CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Normally around this time of year, most people are trying to finish up their holiday shopping, but a few lucky fanatics received an early holiday gift at the Hansen Field House Gymnasium and the Community Activity Center on Camp Casey.
Twelve Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders visited with soldiers, family members, Department of Defense civilians, and Korean nationals Dec. 20, 2013.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Sgt. 1st Class Edward Smith, from Oklahoma City, a platoon sergeant assigned to 333rd Field Artillery Target Acquisition Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. “I think it is a great opportunity for the kids to interact with one of America’s favorite teams.”
As much as the troops and family members were happy to receive their holiday gift, the cheerleaders were honored to meet some of their heroes.
The United Service Organizations and the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders have been teaming up to visit troops all over the world in a tradition that has been growing strong for 77 years.
“First of all, I am honored to be one of the 12 cheerleaders chosen to be a part of this opportunity,” said Olivia Rene, from Dallas, in her second year as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. “We have been doing this for a really long time and not a lot of people get to go and visit troops in their environment and to be able to tell them thank you face-to-face during the holidays.”
During the visit, the cheerleaders interacted with more than 60 boys and girls in a two-hour football and cheer youth clinic and signed more than 100 autographs.
According to Rene, their overall message to the kids during the clinic is teamwork, being a good leader, and health and nutrition.
For Maj. Michelle Myers, from New Orleans, a communications officer assigned to 2nd Infantry Division, having the cheerleaders here in Korea for the children is a wonderful opportunity.
“It is a great motivation for the girls,” said Myers. “They are able to learn the importance of everything that is incorporated in being a cheerleader, not just cheering.”
“They must have other skills associated with that,” Myers continued. “When the cheerleaders introduced themselves, a lot of them went to college and received their degrees. Just by them doing that it shows the girls it’s more to being a cheerleader than just the games.”
Having the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders here in Korea was a wonderful experience. Whether Cowboys fans or not, everyone involved made memories for lifetime.
“Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts,” said Rene. “It really means a lot to us that you accommodate us and let us come visit you. We are so thankful for your service, and as much as we can give back to you we are willing to do that.”
To download these high-quality photos and others for use in your publication, click on the link to go to this set at the 210th Field Artillery Brigade Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/210fib/sets/72157638994252146/