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WRC Member Rachel Shares Her Experiences During AFE And WRC 54th Military Appreciation Holiday Tour

Posted Dec 12, 2016

Fifth-year Washington Redskins Cheerleader Rachel shares her experiences during the 54th Military Appreciation Holiday Tour, which was presented by GEICO Military.

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. 

During our time in Bahrain, we spent the majority of our days visiting servicemen and women all over the base, as they showed us what they do on a daily basis. In Bahrain, the bases primarily consist of members of the United States Navy. We had the opportunity to tour a few ships where they search the seas for underwater mines, and along the way met deep sea divers and EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) technicians and the military police who patrol of the base. One of the units we had the opportunity to meet were the guards who stand patrol on 12-hour shifts around the base. The guards were actually unable to see our show because it conflicted with their shifts, so we held an impromptu mini-show for them before they went on duty. The show came together at the very last minute, but it was loads of fun at the same time! We danced in a storage area after they were being briefed. The guards were less than five feet from us, and it felt great to bring them some cheer before they went on duty. 

I can speak for the rest of the ladies when I say that traveling on military appreciation tours is the most rewarding and humbling experience we can have as Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. The tours put life in perspective for us in seeing how these wonderful men and women sacrifice their lives each and every day for us. It really opened my eyes and makes me feel honored to live in such a wonderful country. The hardest part about going overseas has to be coming home. This past week absolutely flew by, but I will never forget the impact that was made on me by all of the people that I met on tour. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to be able to do it again!

God bless the USA!

Rachel

Thank you to Armed Forces Entertainment for sending the ladies and GEICO Military for sponsoring the tour.