Recently the Miami Dolphins continued their annual 14 year tradition of visiting and supporting our military personnel serving abroad. Retired Dolphin Lousaka Polite along with MDC members Brianne, Melissa, Kasey, Jessica, Chantal, Jodi, Alexis and Allison spent a 15-day trip visiting U.S. bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Djibouti, Africa. The tour, in concert with the Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Entertainment, stopped at six camps, our embassy in Kabul and included a great variety show, autograph signing, photo opportunities and many chats with our brave men and women serving overseas.
The Dolphins organization does a great job with these world wide tours as well as the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative. This marks the fourth tour for Brianne, the third for Kasey and the second for Melissa and Lousaka.
After returning from the tour, the group performed the same 45 minute showcase for a special family and friends audience at the beautiful cheerleader workout studio at Sun Life Stadium. The show opened with each cheerleader introducing themselves and offering their unique perspective/experience on the trip. The common theme was that although they were on tour to give, they also received just as much gratitude and thanks from the troops in return. Everyone’s a hero in this transaction.
Many props go out to these beautiful talented cheerleaders. The prep time commitment before getting on the plane was extensive–learning new choreography, detailed rehearsals, all to be ready to devote 24/7 for a 15-day tour. The performance included rapid fire dance routines in multiple outfits followed by interactive skits with the audience. Very entertaining–I can visualize the wide smiles the solders were left with.
Brianne stated that it was a honor to be invited on tour and she took great satisfaction in helping solder morale among the “true heroes of this country”. She cooed “hitching a ride on the C-17 transport plane was a special thrill”. All the ladies stated they would “gladly return” if the opportunity presents itself again. A great life educational experience.
Emily Snow, MDC Director, stated “through hard work and good people, we have been given the amazing opportunity to travel and boost morale with our U.S. military stationed aboard. It is a life changing trip for those selected to go. The simple things we deal with every day seem so minor in comparison to the jobs these men and women face. Our goal is to bring some smiling faces for a visit and make those few days of their deployment more enjoyable! We are very proud of our traveling crew and thankful to the Armed Forces Entertainment for selecting us to go!”
Jamie Quadrozzi, Manager of Cheerleader Media, was the behind the scenes coordinator on the trip. She tells me excitedly “being asked to travel overseas and visit troops is the honor of a lifetime and these ladies know it. Our forces are fighting for freedom, so to be asked to help them forget about all that for just a few hours and enjoy it with us is huge. There is fighting and danger everyday and the service members are selflessly doing their jobs, asking nothing of us than to not be forgotten or taken for granted.”
Speaking for the entire group Jamie states “visiting war-torn countries and the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen will change you. Hearing their stories, seeing their everyday lives and learning about our mission there changes you. You are a different person after a trip like that.”
Lousaka Polite, who played 12 NFL seasons, was very excited to be the front man for the group and was also honored to contribute to a great tour, his second this year.
Note to the tour group–your friends at Ultimate Cheerleaders also offer gratitude for the generosity you give to our military personnel. I saw a lot of proud family members at the showcase. Thank you, all the accolades you receive are well deserved.
Brianne with 1972 Perfect Season Jersey
A Marine must maintain composure at all times Allison
Jessica and Alexis
Chantal, Jodi & Alexis
Traveling squad of Tour
Bagram Airfield with General O’Neill (Courtesy of Armed Forces Entertainment)
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