Eagles Cheerleader Corinne's grandfather, Clifford, was surfing with friends on Hawaii's Waikiki Beach on December 7, 1941. All of a sudden, members of the military were seen on the shores waving people in and directing all of the people who worked at Pearl Harbor to go back to the base. Stationed at Pearl Harbor, Clifford spent the next three days aiding with rescue and recovery efforts. He was unable to go home during that time, so family members were unsure whether he was dead or alive.
Corinne returned to her home state of Hawaii to share her grandfather's story with current members of the military during one of several goodwill military tours, organized by ProTour Productions and Armed Forces Entertainment. This was Corinne's way of not only remembering Clifford, but thanking all the service personnel for the sacrifices that they have made and continue to make.
"Representing the Philadelphia Eagles, part of my goal was to bring the NFL experience to the military members with each interaction. This was a way to develop connections and provide unique experiences for those that are serving our country. I realized at the end of the tour that the service members and their families were actually the ones that provided me with countless memories and unique experiences that I will be able to cherish for the rest of my life and I couldn't be more grateful."
Through the goodwill military tours, the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders have connected with fans and members of our Armed Forces both at home and abroad.
Corinne isn't the only Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader with family in the military connected to historical events. Allegra's uncle, Rico, was enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 11, 2001. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Rico decided to make this a full-time career to help the country he loved. With his own story in her mind, Allegra cherished learning about the inspiration of other service personnel while traveling to Poland.
"Throughout my tour, something that I learned is that our service members enlist in the military for various reasons. Some people enlist because of a life-changing event, education benefits, come from a military family, or out of a sense of patriotic duty to our country. Overall, it was really intriguing to learn about some of the pathways our service members took to becoming a part of the military," Allegra said. "One of the highlights of my visit was receiving a challenge coin from a Lieutenant Colonel. Challenge coins are presented by high-ranking members to recognize someone's achievements. It meant so much to me to receive the challenge coin."
Eagles Cheerleader Allison traveled on the goodwill military tour to Spain, Portugal, Italy, and other areas of the Mediterranean where her grandfather was stationed during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
"My grandfather was stationed on the USS DL-2 Mitscher, where he was a Sonar Operator involved in tracking Russian submarines," Allison said. "During his service on the Mitscher, he also traveled to the North Atlantic with Mediterranean visits to Spain and Italy. I had the privilege of visiting some of the bases in these countries, and it made the tour incredibly special for me. This experience enabled me to recognize our service members for their hard work, extend my appreciation for the service, learn about their roles, and create lifelong connections.
"This tour reiterated the utmost respect I have for our service members and provided an even greater perspective on how brave, passionate, and hardworking they are. I am sincerely grateful for their service and sacrifice."