first day in Kuwait:

Wednesday December 15, 2011

We arrived in Kuwait at 6:35AM…(which is really 10:35pm Tuesday night back in the states). So my body wants to sleep …but it’s time to get the day going. We were picked up at Air Force 2 by shuttle buses. The shuttle drivers must be from New York … cause he’s driving like the cab drivers in the city. I mean really … he can’t drive at ALL!!!

To my surprise the hotel was really classy…everyone who knows me…knows how particular I am about hygiene. This place was really cool and very clean. But we got no time to hang out in the room …we’re off to the Embassy … this place is like Fort Knox … you can’t get in unless they want you in … and even though they were expecting us … it still took forty minutes before we got in the door. This place in manned by Marines. It is the major focal point of information in Kuwait. These guys are serious…so I don’t laugh or crack jokes…they have no room for my ignorance. But they welcomed us with open arms and were very delighted that we stopped by… we took pictures with everyone and then we were off to the 1st military base … by the way, we still have the same driver in the shuttle …he’s a native of Kuwait … so I’m real nervous.

First base was Camp Moreell … we had lunch there and shortly afterwards we took pictures with several troops. Most of the brothers were playing domino’s … Robert Horry and I were dieing to get in the game…but we got a line of people who want pictures and we gotta keep moving to the next base. So look out Camp Virginia here we come. It’s amazing to me how they appreciate us for coming over … but WE
shouldn’t be the recipients of appreciation … all of that belongs to them. I’ve always respected men and women in the armed forces … but now … It’s on an entire different level. Sad to say that we have to see things with our own eyes before true appreciation is given.

Last stop was Camp Beuhring (Bur-ing). Time for the USO Show. We arrive around 5pm…show starts at 7:30pm. So we got time for dinner… which was very good. Throughout the entire dinner troops approached us left and right. I had no idea how many fans The Steve Harvey Morning Show had … God Is Good.

The troops were anxiously waiting for us to get started. As soon as thery called my name… The Ignorance began!! I enjoyed them and they enjoyed ignorance at it’s best. Mr. Robert Horry and Minka Kelly came out and showed much love to the troops. Robert expanded on how his love has always been with the troops considering his father was in the service for over 27 years. And last but not least…the winner of the 6th season of American Idol Ms. Jordin Sparks hit the stage and sung the lights out … That girl can SING!!!

Now it’s a two hour journey back to our hotel…but the best thing about
this ride … WE GOT A NEW DRIVER…

THANK GOD!!!

Learn more about the USO trip to Kuwait here and see MORE photos here.



also photos here. thumbsup.gif


https://uso.box.com/s/e9vj9br0ztgxlefi96f5




also tweeted from Jordin.


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
Its so important that we support our troops. Im having an amazing time here overseas & getting to say thank you face to face. heart.gif
4 hours ago


This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 16th 2011, 1:41 PM


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jdanton2
post Dec 17th 2011, 4:07 PM
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tweets from Jordin.


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
I really enjoyed my time in Kuwait & Afghanistan meeting the troops at some of the bases! Onto the next location! original.gif
10 hours ago



QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
I dont know what I was laughing at! That was fun! grin.gif RT @reganyoung: singing hallelujah with @jordinsparks twitrpix.com/jgrm
10 hours ago







they love Jordin over there. flowers.gif


https://www.facebook.com/TheMADGirls/posts/310020762354321


The M.A.D. Girls, Inc.
‎@jordinsparks and @nichetsmith are making a difference on the USO tour in the Middle East!....."Just thought I would let all of Jordin's fans know that she is the real deal. Elegance and humility is a beautiful thing. She cheered us on like we were something special. We will never forget her kindness at Camp Patriot Kuwait. I am the starry-eyed guy in the middle with the big ears."
Like · Comment · 2 hours ago ·







also Jordin singing about 50 seconds of Faith .



http://vimeo.com/33763305


Jordin Sparks singing to us, USO Tour Kuwait - 15 DEC 2011
by Madison Jonas
2 days ago

This video was taken from my camera during the USO tour of my base. I asked Jordin if she would sing with me. So me and my guys sang her, "I'll be home for Christmas" and she sang for us acapella. A true delight.

