After returning to the United States, he shared parts of his entries with ESPN.
In his posts, Manning talks about the gratitude he has toward the military.
“It was awesome to see and understand just how skilled our military personnel are in this country and how much pride they take in their profession,” he wrote. “My body’s way off with jet lag for sure but I don’t get tired because these people fire me up and inspire me.”
Manning shared some his sense of humor that he got to display on the trip.
“About 12 of us, helmets and goggles on for takeoff and landing,” he wrote about flying on a C-2 aircraft from the United Arab Emirates to an aircraft carrier outside of the Arabian Gulf. “I got to sit up in the cockpit for half the flight. They let me make a few announcements on the PA system. I announced that in order for us to land we needed Curt Schilling and coach Clyde Christensen to please sit on opposite sides of the plane for weight-balance issues. Pilots got a good laugh out of that one.”
At each stop, Manning threw passes to military members in attendance. The most memorable pass of the trip for him didn’t come at one of the stops — it came en route.
“I experienced a true first in my life,” he wrote. “I have thrown footballs in lots and lots of places. Boats, prisons, schools, military bases, hospitals, golf course fairways, malls, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, Mardi Gras floats, French Quarter, etc., but I ain’t never thrown a football in an airplane. And I am not talking about little 3-yard lob passes. I was throwing 35-yard bullets to a guy who had the best hands on the entire USO tour, Senior Airman Stephen Gasperic. He was catching passes while trying to avoid falling over luggage, probably a couple of missiles back there as well for all I knew. He fell over a couple of times on some high throws, but he never dropped one. I told him Coach Fox may want to use him on third down next year in the slot opposite Brandon Stokley.”
Click here to read the rest of the journal entries.
Click here for a photo gallery from the trip.
Click here for a first-hand account of his visit to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan by one of the servicemen stationed there.