Visiting the troops in Egypt, Romania, and Greece for super bowl tour changed my life. I got a glimpse of the life and sacrifice of just a few of our many service members overseas. Six cheerleaders and I traveled with two Alumni Football players – Vernon and Lousaka. We also had wonderful escorts from Armed Forces Entertainment, Patrick and Joe, showing us around. It was a adventure filled week that I’ll never forget.
Our first destination was Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. We had a beautiful view of the Red Sea where we stayed near the base. Upon arrival, we went on base to meet service men and women and check out some Military tanks! We then enjoyed dinner with the troops at their dining facility. It was special getting to know them on a personal level. It was a surprise to see how young some of them are.
The next day, half of us stayed on south base and three cheerleaders flew on a military plane to north base. I stayed on south base and the troops took us on quite the helicopter ride! We flew in a Blackhawk around the Red Sea and landed on a little island, where a few troops live to guard the Red Sea. The water was stunning – especially from the view of the Blackhawk. When we got back, we cheered on the troops playing flag football and performed during halftime.
Meanwhile, the cheerleaders at north base visited the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit. They had a Charlie’s Angels moment when they posed with an explosion in the background. They also played flat football and visited the K-9 unit where the girls put on the training bite suit and stepped in for the demonstration. We all met up for a dinner at an Egyptian restaurant on a mountain side facing the coast. It was breathtaking!
The next day, we woke up at 3AM to travel to Crete, Greece. We had a blast in Crete interacting with the troops for another flag football game and putting on a show during half time. After eating dinner with the troops, we stepped off the base to explore downtown Crete and indulge in some ice cream.
Our last stop was MK Air Base in Romania where it was snowing! We stayed on the coast of the Black Sea and headed to base to put on a performance. This was our last show – and a fun crowd! Later, we watched the Super Bowl that aired at 2AM. As we watched football, The troops told me about their lives back home. One of them shared a photo of his newborn baby. Another young man told me that he had just proposed and shared a photo of his beautiful new fiancé. I was humbled to realize that leaving home was only a small dose of what these men and women sacrifice for our country.
It’s been a dream as a rookie to travel to these special places – but the most special part was making friends with the men and women who protect us. The conversations I had with some troops will always be in my heart. I am so thankful for the opportunities Armed Forces Entertainment continues to provide us with. Patrick and Joe from AFE and Jamie and Melissa from MDC staff did a wonderful job organizing the trip. I have never been so proud to be an American!