Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Morgan (in Australia), Jen (in South Korea) and Taryn O. (in Hawaii and Guam) are representing the squad in the ProTour Productions Super Bowl Experience, where they are visiting with members of the armed forces.
Morgan's Entry — Feb. 15:
Hi from beautiful Alice Springs, Australia!
To say I've made some great memories on this trip would be an understatement: from exploring the beautiful city of Sydney to traveling to Alice Springs to meet the brave men and women who serve our country every day. One of my favorite moments was when we got to perform for the troops as well as host cheer camp for their children! They were so grateful for us being there, but we are the ones who should be grateful. It was an absolute honor to meet all of the troops and it was such a humbling experience.
We also had the opportunity to ride camels at sunset! My camel's name was Sahli and he had a little strut to his walk! The best part of the camel ride was the absolutely breathtaking view. It was almost as though you were looking at a beautiful picture. It did not seem real at all. The camel trip was a great ending to this great trip and I'm so fortunate to have had this opportunity!
Jen's Entry — Feb. 11:
Hello from South Korea Redskins fans!
I had no idea what to expect when walking onto the plane. I was leaving the U.S. for a country that was 14 hours ahead of America, that had a different alphabet, and a language that is very difficult to learn, let alone even coming close to master, in seven days’ time. I had heard a lot about military tours from other girls on my team and how life changing of an experience it was but it wasn't until I was shaking the hand of the first solider or signing the autograph for one of their daughters that I even began to understand how powerful my presence was.
Throughout my seven days, we traveled to four different bases visiting all branches of the military and their families. To go into detail about every experience would take days so instead I will share my favorite!
At each base we taught a dance clinic to the children stationed there. This experience was so powerful to me mainly due to the look of adoration on the faces of every child I encountered during these clinics. They were so overjoyed to see me, more exited to dance with me, and even more excited to just spend time with me! To many this may not seem different than working a promotion with children here in the states, but for a lot of these kids, having a little slice of home makes the worldwide traveling much more comfortable, and it truly shows how much of a difference you can make in one person’s life.
There was one family I met at our second base in Deagu that stood out to me in particular. The family had just moved to Korea with their three children and the oldest was 13. The 13 year old did not want to leave her friends, her school, or her competitive cheer/gymnastics team where she had just found her niche, but the family needed to move to Korea, and therefore, she did too. Needless to say she had been depressed ever since the move and was not interested in attending our clinic. After a little persuasion from us and her mother she attended the clinic and had the time of her life! You could see the look of pure relief and happiness on, not only the daughter’s face, but the mother’s too! The girl then said she was going to start looking into cheer programs at her new high school. The fact that we were able to encourage her to be happy again and help her find comfort in her new surroundings is without a doubt a feeling I will never forget!
All and all I'm happy to say this experience has been life changing! I can't say thank you enough to the Washington Redskins, Protour Productions and Armed Forces Entertainment for giving me this opportunity to touch the men, women and their families who serve our country every day. I hope they know the joy they brought me on this trip and how humbled I am to be from the United States of America!
All My Love,
Taryn O.'s Entry — Feb. 8:
Hi from the beautiful, secluded, and surreal island of Kwajalein, Redskins fans!
Finding the words to describe my tour experience feels futile. My teammates told me a military appreciation tour would be life-changing, and though I believed them, I didn't understand what comprises a life-changing experience. Prior to arriving at our first stop, Kauai, I knew embarrassingly little about our nation's military and life outside of my daily grind in an urban bubble. I've been consciously reminding myself to stay present, soak in each story, and take as many mental snapshots of the people, military installations and tropical scenery as possible.
Our tour group has been busy teaching cheer clinics for local youth, visiting military offices (today we learned about telemetry, optics, and radars - my inner nerd could not have been more pleased), and hosting meet and greets around the islands. These activities have been equal parts exciting and rewarding, but the real magic occurs in our "downtime." We have been absolutely spoiled by Kauai and Kwajalein's unparalleled hospitality, talking to residents and servicemen and women late into the night about their life experiences over homemade meals and the sounds of crashing waves.
By the time we left Waimea, Kauai, we recognized most people walking by on the streets, and the same is happening to us in Kwajalein. They have welcomed us to the island and into their homes in the most genuine way. Trying to articulate the kind heartedness and wisdom in this island, once again, feels futile.
It has been particularly exciting running into Redskins fans 7,000 miles away from home! Can you imagine our collective surprise when someone approaches me (because I'm always rocking Skins gear!) and we can talk, in depth, about the DMV for a bit? Redskins Nation is something very special and although I miss our community in Washington, both Kauai and Kwajalein have stolen bits of my heart... and we haven't even set foot in Guam where we will be celebrating "Super Bowl Monday.”
I extend my infinite gratitude to the First Ladies of Football, ProTour Productions, and Armed Forces Entertainment for the experience of a lifetime.
All my love and HTTR,