23 May, 2018 – 30 May, 2018See Tour Schedule >
The Wrangler National Patriot Tour brings the stars of professional rodeo, along with country music artists, to troops stationed around the world every Memorial Day.
Hosted by Colonel John Bates, USMC ret. 3x Purple Heart Recipient and Robi Powers, USA – American300.org
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Born and raised in Phoenix Arizona, Brittney is from a professional cowboy family. She started competing at a young age and only recently was asked to compete as a Miss Rodeo contestant. Unlike beauty pageants, the Miss Rodeo program is based on a cowgirl’s ability to be completely versed in equine, western industry and rodeo knowledge. In essence the Miss Rodeo America program is more of a western industry spokesperson contest than anything else. Brittney won the Miss Rodeo Arizona competition in 2014 and competed in the Miss Rodeo American contest that same year. She currently attends college classes while continuing to pursue a career as a professional women’s rodeo association contestant in barrel racing.
In 2009, Jeff approached Robi Powers and American300 with the concept of connecting the western lifestyle community with our Service Members. At the same time, Powers was working with Armed Forces Entertainment to develop a themed Memorial Day Tour that could focus on saluting service and honoring the sacrifices made by our military members. Through a combined effort the ‘Armed Forces Entertainment Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Day Tour’ was born... showcasing Americana and saluting our Service Members while Honoring the Sacrifices during this hollowed week each year was born. Mr. Chadwick, is a senior director with the Wrangler Corporation and himself a former professional cowboy. Jeff has been on 5 WNP Tours.
After the WNP Tours first year in Iraq, Powers debriefed with Armed Forces Entertainment staff members and it was decided that adding a musical component to the tour would increase the overall Americana effect and theme of the tour. The question was who could be vetted to fit the team dynamic which was noted to be incredibly troop centric and focused. Lucas Hoge fit the bill. He’d toured Iraq the previous year on a NAF funded tour and the feedback was very positive. He was also putting out top 50 country singles back in Nashville. To further enhance his likability, Hoge was serving as a national spokesperson for Soldiers Angels, a nonprofit focused on fostering pets of deployed Service Members.
This marks the second Armed Forces Entertainment Wrangler Tour that Trisha Shields has gone on and 6th American 300 Troop Tour. Trisha grew up on a farm in Oklahoma, dreaming of one day becoming a professional cowgirl. Today she is just that! She's also an officer in the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Along the way, Trisha threw her name into the Miss Rodeo USA program and was awarded the title in 2008. Today she is an Air National Guard Training and Recruiting Command Officer, as well as a professional horse trainer.
Known throughout the western community as ‘Outlaw Annie’, the World Champion Mounted Shooting Cowgirl is back on tour after missing last year’s WNP. For seven years Annie has been involved with this DoD Armed Forces Entertainment Tribute and Salute tour during Memorial Day and there is literally nowhere she’d rather be at the end of May then with our Troops. Just two years ago, she was able to communicate remotely with her brother Command Sergeant Major Paul Bianco from his deployed location in Afghanistan, during the tour. Simply put: Annie is an American Cowgirl Military Family Member - Patriot. Whether sharing real life stories of riding fast and shooting straight or simply relating to our Troops, Outlaw Annie is pure joy to have around all our Service Members on Memorial Day.
Jenna Smeenk is a former Technical Sergeant in the USAF AFSOC Oklahoma Air National Guard. She has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Growing up on a ranch in South Dakota, rodeo has always been a part of her life. In 2013 she won the title of Miss Rodeo Florida. Today she competes in barrel racing full-time and conducts training sessions throughout the country with future professional cowgirs. Jenna has toured with American300 to the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center in Pickel Meadows California as a member of the Wrangler National Patriot Mountain Cowboy Tour and northern Africa as a part of Armed Forces Entertainment American Cowgirl Tours.
Born on a cattle ranch in central Colorado, Austin Wahlert knew at a very young age that he wanted to one day be a professional cowboy. He got his big chance when the phone rang one day during his senior year in high school - a full ride collegiate scholarship was on the table…all the Coloradan had to do was pack his bags and head south to Texas. After several years of professional bull riding, tragedy struck with a bull breaking Austin’s back. Not willing to be kicked out of the arena, Austin battled back from the injury and found himself back atop the hides of wild bulls in pursuit of his dreams. Totally mended and putting up great rides was becoming the norm when lightning struck a second time - the result a second broken back. “If he kept riding bulls he was going to end up spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair,” said more than one Pro Rodeo Official.
Haydn Vitera has made his mark sharing the stage with headliners as diverse as Grammy winners Los Lonely Boys, Rock En Español pioneers Los Enanitos Verdes and 80’s rock legends Dokken. His music has been featured in various on-screen projects including Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. Haydn, has been featured on stage with the legendary George Strait and the iconic Stevie Wonder and most recently, has joined the Electrify Your Strings program as an Artist Mentor.