Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cheerleader Boosts Morale of Hometown Marine Half a World Away 

Posted by James at 7:25 AM ET

by Jon Kalahar
When you're putting your life on the line everyday in Iraq, it's a welcome sight to receive care packages from the states. But there was a package in particular that help one local Marine during his first tour of duty in one of Iraq's roughest cities.

It started as a simple idea really, a nice gesture for a hometown marine half a world away. Jason Rogers, a Brandon High graduate was serving his country in the Marine Corp.

"Fallujah was an insurgent stronghold and we just pretty much cleared the entire city. It was all day, everyday, house to house clearing houses," said Rogers.

Fallujah had been the sight of numerous gunfights between marines and insurgents. Rogers says it was a tough place to live in and patrol everyday.

"You get real tight with all your friends and other Marines and you help each other get through it, care packages help a lot too," said Rogers.

Lacey, Miami Dolphins Cheerleader

That's where fellow Brandon High graduate, Lacie Randall comes in. Randall is a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader and friends with Rogers' step-sister.

"She told me she was cheerleading for the Miami Dolphins and asked me if I wanted a picture autographed, I said sure, I'll take one, and she sent a picture of her and the cheerleading squad autographed by her and a couple other cheerleaders, didn't have any phone numbers, just autographs," said Rogers.

Rogers displayed the pictures near his bunk in Iraq which quickly became a favorite hang out for the rest of his platoon. But despite thanking her for his popularity, Rogers says it really showed people back in Mississippi still care.

"It's a real morale booster, they're hot girls obviously, you know, just that she would take time to do something like that and she didn't have to and I don't even know if she's got family in the military or not, but they would think to do that, the time out to do that meant a lot," said Rogers.

Randall and Rodgers met for the first time just a few days ago. Rogers says he thanked her with a big hug.

Rogers has re-enlisted after five years in the marine corp and is currently stationed at Camp Lejune, North Carolina.

After four years as a Dolphins Cheerleader, Randall says she ready to go back to a less hectic life.

Watch a video report of this story here.

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