"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will commence his first USO holiday tour in his new position that will feature singing sensation Jordin Sparks, actress Minka Kelly, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry and comedian and co-host of "The Steve Harvey Morning Show" Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles. " uso.org



also a few of them singing to Jordin .


http://vimeo.com/33762496




Singing to Jordin Sparks, USO Tour Kuwait - 15 DEC 2011
by Madison Jonas
2 days ago

This video was taken from my camera during the USO tour of my base. I asked Jordin if she would sing with me. So me and my guys sang her, "I'll be home for Christmas" and she sang for us acapella. A true delight.

"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will commence his first USO holiday tour in his new position that will feature singing sensation Jordin Sparks, actress Minka Kelly, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry and comedian and co-host of "The Steve Harvey Morning Show" Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles. " uso.org

This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 17th 2011, 4:33 PM


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jordinbsparks
post Dec 17th 2011, 7:04 PM
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@JordinSparks It was great meeting you! Pics from KAF visit!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jsc_a/sets/72157628454401765/


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jdanton2
post Dec 18th 2011, 10:16 AM
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in this pic Jordin was performing Tattoo. hope some more video's show up. thumbsup.gif


http://www.dvidshub.net/image/500625/uso-h...am#.Tu4DRPJQCdk


Singer Jordin Sparks performs “Tattoo” as part of a USO Holiday Troop Visit Dec. 16. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey led the star-studded group, which included Sparks, Minka Kelly, Robert Horry and Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles, to boost morale and deliver holiday cheer to troops deployed overseas.


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jdanton2
post Dec 19th 2011, 11:27 AM
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Jordin is in Saudi Arabia. thumbsup.gif


QUOTE

JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
Did a USO tour stop in Saudi Arabia. Brought a troop on stage & sang No Air to him. original.gif I loved wearing an abaya. say.ly/Sap19Ah
2 minutes ago
http://www.whosay.com/JordinSparks/photos/107085






looks like the last night of the tour.

QUOTE
RKHorry Robert Horry
Last night of the USO trip I'm going to miss @nephewtommy @minkakelly @JordinSparks @JUDEEANN @NichetSmith such great peeps and thank u USO
5 minutes ago





Jordin and the others in this video. thumbsup.gif



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6kxqKUE_mQ...mp;feature=plcp



Uploaded by BradyzGurl on Dec 19, 2011

We saw Minka Kelly! Jordin Sparks! Nephew Tommy! and Robert Horry!






Jordin singing part of No Air in this one. thumbsup.gif



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krUDG7E8Ysg


Uploaded by FaithStudiosVA on Dec 17, 2011

The USO Presents "Holiday With The Troops" Until Every One Comes Home" Featuring: Nephew Tommy, Minka Kelly, Robert Horry and Jordin Sparks
16DEC2011 in Bagram Afghanistan.






QUOTE

JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
I had so much fun w/ @RKHorry @nephewtommy @minkakelly @JUDEEANN @NichetSmith! Great people w/ huge hearts!! Im gonna miss you! original.gif
6 minutes ago


This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 19th 2011, 2:55 PM


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jordinbsparks
post Dec 19th 2011, 7:24 PM
Post #15



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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hudsJeGZYdw

http://www.dvidshub.net/video/133251/uso-h...er#.Tu-VFzWcA5E

http://twitter.com/#!/briana_janee

Oh and did I mention that Jordin Sparks is also gorgeous in real life... And her voice is soo much better in person

Jordin Sparks just pointed at me!!! She wants me!! #mylifeiscomplete

http://twitter.com/#!/SiiMply_Leo31b

I don't think y'all realize how freaking gorgeous Jordin Sparks is in person 😳

I feel like she's singing to me personally...cuz she's singing my favorite Christmas song *faints*

I think I jus fell in love 😳😍

😳she waved at me! 😱

Since I believe all women have lesbian tendencies..I feel I have a chance with Jordin..I'm gon catch her backstage..use my army rank 😳

I almost ran over a kid who was in my way😡

Call me a groupie..I dun care..you'll get over it in a few hours

She was walking too fast..but strangely it still turned out good.. http://yfrog.com/obkhorej

Jordin had me thinkin bout marriage there for a sec lol😪

Her entrance... http://yfrog.com/5tug7z



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jdanton2
post Dec 20th 2011, 12:02 PM
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Jordin is back in the US. thumbsup.gif

QUOTE

JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
So honored to be at the Andrews Air Force Base & going to witness the Return of the US Forces Iraq Colors. Welcome home! #thankful original.gif
57 minutes ago



