What’s the best part about being a WRC?
The best part is seeing how many people we impact with every appearance we do, whether it is locally in DC (at schools and other community events) or overseas with our troops.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR
Tenure: 5th Year
Hometown: Prattville, AL
College: Auburn University
In the five years that I have been a First Lady of Football, I have been lucky enough to be selected for three Military Appreciation Tours, spanning five countries — Afghanistan, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and Honduras — coordinated through Armed Forces Entertainment. Our team is very blessed to work so closely with Armed Forces Entertainment, because they provide us with numerous opportunities to participate in Military Appreciation Tours all over the world.
For my very first tour, we were scheduled to visit the troops somewhere in Middle East Asia during the week of the Super Bowl; little did I know I was headed to Afghanistan along with six teammates and three amazing NFL Alumni players — Shawn Barber (Redskins), Carey Davis (Steelers), and R.W. McQuarters (Giants). This trip single-handedly… Changed. My. Life.
For seven days, we traveled to visit troops stationed in remote areas of Afghanistan; places so remote we had to fly in Black Hawk helicopters, and then ride in armor-plated vehicles just to reach these bases. The highlight of our visits for me was getting to speak with the servicemen and women one-on-one. Even if it was just for a few hours, it was very rewarding. We’ve been told that our visits give the soldiers something to look forward to, which makes my heart fill with joy. I loved hearing all their stories of home and just listening to them express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions about anything and everything. I don’t think the soldiers expected us to be so approachable and easy to talk to, but I could tell they really enjoyed our conversations. Along with our visits to different bases, we perform shows with the Alumni players for the troops. Our tour performances are designed to not only provide the servicemen and women with entertainment, but to also break up the monotony of their daily routines. This is when I started to realize just how important our presence overseas truly is.
Going on these Military Appreciation Tours means so much to not only me, but my teammates as well. Quite a few of us come from either a Military family or have a significant other that is or has served. Growing up, both of my parents served in the Navy. My father was Active-Duty for five and a half years, where he was deployed on ship called USS Macdonough (DDG-39) for two years; afterwards, he served in the Reserve for seven years. My mother was Active-Duty for twenty years, and was fortunately never deployed; she retired in 2005 as a Lieutenant Commander. Visiting all the servicemen and women who are deployed and risking their lives for our Country each and every day, puts into perspective just how lucky I was to always have my mother by my side growing up, when my dad was away. I am truly grateful for every opportunity I have had to go on a Military tour, and I hope to go on more in the future.