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Cheerleaders Visit Fort Lewis

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Fort Lewis Here We Come,

We started our wonderful trip to Seattle, Washington bright and early Friday morning arriving at Sky Harbor at 6:00 A.M. It was pretty early for us considering we had all been up the night before practicing in the rain for the home opener the following week, but we were excited and pumped to see what the weekend had in store for the four of us. As soon as we landed in Seattle we hopped in the car and were off to our first appearance at Fort Lewis. Chaplin Beak and Chaplin Jones had invited us to have lunch with some of the soldiers who had just returned from their fifteen month tour in Iraq. The lunch was filled with laughter and tears and some amazing stories told by the soldiers. We were interested to find out that most of the men were younger than all of us and we were amazed by the stories they told. From there we signed some posters for the soldiers and got the amazing opportunity to see a young man be reinstated back into the Army in hopes of doing one more tour in Iraq. From there the games began. Neeley, Whitney and Dana decided it would be a good idea if they challenged a few of the soldiers to a rope climbing contest, and sure enough a few minutes later they came out with combat boots for us and the games began. I was shocked to see how good the girls did and so was everyone else. They gave those boys a run for their money!

Next we were able to try on one of that Army's newest devises the "Land Warrior" which is the equipment they wore while in Iraq. It weighs about sixty pounds without the ceramic plates in it, so we definitely got our workout for the week. Before we were off to our next stop we were presented with a military coin from the 4th Battalion 9th Infantry and an amazing dog tag from the Chaplin's which was such an honor and privilege to receive. Our next appearance was at the VA Hospital were we got to spend some quality time the Vets and sign some posters for them also. They were a very fun loving group and we really enjoyed the time we spent with them.

The next day we spent about two hours signing posters for the soldiers and their families at the PX. I found it quite interesting to see how people were from all over the United States and even more interesting to find out how many were from Arizona, and oh yes they were wearing their Cardinals jersey's representing their home team. We were so grateful to see so many people who came out to see us, and so proud to be representing Arizona and the Cardinals. It is not very often that you are blessed with an opportunity like we were to go behind the scenes of things and meet the men and woman who sacrifice their lives every day for us. It was a true honor to meet them and their wonderful families. From there we had one more stop to make at the fire station NO. 4. Once again we tried on their equipment and even got to ride in the fire truck around the base, honking the horn and changing the traffic signals.

Next on our itinerary was to go sightseeing in downtown Seattle and do the all American tradition, which of course was to catch a baseball game at Safeco Field, the Mariners against the Yankees. While at Market Street in Seattle we made a stop at the first ever Starbucks which we thought was pretty cool, and of course the fish market. We got the opportunity to stand in front of at least one hundred people and catch the fish. The faces we made were classic! Who would ever have thought you would see four NFL cheerleaders catching fish? From there we headed off to the game were we enjoyed our nachos and sang "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".

This was a trip I know we will never forget. We came home a lot more knowledgeable and even more proud of the country that we live in. Although we were there to bring cheer to Fort Lewis, I think we were more star struck then they were. It was a true honor to meet the Soldiers at Fort Lewis and we will never forget them. I would personally like to thank all the men and woman out there who risk everything for us to be free. You are all so brave and again we thank you.

Sincerely Your Cardinals Cheerleader,
Tara

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