Seasons Greetings from Djibouti!
WRC Crysten here and I am honored to be participating in The First Ladies of Football's 64th Military Appreciation Tour. This is my 3rd military tour, and as always, it has been a humbling and eye-opening experience. I was honored to share this experience with five of my WRC sisters, Jade, Javai, Ceci, Shannon, and Ashley M.
After four days in Bahrain, we traveled to our final stop of Tour 64, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Command Master Chief Bruce Forester and CLDJ XO, Cmdr. Cody Acuña who gave us a fascinating history lesson of the region and the base's operations for U.S. Africa Command in the Horn of Africa. Camp Lemmonier supports approximately 4,000 U.S., joint and allied forces military and civilian personnel and provides employment for nearly 1,000 local and third country nation workers.
After our brief history lesson, we visited the 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS) and toured a C-130J Super Hercules. The 75th EAS provides tactical airlift to support and sustain units across Africa, including emergency evacuations and providing disaster relief and humanitarian and airdrop operations. In March 2019, they delivered humanitarian aid and relief cargo to Mozambique after it was struck by Cyclone Idai —one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa.
That night, we performed our Holiday Tour Show. Tour shows are always a blast because they bring everyone together for a night of fun. We performed a number of dances, including a special holiday section, and held a dance contest and Redskins trivia. This show was particularly special because WRC Shannon was surprised on stage by her cousin who is stationed in Djibouti.
Our last stop of Tour 64 was a visit to Chabelley Airfield where we learned about Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). We performed a few of our favorite dances (Rock and Military!) at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tent and visited with the 100+ Army and Air Force personnel that live and work at Camp Chabelley every day.
After participating in 3 tours, traveling to 6 countries, and meeting countless service men and women, I can attest that participating in Military Appreciation Tours is truly an honor and gift. I return home humbled by the experience and reminded that our soldiers and their families sacrifice so much to defend our freedom. This holiday season, I hope you'll be inspired to send a "touch of home" to the men and women who tirelessly serve our country. Whether it's a phone call or a letter, find a way to say thank you during this season of giving.
p.s. A very special thank you to Armed Forces Entertainment and Geico Military for helping to make WRC Tour 64 a reality.