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    Swisher, wife kick off Afghanistan honeymoon



    Story by Staff Sgt. Lindsey Kibler 

    ISAF Joint Command

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- There was no romantic getaway, candlelit dinners or walks on the beach during this honeymoon. There was, however, plenty of camouflage, tents and concrete barriers awaiting NY Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher and his actress wife, JoAnna Garcia Swisher.

    On Aug. 23, the couple announced plans for a November honeymoon to Afghanistan; on Nov. 23, they made that happen. The couple was greeted by nearly 200 anxious fans, all waiting for the chance to get a handshake, a picture and an autograph.

    “Never in a million years did I ever think I would ever be standing here, let alone meeting the people that give us what we have back in the United States. We are here on behalf of the American public and, in person, it’s so much better— the feeling that we get from meeting people like you… this is the reason we are here, it’s because of you guys,” Swisher said to the crowd of service members and civilians.

    Prior to announcing the trip, jokingly referred to as their honeymoon, three military officers entered the Yankees locker room and asked who would be willing to travel to Afghanistan to visit troops. Without saying a word, Swisher said his hand immediately shot into the air.

    “I come from a military family…and no matter what your views are, these men and women are out there risking everything for us. I realize how fortunate I have been, so I like to give back at every opportunity I can,” he told The New York Post. “I don’t want to look back on my life when I am old, with my grandchildren around me, and think, ‘Man, I wish I’d done that. I’ve got one shot at this [life].’”

    Because of conflicting work schedules and games, this trip was the first the couple has been able to take together since their December 2010 wedding.

    Before landing in Kabul, the Swishers accompanied Under Secretary of the Army, Dr. Joseph Westphal, to visit wounded troops at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, as well as the USO Warrior Center and Fisher House in Landstuhl.

    The couple will make other stops, and spend Thanksgiving with service members, at bases throughout Afghanistan.

    “We may not be your family,” Garcia Swisher explained, “but I know this is a time when you think about your family and you miss your family but… we hope that we can show you how much we love you.”



    Date Taken: 11.23.2011
    Date Posted: 11.23.2011 10:41
    Story ID: 80483

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