Happy Friday Eagles Fans! It’s finally the weekend and I bet you all are just as excited to see it come as I am. I just got home from an appearance this morning down in Southwest Philadelphia, where fellow cheerleader Jen and I partnered up with Habitat Humanity to give a single mother a newly finished home. Now, our construction skills are not up to par but we were experts with paint brushes. The experience must come from the annual Playground Build that we do with the Eagles Youth Partnership and I recently repainted my bedroom so I must said we did a great job.
I feel like I have so much to tell you guys in such little time. As you know as a squad we traveled down to Mobile, Alabama to cheer
at the Senior Bowl which was an amazing experience. We all had a blast and the weather was to die for!!!! Eighty degrees at the end of January….I could get used to that. Unfortunately though, the dream had to end as we headed back to the freezing cold city of Philadelphia. I have to fill you in with a day-to-day recap next time we talk, right now I think we should get back to the journey to Kuwait that I have been telling you about. I feel like its has been forever since I talked about the trip, where did I leave off? Thats right our first ever show over in the middle east….IT”S SHOW TIME!!! :)
After de-boarding the Robert Smalls Army Ship we went to dinner and prepared ourselves to take the stage. Prior to the show we were all excited with anticipation and hoped that all the soldiers would enjoy the performance, which they did!!! Many of them came up to us saying it was the best show they have seen and they throughly enjoyed every party of it, they didn’t want it to end. The show we did consisted of a variety of different sections. We started off with a dance portion which lasted about 15 minutes. We then went into the game section, the best part of the show!!! It was a blast interacting with all the soldiers and getting them involved. In the game sections, 5 of us went out into the crowed and pulled volunteers. There was an Eagles trivia round, a push up contest, the cheer contest, and the most-loved model walk contest. In the model walk contest the soldiers showed there true side as they strutted down the runway we made and “flaunted their goods”. It was hilarious and the crowd always went crazy while the contest went on. I swear I am going to see one of them in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show next year, they were naturals! Our first show was a success and we were ecstatic!!!!! We wanted to perform repeatedly and never wanted it to end. Following the show we had a meet and greet right away where we got to meet everyone in the audience. When the meet and greet concluded, SGT Benson, SGT Eder, and SGT Almary presented the six of us with certificates of appreciation. At that moment I was in shock. Don’t be thanking us, we thank you for everything that they are doing, they are truly the most amazing people ever!! Our first official night in Kuwait had come to an end and I will never forget it.
Tuesday started off with us waking up bright and early to cheer the soldiers on at the National Guard’s Birthday 5K run. You would think being in the middle east it would be warm, but apparently we just missed the beautiful weather and the week we came was the first week of the cold, wintery weather. We brought it from Philadelphia all the way to Kuwait, GREAT! It was so awesome to see all the soldiers running, they really get into the zone. Jess evn almost got run over by the 1st place winner and our main security guard Marvin I think had a heart attack, it was the funniest thing I have every seen. Jess was perfectly fine, she actually felt bad cause she did not want to mess up the soldiers’ running time. As the soldiers crossed the finished line we cheered them on and they were all so grateful for us being there. In true cheerleader fashion, we ended the run with a delicious piece of cake which made for the perfect breakfast. Time flies when your having fun and before we knew it, it was time to travel to LSA and Camp Morrelle. On our way there, we got into a fender bender!!! If you think driving in Philadelphia is bad, you have never experienced the streets of Kuwait. Supposedly over in Kuwait they don’t really have any rules when it comes to driving, or if they do they aren’t enforced and the citizens drive however they please. It all started when we were sitting in traffic waiting to get off the exit and a car came plowing by, literally, and swiped the entire side of the bus. Doesn’t seem to bad, right? But he hit us while driving on the SIDEWALK and after hitting us continued his way to his destination WITHOUT STOPPING!!! It was so crazy, we were all stunned and couldn’t believe our eyes.
As we arrived at the base we met up with Major Engle and Chief Hippler. We started our visit with a commanders call and learned that the entire base was made up of tents which is where all the soldiers spend there nights. It was a base made for transitioning soldiers. This means that any soldiers that are making there way home because their tour is over, come to LSA to spend their last 2 nights in Kuwait before heading home. The bases main responsibility is to keep track on all soldiers entering and exiting Kuwait. After the commanders call we were invited to go and observe a special mission called Blankets for Kabul. Kabul is the largest city in Afghanistan and the soldiers were packing boxes with blankets and supplies that are no longer in use for the war and donating them to the citizens of Kabul. It was extremely touching and showed us how all the troops give back to the countries in the middle east. We continued our visit by going over to Camp Morrelle to greet the Navy Seabee’s. The Navy Seabee’s are construction battalions who go into an area to construct Forward Operating Bases (FOB’s) for the soldiers to use. This was one of the coolest meet and greet we did over there because we were just given an hour and half to just hang out and get to know all of them on a personal level. We got to learn each of there stories and where they have had tours. It is very popular to write your travels on the inside of you hat consisting of dates and where you went so you could always remember. Before leaving Camp Morelle, we left a package for a fellow Philadelphian who was based there but was out on a mission, so we were unable to meet him. His mom had reached out on the Eagles Facebook page and just wanted us to tell him that they love and miss him and to give him a hug for her. It was so amazing to know that we were part of that and were able to make both mom and son happy, it was another memorable moment I will never forget.
After the meet and greet, we had a few hours of free time before our show. We walked around the base where we found
bunkers and got to take pictures on an MRAP that just happened to drive by. Since we started the day so early we went to Green Beans, which is considered to be there Starbucks. On the way we met two Black Hawk Pilots who were on their way home for the holidays. Kevin and Darrel were also on there way to Green Beans and insisted on treating us to our coffee. Just like the meet and greet with the Navy Seabee’s, this was an opportunity for us to get to know the soldiers on a personal level and hear their incredible stories, especially doing the job they have.
Following our coffee break, it was time to get ready for our second show. Again it was a success and the model walks were outstanding!!! This show was especially memorable because of the changing area we were given. Instead of a locker room or a bathroom which we normally change in, we were given our van that we have been traveling in. It was a challenge being in such tight corners but we pulled through and again had a blast with it. Another funny part to this show was that in the opening dance portion of the show, Paige came on stage ready to perform with the wrong set of poms and didn’t realize it!!!! The entire time she didn’t even know, mean while we were all cracking up at the huge, bright green 1960s pom’s that don’t look anything like are regular pom’s. But hey, just like our choreographer Suzi always says, “it’s live theatre, anything can happen” which did and made this show special in its own little way. After the show we had another meet and greet with hundred of soldiers that came out to see our performance. The next thing we knew we were back at Camp Arifjan, signing more cards and getting ready for the next day’s activities. Camp Buehring he we come!!!!!! :)
Alright guys I think I am going to go do some laundry since that is what I am supposed to be doing right now. Make sure to bundle up this weekend, I hear snow is in the forecast. Hope to talk to you soon!!!
xoxoDanielle :) :)
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