LOS ANGELES – More than one hundred uniformed U.S sailors are getting ready to party with Paris Hilton during New York’s Fleet Week ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, as Pop Tarts has exclusively learned that the hotel heiress has taken on the role of official “celebrity ambassador” for the USO’s new initiative, “Song For Soldiers.”
“I’m always looking for ways I can use my voice as a celebrity and I think there is nothing more worthwhile and patriotic than supporting our troops. When I first heard about the Songs for Soldiers initiative it immediately touched my heart,” Hilton told Pop Tarts. “It’s so easy to take for granted our freedom and happiness and forget about those who are endangering their lives every day to make it possible. Songs for Soldiers is a simple way to show you care.”
With 180,000 troops currently deployed, the goal of the new program is to give a new MP3 player to every single active duty service member in Iraq and Afghanistan after a research study by the City University of New York concluded that music is one of the most prominent stress relievers for U.S. service men and women. Each player will be pre-loaded with songs from a variety of artists who have donated their music to this effort. Furthermore, the USO Songs for Soldiers MP3 players, created by FlatFlash Duo, can also store pictures, video and documents, fitting easily into a wallet or small pocket.
Hilton will launch the program and lead the way this Wednesday night at “A Swingin’ Salute” To Our Troops bash, complete with 40’s classic swing dancing. However it seems the 29-year-old plans to swing a lot further in the coming months.
“I would love to visit our troops! I hope that once we meet this goal I can personally be a part of the trip overseas to deliver these players into the hands of the troops. I would find that very rewarding, it is something I have always wanted to do,” she said.
And the Songs for Soldiers creator, Tom Wiggins, is beyond excited to have the Hollywood socialite/reality star/entrepreneur on-board.
"Paris continues a long standing tradition of female A-list stars supporting initiatives for our troops a la Betty Grable, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore and, of course, Marilyn Monroe,” he told us. “But more than that, she is a trend setter who can lead a young generation of patriots toward new ways to support our Troops.”
However, Hilton wants to make one thing clear: she isn’t trying to take sides or express any political views by becoming involved in Songs for Soldiers.
“(The biggest misconception) people probably have of me is that I don’t work hard and spend all my time partying! Obviously I like to have fun like anyone my age does, but I also feel very passionate about our country and so I’m proud to be a part of this worthy cause,” Hilton added. “What’s great about the program is that it’s not about whether or not you support war, it’s about being thankful and showing we care to those who risk their lives. I’m not looking to make a political statement with this cause, but instead send a message of love and hope to those on the front line.”
Anyone wishing to attend Wednesday's event can purchase tickets online at www.songsforsoldiers.us. You can also buy the MP3 players for the troops at the same website.