It's safe to say: Not too many brides would consider a jaunt to the Middle East an ideal honeymoon. However, American Idol alum Kellie Pickler and her husband of one year, Kyle Jacobs, ended up there a few days after their wedding--and both wouldn't change a thing.
Pickler and Jacobs made a spur of the moment decision to elope instead of going through with a formal wedding, which left them with little time to arrange their schedules. Their private ceremony on January 1, 2011, was on a Caribbean island, where they spent a couple days on the beach enjoying what most would consider a regular honeymoon...and then the couple hopped a plane to Iraq.
The reason? Pickler had already booked a tour with the USO to entertain U.S. troops overseas, and she wasn't about to go back on her word.
"It was so romantic," she joked in a recent interview with Parade. "No, it was just that I had already committed to going over there and I wasn't going to cancel because that wouldn't have been right."
It turns out that Pickler's husband actually enjoyed sharing his brand-new wife with the troops. "Kyle loved it," Picker admitted. "It was such a great experience for him to be a part of. It's not every day that you get to be a part of something so big and so special."
Pickler is a staunch supporter of the USO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to lifting the spirits of America's troops and their families. She's completed four tours to date and is happy to be of service. "Out of everything that I've ever been able to be a part of, the USO is the one that I'm most proud of and honored to be able to work with. What they're doing for our military is so great," she explains.
Pickler, who released her latest album 100 Proof in January, is currently participating in Ram Trucks' "Road to the Ram Jam," a country music series which offers fans a chance to attend an all-star Nashville concert at the end of the year. Pickler has earmarked proceeds from her participation to benefit the USO.