On Sunday December 11th, I was on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium cheering on the Fins to a victory. During the game, I was pleasantly surprised when a picture was displayed on the Jumbotron of my teammates and I who were chosen to go on the Christmas military tour, along with a good luck message. I was already so honored to have a second chance to visit the armed forces in Europe, but seeing my name up on the screen sent a chill through my body. While I knew that the experience to come over the next two weeks would be astounding, I never imagined how truly humbling and life-changing it would be. We flew from Miami to England the very next day! Arriving on Tuesday afternoon after several connecting flights, we spent the evening exploring Cambridge. Visiting the U.K. was special because my teammate Holly is originally from Bristol, England. Being in her home country was so sweet, especially because her family was able to visit us. On Wednesday morning, we kicked off our military tour at RAF Alconbury. This base focuses on intelligence so most of the buildings were off limits, but I did have the privilege of lunching with several members of the US Air Force. Hearing how they protect us by monitoring computer activity was so interesting (even though most of the information was confidential). After lunch, we headed to the fitness center to teach a cheer clinic. When I’m not cheering, I’m a dance teacher, so this is part of the day I always look forward to. (more…)
Hi Redskins Fans! It’s Rachel here, and we have finished our 54th Military Appreciation Holiday Tour to Bahrain. After traveling on three prior tours to the Middle East, this one is absolutely the most memorable of them all, because of the new experiences, the wonderful military men and women we met and the great group of girls that came on this tour. There were many highlights over the week, but I want to tell you about two of my favorites! Every time we go on tour, we perform a show for the troops that consists of a variety of dances and crowd participation. For this tour, on top of our normal show, we also put on a holiday extravaganza show for all of the military families that live in Bahrain. A lot of people do not realize that Bahrain is a very family friendly country to live in. Many servicemen and women bring their spouses and children with them when they are deployed to the country. Because it’s the holiday season, we learned an entirely separate show, where we danced in Santa outfits, wore holiday presents and star costumes, along with girls dressing up and singing as the cast of Frozen. We performed in a courtyard that was completely transformed into a winter wonderland. It was such a reward to see all of the kids in the audience smiling and singing! It was wonderful to bring some holiday cheer to these families and see how it could make them feel like they were back at home. (more…)
Hey Redskins Nation! This is Nikki checking in from our 54th Military Appreciation Holiday Tour. Being in my first season with the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, I feel extremely privileged and honored to be a part of such a life-changing experience. We literally hit the ground running on our tour! After catching some sleep on the plane to Bahrain, it was GO time once we touched down here. Our first visit was with the United States Marine Corps Security Force Company. With this being my first tour, I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited to learn. I was especially excited for our first stop, because my father served in the United States Marine Corps, so in a way it reminds me of family. (more…)
Today at Camp Buehring we met the base commander, Lt. Col. Leung, and he stressed the importance of unity. A large part of his job is bringing everyone together, and I found it interesting as we visited the different units just how much it’s like a team atmosphere. It isn’t just one individual making everything happen; it’s a group of people working together. Everything that these guys and gals do for us, it’s a big team effort, and they all work together for a common goal. The commander has a tough job, he gets daily tasks handed to him for the group to execute, and it’s up to him to see that they are carried out. You could tell that he takes a lot of pride in making sure everyone has everything they need to carry out the mission. One thing about Camp Beuhring, it is a very young base in terms of the soldiers stationed there, and for a lot of them, it’s the first time they’ve been deployed. The commander is their leader and their mentor, and he brings the experience to the table. That takes a lot of confidence, to be up front, but that confidence resonates, and his pride is reflected all the way from the guy cleaning the bathrooms to the soldiers on the flight line. (more…)
