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Mullen Readies USO Tour to Central, European Command Areas

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2008 – Musician Kid Rock and comedian Lewis Black have signed up for another hitch. The two entertainers will headline a United Service Organizations tour to bases in the Central Command and European Command areas of operations.

The men will accompany Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the trip, leaving tonight. Officials cannot release the exact schedule because of security concerns.

The pair made a similar USO trip last year that went from the sands of Baghdad to the snows of Afghanistan.

This is Kid Rock’s third trip to the combat zone. He is a versatile entertainer who started with rap music and has branched into rock, blues and country music. Black is a stand-up comedian, playwright and actor who entertained servicemembers during last year’s shows. This is his second trip to the region.

Kellie Pickler, a country singer who shot to fame on the TV reality show “American Idol,” also is along on the trip. A North Carolina native, Pickler has performed for troops in Iraq before.

Stand-up comedian Kathleen Madigan also joins the troupe. She has appeared on the late-night shows, HBO and Comedy Central.

Also participating are Tichina Arnold, an actress who appeared on the TV comedies “Martin” and “Everybody Hates Chris,” and John Bowman, a comedian and actor who has performed with Black.

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