Posts Tagged ‘Country Tonite’

Army Family Deploys to Pigeon Forge Before Afghanistan

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 2012) – An Army family facing a sixth deployment to a war zone got some special time together in Pigeon Forge, and their experience was captured as a half-hour show for the Great American Country (GAC) cable TV network.

“Operation Pigeon Forge: A Family Story” focuses on Staff Sgt. Gerald Britt, his wife Shasta and their children Gabe and Madison. It premiers July 12 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern and has 11 more airings later in the month.

Gerald has orders to Afghanistan this fall. He has been to Iraq three times, as well as to Kosovo and Bosnia. Shasta, a veteran herself, is a civilian employee of the Family Readiness Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, assisting other military families with members overseas.

“Before this soldier deploys to Afghanistan, GAC deploys his family to Pigeon Forge,” said show host Nan Kelley, explaining the concept of the program.

The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism partnered with GAC, which is available in 62 million households and online at GACTV.com, to salute the Britts.

GAC cameras tagged along with the Britts at Pigeon Forge attractions such as Dollywood, the Titanic Museum Attraction, Dixie Stampede, The Track and the Country Tonite show. The Lumberjack Feud dinner show plucked Gerald from the audience for an ax-throwing challenge. His marksmanship was solid.

The Britts’ vacation coincided with the annual Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade, and Pigeon Forge surprised them by building a float for them to ride on and receive the applause of thousands lining the parade route.

An even bigger surprise came when Dolly Parton greeted them before the parade and offered her personal thanks for their service.

“Families are hugely important to Pigeon Forge, and we are pleased that Pigeon Forge is hugely important to many families. We make memories that strengthen family bonds,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

Information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-251-9100.