Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dolphins Cheerleaders on USO tour 

Posted by Sasha at 1:20 PM ET

Lilly, Kayla and Ariana Travel Abroad To Perform For Our Troops

As soon as the San Francisco 49ers game ended on December 14th, three of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders packed their bags for Washington D.C. They were off to meet with Sergeant Major of the Army, Kenneth Preston and travel many miles from home to entertain and visit U.S. soldiers that were overseas to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan for the Holidays.

Partnered by the USO, Lilly, Kayla and Ariana joined comedian Louis CK, country music singers Craig Morgan, Keni Thomas and Mark Wills, sports commentator Leeann Tweeden and the U.S. Army Band, “Downrange.” With SMA Preston spearheading the annual “Hope and Freedom USO Tour,” our cheerleaders enhanced the variety show performances, shook hands with troops, posed for photos and relayed their heartfelt appreciation on a nine-day, three-country entertainment extravaganza.

Here are a few comments from the cheerleaders:

“This USO Tour was truly a breath-taking and unforgettable experience for me. Since this was my first tour, I didn't know what to expect or what I was going to come across. It felt good just to talk to the soldiers and let them know we appreciate everything they do for us. Performing for the troops was by far the most rewarding part of the trip; I couldn't have asked for a better audience. Every show was so powerful and you could really tell that the soldiers were enjoying it, which was all that matters. I met so many wonderful people on this trip. The whole experience was unbelievable and I feel honored I got to be a part of it.” -- Ariana

“Seeing our troops all over the world was truly an incredible experience. Every performance was so exciting because we are able to take their mind off the job at hand for a couple hours and bring them a little part of America. Knowing what they're doing to keep us safe at home and seeing what they're sacrificing is eye-opening. Going on tour is definitely one of the biggest highlights of being a cheerleader; being able to give back is such an honor.” -- Lilly

“The trip I took with the USO was a life changing experience, to say the least. I had the chance to meet so many brave soldiers. One gentleman happened to be from my home town and his son went to high school with me; it makes you realize what a small world it really is. Along with meeting so many dedicated U.S. Military personnel, we performed in the world famous USO show. The holiday performance was my favorite part. I was able to use my passion for dancing to bring a little bit of holiday joy that the soldiers so longed for and truly deserved. This experience has given me a new meaning for Christmas, and I am so grateful to have had the honor.” -- Kayla

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