After 28 years driving and 30 in the business, to be able to say that I’ve been to Kuwait and run over cars in front of our troops is a rare privilege and one that means a lot to me. That’s heartfelt and it goes all the way through our group. This trip and this whole experience mean a lot to every one of us. We’ve talked about bringing a truck over in previous years, but then it came up again last year, and Summit Racing got together with Armed Forces Entertainment and got it done. There is a lot of paperwork, red tape, and preparation you have to go through to make something like this happen, not to mention the cost, so I just thought it was a thought in the wind. But it all came together. When we found out the truck would be shipping over here sooner than we thought, it was already on schedule for a car crush [the weekend it was supposed to leave]. So we did the car crush on Saturday night, and on Sunday a bunch of us met at the shop, took it out, cleaned off all the dirt and mud, and then put it back together with this new body. On Sunday night it left for Baltimore to begin the trip here. (more…)
These men and women are kind enough to share a little bit of their lives here with us, and they’re very proud of what they do. They each go out of their way to show us how appreciative they are of the fact that we’re here to visit them, and it means a lot to us to have the opportunity to tell them how much we appreciate the fact that they’re here doing what they’re doing. This trip definitely makes you think and puts a lot into perspective. As is always the case, everyone was very welcoming today. It started with some time with the guys in EOD, who let us try out the robots that they use to detect and diffuse explosives and gave us a tour of the MAT-V [mine resistant ambush protected military all-terrain vehicle]. To look at those vehicles, you get a sense of what the mission is, and I can’t imagine doing what they have to do. It’s a pretty crazy job. After that, we went to Commander’s Call and met Colonel Lyons, the group commander. He gave a speech that was really eye-opening and answered a lot of questions we had. He talked about liberating the areas of Iraq and how the Iraqi people are happy that we’re helping them and learning to do it themselves with just a little bit of help from our military. The story from this perspective is a lot different from what you hear on the news, and we appreciate the time Colonel Lyons took to speak with us. (more…)
To say that I am grateful to have had this opportunity to travel overseas on a military tour is an understatement. Being chosen as a rookie was an honor. I come from a long history of family in the military, including a brother who was a United States Marine, so I understand the sacrifice on a personal level. And that’s exactly what I told the military each night when I introduced myself during our show. This tour is pretty hard to put into words, but it’s my hope that my excitement during the entire trip and appreciation for our United States Military is portrayed through this post. Our two-week military tour in September started off in Cairo, Egypt! When I was first told I was chosen to travel on this trip, I cried of joy.... In my first year as a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, this was the greatest experience by far and one of the most memorable of my life. I know how fortunate I am to have had this experience and especially how fortunate I am for the freedom that doesn’t come free. Thank you to every member or family member of the United States Military for your service and selflessness to serve. I can say without a doubt that after this trip, flying home was the moment I have never been more proud to be American. To read Rachael's full post, visit the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders blog.
The Veterans of Comedy were great and hilarious. Made a bad day look good. They became close friends of mine after the tragedy that happened the day before they arrived.
My name is Barbara Evans. I am a Specialist in the US Army. I was deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait from April 2015 to November 2015. While there I was going through some rough times. I had a battle buddy commit suicide while on AHA duty there and I lost my mentor, SSG Mann to suicide back home in the states. I was deep down in depression and having bad thoughts, so a fellow volunteer I was working with suggested that I go to the Veterans of Comedy show to try and cheer up. She said that I needed a laugh. So, I did. I went to watch the show. I did have a good time and laughed at their jokes. They were funny. After the show, I stayed after to meet the crew. I met Will C and we talked a little. He got wind of the suicide that happened in my unit. We became friends and have been talking since. He helped me through a rough time and I recommend that they keep doing it for the forces at home and abroad. Will C took the time, while he was touring other locations, to talk to me. It was great to have someone do that. They are doing great things to keep the moral up. He was my savior through a really rough time. I appreciate Will C and the other cast of the Veterans of Comedy.
SPC Evans, Barbara
P.S. You guys were great. Thanks a million.
Three Days Grace at Polaris Point. Was a great concert and a great setup all around. Thanks! James Naval Base Guam