Hey Redskins Nation!
It's Emerald here, writing from Kuwait as 7 of my teammates and I are here on a USO tour. We've been here for about 2.5 days and it already feels like it's been a week (and I mean that in a good way).
Ever since we touched down on Thursday, the past 60 hours have been nothing but a whirlwind! As soon as we landed from our 12-hour flight, the adventures started and it's been non-stop. I'm actually writing this blog post in the dark in my bottom bunk because my tour roomies, Jessica and Mila are sleeping.
Oh and I've been so busy I haven't even called home to let my parents know I'm okay. Hopefully they're reading this blog. "Hi Mom!"
From the time we landed until the time our first show started, we were on a roll. Here's a replay of Day 1 after our 12-hour flight:
3:30pm - Land in Kuwait
5:00pm – Arrive at Air Force Base, unpack, get dressed for first show
6:00pm – Show Rehearsal
7:00pm – SHOWTIME!!
After the show, we met with Wing Commander Colonel Michael Zick (yes, he gets a lot a Michael Vick jokes btw), who briefed us on the various daily operations that take place on base.
Somewhere between our conversation of war and international politics, Colonel Zick began explaining to us why we should all read a book titled, "The 5 Languages of Love" and how we should strive to keep our "love cup filled". Lol He was a very nice man and he's originally from Maryland too!
After that, we headed to "Midnight Chow" where we had the chance to meet with troops personally, find out where they're from, what their work duties are on base and other interesting personal facts like their favorite football team.
You'll be happy to know that the Redskins fan-base spreads far and wide, as many soldiers have proudly shouted "Hail to the Redskins!!" while we've toured the base.
Even better, while we were visiting ill soldiers at the base's hospital, one of the doctors began serenading us with tunes of the Redskins theme song, "Hailllll to the Redskinnnssss! Haillll Victoryyyy!" It made us all smile!
Other "tour adventures" include:
• Sitting in the cockpit of a UC-35
• Attending the promotion ceremony of soldier Chris Yates from Kentucky – He was promoted from Specialist to Sergeant. Congrats to him!
• Watching my teammate Toccara fall off the wing of a jet into the arms of exuberant airmen
• Trying on combat gear
• Posing with a few weaponries (all unloaded of course)
• Learning about Predator Planes and their remote navigation
And of course there's more to come. Of all these things, I must admit my favorite moments have really been just being able to talk to the soldiers, and hearing about their lives and their experience.
The wide smiles on their faces when we perform our variety show, or the humble grin that spreads across their face when we say "Thank you for your service" are the most appreciated moments.
I'm looking forward to the next few days, our show tonight at the Naval Base, and getting to know more of the amazing servicemen and women who have the selfless job of protecting our freedom.
I didn't mention this earlier, but this is my very first USO tour! Although this is my second year as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader, I'm considered a "tour rookie." I've really enjoyed the experience.
Although the days are long and the communal showers are not ideal, at the end of the day I know it's not about me but it's about the soldiers. It's why I'm here. This trip is far from a traditional vacation but I'm making memories that will last me a lifetime.
Thank you to Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon for helping to organize the trip, my tour captain and teammate Abby for being a great leader while we're here, and thanks to all the soldiers of Akil Ali Salim AFB for your hospitality. I surely hope it won't be my last.