Earlier this week, the NFL announced the list nominees for their 2014 Salute To Service Award. Among the nominees were the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders. Fans can vote for the squad by clicking here and tweeting their support.
The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders travel regularly to active warzones to visit US military stationed in the Middle East, most recently to Iraq. While many goodwill military tours focus on larger installations, the Eagles Cheerleaders have volunteered to visit the most remote bases to boost the morale of troops serving consecutive tours of duty and where visits are extremely rare. The travel to these remote locations is considered more dangerous. For example, an attack had occurred in very close proximity to Camp Ramadi just two days prior to their arrival, yet the Eagles Cheerleaders have never let that deter them from volunteering. During their most recent visit to Kuwait, a sandstorm grounded their travel and extended their stay, which the cheerleaders embraced as an opportunity to spend the holidays visiting hospitalized servicemen and women and bringing a feeling of 'home' to members of the military at a time when they were missing their loved ones the most.
The Eagles Cheerleaders were proud to honor former teammate 1st Lt. Rachel Washburn as a Hometown Hero during an Eagles home game, which generated nationwide awareness for the accomplishments of women in the Armed Services. Rachel was an Eagles Cheerleader from 2007-2010 and now serves as a highly decorated Army Intelligence Officer, Platoon Leader, and one of the first female members of the Army's Cultural Support Team, having served two tours in Afghanistan. Her intriguing story, brought to the forefront by honoring her as the Eagles Hometown Hero, sparked national appreciation for the bravery and sacrifices of women in combat.
As we take time this week to salute our veteran heroes, take a look back at how the Eagles Cheerleaders have said thank you to our military members ...
In 2014, the Eagles Cheerleaders have been involved in volumes of programs and initiatives, a few which include: Volunteering during the USS Somerset commissioning in honor of the heroes of Flight 93 on 9-11; welcoming home World War II Veterans honored in Washington D.C. on the historic 70th Anniversary of D-Day; assisting in fundraising efforts for Wounded Warriors including the Walk for the Wounded and Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Team, visiting regional bases such as Joint Base McGuire-Lakehurst-Dix. After meeting Retired US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills in February, one of only five quadruple amputees to survive combat in the Middle East, the cheerleaders became even more involved with specific veterans fundraising and awareness including volunteering with the National Veterans Wheelchair games, VFW posts, and Veterans Medical Centers.