USO tour: bringing some cheer to our Armed Forces overseas
By LaVar Arrington
On Thursday afternoon I met up with some awesome guys at Dulles airport. The list of men included Rodney Peete, Zach Thomas, Andre Reid, Javon Kearse, Antonio Freeman, Ron Dayne and coach Bobby Bowden.
It brought a giant smile to my face to see guys that I respect so much and to know that we all came together to do something for our troops. Your're probably wondering what I'm talking about. Well, here's the breakdown.
I was contacted by officials from the USO and Tostitos for a campaign to bring the taste of home to our soldiers in the Middle East. So we all packed up our bags to fly over the holiday season to play a flag football game with the troops.
My knees are bad and I have not worked out in quite some time, but when I received the invite there was no way I would miss out on this extraordinary opportunity. The military, especially the Army, holds a very special place in my heart. My father served as a soldier in the Army. He was drafted and went and fought for our freedoms in Vietnam, just like the soldiers I'm going to spend time with on this trip.
While serving my father was almost fatally injured. He lost his leg from his knee down and lost his foot on the other leg. He almost made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us and that would be to lay his own life down in the line of duty like so many have done through the years and continue to do now.
I could be home Christmas, shopping and going about my everyday duties but instead I proudly will spend the next six days spending time with my dad's brothers and showing my support the best way I can.
My dad sacrificed his body for our country, and for me to have this opportunity, which falls ridiculously short of my dad, I am just so honored. I am honored to have a chance to, in my own way, provide a service by spending time and sharing some stories with our men and women of the Armed Forces, to bring them a piece of home and if just for a couple of minutes take their minds off of the everyday rigors of military life.
If I can do that, then I've made a difference.
By LaVar Arrington | December 17, 2010; 1:55 PM ET