QUOTE

USOEntertains USO Entertainment
#USOTour vets @JordinSparks @minkakelly @nephewtommy &RobertHorry have been invited to attend ceremony for the returnof theflag from Iraq!
27 minutes ago



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jdanton2
post Dec 20th 2011, 3:23 PM
Post #17



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nice to see the troops come home and even better Jordin gets to be part of this great event. thumbsup.gif



http://www.contactmusic.com/news/jordin-sp...om-iraq_1278434



Jordin Sparks - Jordin Sparks And Minka Kelly Welcome Home Us Forces From Iraq
20 December 2011 19:11
Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks And Minka Kelly Welcome Home Us Forces From Iraq



Singer Jordin Sparks and actress Minka Kelly have paid tribute to the US Armed Forces by welcoming home the last combat soldiers from Iraq in a special ceremony on Tuesday (20Dec11).

The two stars have become fast friends over the past few days after completing a whirlwind tour of Army bases in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan to meet and greet American troops for the holidays.

They landed back in the US this week (begs19Dec11), and on Tuesday headed straight to the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to celebrate the return of the last of the soldiers from the War in Iraq.

US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were also in attendance.

Tweeting from the Army Base, former Charlie's Angels star Kelly wrote, "Welcome home!!!!!! Last combat unit out of Iraq has landed..."

"What an ending to a life changing adventure. Beyond honored to b at the Andrews Air Force Base for the Return of the US Forces Iraq Colors."

And No Air hitmaker Sparks was equally excited to be present for such an historic event.

In a post on Twitter.com, she wrote, "So honored to be at the Andrews Air Force Base & going to witness the Return of the US Forces Iraq Colors. Welcome home! thankful original.gif"




another article.



http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66553




USO Carries on 70-Year Legacy of Troop Support

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2011 – Returning home today from his first multi-country USO holiday tour, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff continued a popular tradition that’s become part of the United Services Organization’s 70-year legacy.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Robert Horry, Jordan Sparks, Minka Kelly and Nephew Tommy pose for a photo after performing a show on Camp Buehring, Kuwait, during this year’s USO holiday tour, Dec. 14, 2011. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., this morning after hosting a tour that featured seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry, singing sensation Jordin Sparks, actress Minka Kelly and comedian and co-host of “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles.

While Dempsey met troops in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Germany during the whirlwind trip, the performers provided the entertainment.

The USO tour, Dempsey’s first as the top U.S. military officer, is part of a decades-old tradition. Through its history, the USO has brought Hollywood celebrities and volunteer entertainers to perform for the troops – including the beloved Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ann Sheridan, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Fred Astaire, the Andrews Sisters and more.

At its high point in 1944, just three years after its founding, curtains were rising on USO shows 700 times a day.

That popularity seemed almost unimaginable when the USO was founded Feb. 4, 1941, and opened its first center in a small storefront smack in the middle of New York’s Times Square.

The organization was founded at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request with the solid mission of lifting the spirits of service members and their families, Brian Whiting, president and CEO of the USO of Metropolitan New York, told American Forces Press Service.

It was a unique experiment that brought together six service agencies that had been working independently to support the military. The six stars on the USO logo continue to pay tribute to these organizations: the Salvation Army, National Catholic Community Services, National Jewish Welfare Board, National Travelers Aid Association, and the YMCA and YWCA.

Ultimately growing to about 3,000 centers during World War II, the USO provided a “home away from home” for the military, Whiting said. USO centers hosted dances,
social events, movies and music. They also offered quiet refuge where troops could write a letter home or enjoy a free cup of coffee and a snack.

Now with operations consolidated into about 160 centers, the USO continues to serve its historic mission of caring for military members, their families, and especially forward-deployed troops, Whiting said.

The tiny, initial USO facility has relocated to a larger space in the busy Port Authority Bus Terminal complex, he said, but remains focused like a laser beam on its original mission.

“First and foremost, we are about making sure that we can provide any- and everything that we possibly can to troops and their families,” he said, whether through the USO or another not-for-profit organization.

Like many USOs that now operate at airports to provide an oasis for and assist military travelers, the New York one keeps busy helping military tourists as they visit the Big Apple.

In addition to information about places to go and sites to see, one of its most favorite offerings is free and reduced-price theater tickets. The New York USO provides nearly $3 million in discounted and complementary tickets every year, Whiting reported.

