‘NCIS’ Star Wilmer Valderrama Calls Being a USO Tour Veteran a Pride and Joy of His Life

by Suzanne Halliburton

You may know Wilmer Valderrama as Nick Torres from NCIS. But to thousands of troops, he’s the actor who entertains them, in person, when they’re so far away from home.

Valderrama is a USO Global Ambassador. And on Tuesday, the NCIS star posted about how proud he was to serve the troops in this special way.

“One of the prides and joys of my life,” Valderrama posted on Instagram. “To serve our brothers and sisters of our armed forces, WHEREVER in the world they may be. #USO  #USOGlobalAmbassador

The USO named Valderrama and country star Kellie Pickler as its global ambassadors for this year. The two are long-time regulars on the USO tour.

Valderrama said he used to watch Bob Hope’s USO shows at Christmas time. About 20 years ago, he decided to get involved with the USO when he met a group of troops at the Miami airport.

NCIS Star Made First USO Stop in 2007

According to the USO, this NCIS star’s first tour was in 2007. That’s when he made an appearance in Germany. He’s done eight tours visiting nine countries — Germany, Poland, South Korea, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Greenland, Norway, Bahrain, Iraq and on a ship at sea. In 2018, Valderrama also did a holiday tour with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The USO has changed everything for me,” said the NCIS star. “When I came to the United States with a dream as an immigrant, and I came to really appreciate the American flag and understand that anything can happen when you’re here, that the American dream is real. And I realized very quickly who was responsible for that.”

He added: I wanted to do anything possible in my life to pay it forward. … And, you know, the least I can do is just show up and provide a smile – I mean, that is the most rewarding thing you can do as a performer.”

NCIS Busy Solving Who Paid Hitman

Meanwhile, Valderrama and the rest of the NCIS cast are in the midst of season 19. So far, Nick Torres hasn’t been the center of the action. Rather, that’s been Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

In Monday night’s Road to Nowhere episode, Gibbs and Parker (Gary Cole) took hitman Lemere (Jason Wiles) to update New York. Lemere promised to bring them to the body of his first victim. Eventually, Gibbs left Parker at a local store and drove away with Lemere.

The killer was trying to rattle Gibbs, declaring the two are just alike. Lemere took Gibbs to his property, which is loaded with explosives. Lemere intentionally stepped on one of his bombs and died in an explosion. But he gave Gibbs one final clue as to who he was working for when he killed eight people.

Next Monday’s episode is called Great Wide Open, as Gibbs and McGee (Sean Murray) travel to Alaska for more answers.