On July 1, 2009, six Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders will depart for Iraq and Kuwait as part of a 12-day goodwill military tour. This marks the second consecutive year that Eagles Cheerleaders will travel to the Middle East to visit US military servicemen and women. The tour is designed to entertain and boost the morale of the soldiers, many of whom are serving lengthy tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait.
The cheerleaders will be performing variety shows at the bases in addition to meet-and-greets and autograph sessions. The cheerleaders will truly get a sense of the soldiers' sacrifice as they fly in Black Hawk helicopters, sleep in the barracks and endure the severe climate.
Amanda Bedford, a fourth-year member of the squad, will be one of the six current cheerleaders making the trip.
"I'm going to Iraq and Kuwait not only to boost the morale of our brave soldiers and show my support, but also for more personal reasons," she said. "I have friends and family currently serving our country in the military, as well as family members who have given their lives to protect our freedom. This tour is my small contribution to those who have sacrificed so much for us."
Joining Bedford will be Krystle Campbell of Media, PA, Tiffany Monroe of Absecon, NJ, Janelle Stangl of Bethlehem, PA, Alexandra Stephan of Shamong, NJ, and Priscilla Williams of Pennsauken, NJ.
The new cheerleaders embarking on the 2009 tour are looking forward to the visit in part because of the experiences that the cheerleaders had during last year's tour. Rachel Washburn, who was part of the 2008 tour said, "It was a life-changing experience. It was an opportunity for me to express my appreciation and thank them in person for the sacrifices they are making to protect us and people throughout the world. They are so courageous!"
In addition to traveling to Iraq and Kuwait, the Eagles Cheerleaders have also traveled previously to Bosnia and Kosovo for goodwill military tours. The Eagles Cheerleaders are very active in making appearances at military bases and veterans hospitals in PA, NJ, and DE. Most recently, they appeared at the Walk for the Wounded in Delaware County, a fundraiser for injured soldiers, and at a welcome home celebration at Sovereign Bank Arena for 1,600 members of the Army National Guard that just returned home from Iraq.
"These outstanding NFL cheerleaders will have a tremendous impact on the military personnel serving our country. All of the participants have expressed their passion for our troops overseas and are looking forward to a successful tour and once-in-a-lifetime experience," says David Chavez, President of Pro Sports MVP.