In addition to providing tickets to nearly impossible-to-get-ahold of productions such as Phantom of the Opera, and thousands of tickets to Mary Poppins, the USO has arranged more than 16,000 troops to enjoy private showings of the Christmas spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.

The USO staff participates in every deployment and homecoming in the area, and partners with a broad range of organizations to provide other services. Among them is the United Through Reading program that enables troops away from their loved ones to record a storybook and send it to a son or daughter at home. In another effort, the USO distributed thousands of donated bicycles to local military children.

Since the 9/11 terror attacks here, the New York USO’s most regular patrons are members of the New York National Guard supporting the Empire Shield security mission. When they’re not manning their posts or patrolling busy transportation hubs, they seek refuge in the comfort and quiet of the well-appointed USO facility, or at smaller USO break rooms in Grand Central Station and Penn Station.

“This is where they can come in with their weapons and other personal belongings, and they can take off the nearly 100 pounds that they are carrying and be able to enjoy a sandwich,” Whiting said. “They are here morning, noon and night.”

Throughout the USO’s history, volunteers have been the glue that has enabled it to stay true to its original mission, he said.

Among those at the Times Square center is Army Capt. Jacquie Jordan, who puts in time at the reception desk in between Master’s degree studies at nearly Colombia University to prepare her to teach at the U.S. Military Academy.

Jordan called her service at the USO a chance to stay connected with service members while she’s temporarily away from the ranks, and an opportunity to repay some of what the USO has provided her over her career.

“The thing that keeps me in the Army is soldiers, and this is a way to be able to give back to them,” she said. “I love that we [at the USO] can help them in what can be an overwhelming city, and provide them a home away from home.”

Tom Flagg, a six-year volunteer in New York, first learned about the USO when his son, Air Force 1st Lt. Tyler Flagg, raved about the services he received during a long airport layover in Denver. Flagg checked out the New York USO facility that he’d walked past for 30 years, and soon started volunteering his services, followed by his wife.

“This is the best-kept secret in New York,” he said. “You are safe here. The coffee is free.

“And the best part is, we get to do for [military members] who have done so much for us,” he said. “They are the ones out there doing the heavy lifting. This is the least I can do for them.”

Joan Ashner, a volunteer at the Times Square center, recently was singled out from about 18,000 USO volunteers nationwide as the 2011 USO volunteer of the year. Ashner is a fixture at the New York center, volunteering her services about 35 hours a week. When a blizzard crippled the city last year and brought mass transportation to a standstill, she single-handedly opened and operated the center for five days straight to help more than 800 stranded service members and their families, Whiting reported.

Army Sgt. Sergio Rodriguez, a New York National Guard member supporting the Empire Shield mission, credited the USO volunteers and staff for providing the same level of support and respite Roosevelt had in mind 70 years ago.

“Whenever I go anywhere, I look for the USO,” he said. “They make you feel at home and can guide you in the right direction.

“Plus,” he said, pausing as he bit into a cookie, then looking up with a smile, “they have awesome snacks.”

Army Staff Sgt. Neftali Perez, a member of the New York National Guard’s 27th Brigade Combat Team, called the USO “the best thing going for the military.”

“The USO is our family,” he said. “We can rely on them for anything. They support the troops, and have been doing it for many years.”

This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 20th 2011, 3:39 PM


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jdanton2
post Dec 21st 2011, 12:21 PM
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thumbsup.gif

QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
Kuwait. Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia. Germany. So amazing visiting all those places. But there's no place like home. original.gif
2 hours ago



Jordin and a soldier singing. thumbsup.gif


QUOTE
JordinSparks Jordin Sparks
heart.gif RT @reganyoung: Video singing Hallelujah w @JordinSparks in Afghanistan. Thx 4 the wonderful opp & for visiting!!! vimeo.com/34028738”
25 minutes ago


http://vimeo.com/34028738

This post has been edited by jdanton2: Dec 21st 2011, 12:21 PM


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Mygecko18
post Dec 21st 2011, 1:02 PM
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^^^ wish it was longer and i bet Jordin sings the melody at some point


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Mr.JordinSparks
post Dec 22nd 2011, 12:21 AM
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Very honorable of her to do this original.gif

QUOTE(jdanton2 @ Dec 21st 2011, 12:21 PM) *

thumbsup.gif
Jordin and a soldier singing. thumbsup.gif
http://vimeo.com/34028738

Her ability to harmonize is so effortless, she has a great ear.


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