Hi Broncos Country!
We are reporting to you from military bases in the Middle East. The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders — Allyson, Heather, Jessica, Kim and Lindy, along with Kelly (Director of JDBC and DBC alum) — are performing and boosting the morale of our troops in Kuwait and Iraq. We would like to share with Broncos country the last couple of days on our amazing journey.
We arrived in Kuwait and had lots of emotions. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity and to be able to somewhat have a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the military. When we landed, the sky was filled with sand; we landed just in time to see the end of a sandstorm. It was over 120 degrees and we were told we were in the hottest place on the planet. Every time we want to complain about the heat we all catch ourselves in the act, as we are only here for a week and our military men and women endure this heat for months and in full combat gear.
We are spending the first two nights at Camp Arifjan, we went to Arifjan Headquarters where we were briefed with the whole history of Kuwait and the our military presence here. We saw the map of Kuwait with all the military bases that are located in Kuwait. We were each presented with a commander’s coin. These coins are presented to soldiers as a symbol of appreciation and hard work. We have learned that Kuwait is a very safe country.
Then we were off to another base in Kuwait, KNB — Kuwait Naval Base — for our first show! The Kuwait Naval Base is a Kuwaiti military base; the US portion is called Camp Patriot. We took a tour of an army vessel where 17 personnel live for 4 months at a time and the food and energy supply lasts 14 days. We had some Pittsburgh Steelers fans onboard, and we may have converted them to Denver Broncos fans. The main purpose at Camp Patriot is to wash and clean all the military vehicles to be shipped back to the United States. It takes 23 hours to clean the largest tank!
We were highly anticipating our first show! The stage was outside, next to the volleyball court (Top Gun style) with a large Denver Broncos Cheerleaders banner at the back of the stage. We were so pumped to perform for our troops. We did a meet and greet before the show, said a prayer and performed our hearts out. Some highlights of the show, included the participation of Col. Rusher (AKA “Little Lenny”), not only did he give the cheerleaders some military orders but he also busted out a great air guitar performance – zebra pants and all.
Well, day 2 and day 3 go right into each other. Day 2 ended at midnight and day 3 started at 3:15 a.m. We took a two-hour bus ride to Ali Al Salem where the airport is located. For military flights, they require you to be there EARLY — and I mean EARLY. We were fitted for our armored jackets and helmets before the flight. We took a C-130 plane to Camp Balad, all was well until we started to land. The pilots did a combat landing which they called “a hurricane bumper” which unfortunately caused one of our cheerleaders to get a little sick. The pilots let the cheerleaders sit in the cockpit and even fly the plane – what an experience! We arrived at Camp Balad, which houses approximately 17,000 troops. They are starting the process of clearing out and closing this base down, they plan to have only 4,000 troops at this base by November.
After eating lunch with the troops, we took a tour of the F-16′s and armory. After dinner, it was time for show number two; unfortunately Jessica was still under the weather so we needed to re-set the show minus one cheerleader. The show must go on! The Army General and Air Force General at Camp Balad presented the team with commander’s coins before the show. We were so honored that they went out of their way to greet us. We are the last entertainment group to perform at Camp Balad in Iraq — and we went out with a bang! After the show, LTC Hamburg presented the cheerleaders with an American Flag, which was flown onboard a United States Army Blackhawk helicopter during a combat mission just prior to our arrival. We anticipate bringing the American Flag home to share with Broncos Country!
We arrived at the military airport to depart Camp Balad, we were greeted by over 200 soldiers that were awaiting their departure home! There were lots of smiles, laughter and joy as these soldiers were so excited to go home to see their families. We sat and listened to stories and couldn’t help but share in their excitement, as we provided them with Broncos hats and memorabilia for their flight home. We took a private C-130 flight from Camp Balad to COB Speicher. We were so pumped to arrive at Speicher because this is where many of our Fort Carson soldiers are stationed. SGM Leeling, from Colorado, presented us with the Ivy Division 4th Infantry coin, as well as their own personalized football jerseys. We even incorporated their jerseys into our show as one of our costumes!
We were told by a soldier after our show that this is the longest he has smiled on his deployment — it was the most heartwarming comment. Every show, we make a point to tell our troops how important the military is to Broncos Country and the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders. We cheer on the Broncos at every home game for our 76,000 fans and every single day we cheer on our troops. During this tour, we are their cheerleaders!
Sincerely from Iraq,
Allyson, Heather, Jessica, Kim, Lindy and Kelly
Denver Broncos Cheerleaders