Raleigh event brings Kellie Pickler to tears

Kellie Pickler delivers emotional speech to service members in Raleigh.
October 29, 2013 2:37:22 PM PDT
The 9th Annual Salute to Freedom Gala was held Saturday night in downtown Raleigh, and country music star Kellie Pickler was on hand to accept a special award.

The gala honored service members and people from the community who support the country's military heroes.

Pickler, an Albemarle native, received the "Heart for the Warrior" award from the USO of North Carolina.

Clearly moved by the honor, Pickler said she didn't feel deserving.

"I am so honored to be here. I am so blessed to have such a beautiful friendship with the people that make up the USO," she said through tears.

Click here to watch all of Pickler's acceptance speech.

"I come from a military family. I've always had a great deal of respect for our service men and women," Pickler said. "I work a lot with the USO, I love working with them. We've been able to do so many tours overseas."

Pickler did her first USO tour in 2007. Since then, she has lifted the spirits of more than 30,000 troops stationed in eight different countries.

"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. It's the right thing to do," Pickler said.

That is exactly why ABC11 was a proud sponsor of Saturday night's event in Raleigh.

This year, the USO honored ABC11 for its Heart of Patriot Award for ABC11's ongoing support for the USO of North Carolina and for the station's commitment to supporting American troops and their families.

ABC11 is honored to partner with the USO of North Carolina, and so is Pickler.

"The USO they've been doing this for over 60 years, you cannot compare your shows to any other shows you do. I wish I could donate my whole time to do those shows," Pickler said.

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