Washington Redskins Cheerleader Erin blogs about her first few days on the 55th Military Appreciation Tour, which is presented by GEICO Military.
Hail! This is Erin coming at you from Bagram, Afghanistan. We've been having such a great time on our 55th Military Appreciation Tour and my first tour as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader! Let me tell you about some of the amazing experiences we've had so far...
Day 1: We arrived at Dulles International Airport at 6 a.m., for our 12-hour flight to Dubai (UAE), along with three Redskins Alumni: Shawn Barber, R.W. McQuarters and Carey Davis. We're super excited to travel overseas and bring a little bit of home to our servicemen and women. I was glad that the food on the plane was good, and most of us had a whole row to ourselves so we could stretch out, sleep a few hours and be ready for a busy week.
Day 2: We arrived in Dubai at 8 a.m. It took a little getting used to the time change, because they were 8.5 hours ahead of us back in the DMV. We stayed one day and night in Dubai, and made the most of our time there. We dropped our stuff off at the hotel, then set off to explore. Our first stop was the Dubai Mall. There were a lot of tourists there, and we got to see the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. After that, we were picked up at our hotel to go on a desert extravaganza, which was a lot of fun! Our tour guide drove us out into the desert, which were filled with sand dunes! He drove pretty fast up, over and through the dunes, making it feel like a sandy roller coaster ride! He took us out to a camp in the desert, where we rode camels, ate food sitting on pillows in the sand and watched a show with a belly and fire dancer. At that point, it was getting late and most of us were tired from the traveling. We went back to hotel to get ready for our first full day with our soldiers.
Day 3: We headed out for our flight to Bagram, but when we got close, we couldn't land because it was snowing too much, so we were re-routed to Kandahar. After our little detour, we finally made it to our destination in Bagram. Afghanistan was a lot colder than I expected. Once we arrived on base, we got our room assignments and I got to room with Jordan and Felicia. The rooms had bunk beds and a small bathroom to be shared between two rooms. We started right away with visits on base, and made sure to get fitted for flack jackets and Kevlar helmets to wear on our travels to the other bases. Along the way, we met the General and he gave us our first coins! After visiting our servicemen and women for a while, we went to see the stage we would perform our first show on during the Super Bowl. Although we arrived on Super Bowl Sunday, the game wouldn't be on until 4 a.m., on Monday, so we decided to get a few hours of sleep before the game. At 5 a.m., we made our way to the MWR building on base to perform. There were a lot of men and women there watching the Super Bowl, and they were very excited to see us. We performed three dances at halftime. The last dance was our tribute to the military, as we performed to the song "Proud to be an American," which is by far my favorite song! I think that must have been their favorite too, because we got a standing ovation afterwards. :)
I feel so blessed and so humbled by this entire experience!
Hail to the Redskins!