News: NFL players visit soldiers of Masum Ghar
Story by 2nd Lt. Jennifer Frazer
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan – Players from the National Football League visited the soldiers of Masum Ghar for a motivational United Service Organization (USO) tour on March 18 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
The NFL players included Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, Cleveland Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Carolina Panthers wide receiver,Steve Smith and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
“Visiting soldiers, seeing what they do on a daily basis,” said Miller, “it really puts it into perspective, it makes you appreciate what you have stateside. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am truly blessed and grateful to be here.”
The players arrived in the early morning and ventured up to Engineer Hill where they were able to meet a Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) and given a demonstration of the dogs’ capabilities. Afterward, they met with the 38th Engineers of Combined Task Force (CTF) 4-2.
“This is a chance of a life time,” said Jackson, “to show our appreciation for the uniform, the men and women who risk their lives and the bravery they show each and every day.”
Following Engineer Hill, the NFL players made it to the highest point surrounding Masum Ghar and were given an opportunity to view the surrounding area.
Lastly, the players spent quality time with the soldiers in the dining facility (DFAC). J.J. Watt played catch with some of the dining facility workers while the others signed autographs and posed for photos.
“I felt like a 40 year old woman waiting for 'Twilight' to come out,” said Broncos fan Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Hochstedler, a Spectrum Manager with, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, CTF 4-2. “It was amazing.”