Greetings from Germany, Redskins nation! It's Ceci and I am very honored to be on our 58th Military Appreciation Tour to Western Europe, which is also my very first tour as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader! So far in Germany we have visited Spangdahlem Air Base, USAG Wiesbaden, and USAG Stuttgart. Each day has been filled with events such as touring the units, sharing a meal with our servicemen and women, teaching a youth cheer clinic to their children, attending various meet & greets, and performing our classic variety show. But here's a closer look at how each base was unique and left an impact on me in their own special way!
The Spangdahlem Air Base, a NATO Air Force base, was chock-full of demonstrations to energize us for Day 4. We toured the Civil Engineer Squadron, the Phase Hangar, and AMMO unit. From testing protection equipment, to observing aircraft inspection and missile maintenance, we learned about the backbone of Spangdahlem and the hard work it takes to ensure the safety of our troops. The best moment was when my teammate Jackie tried on the bomb suit and did our signature victory dance, "Hail to the Redskins." Even though the suit weighed about 75 pounds, she still rocked it like a true First Lady of Football!
Next on the list was USAG Wiesbaden, the first Army base of the tour. During a meet & greet at the Clay Kaserne Fitness Center, we were introduced to boot camp instructor Maria. She easily convinced us to take her spin class midday which was so much fun! Seeing a strong, confident female in a leadership position was so admirable. After another busy day, we worked up an appetite for dinner at Ratskeller, a late-night restaurant with authentic German cuisine. I highly recommend their delicious pork Schnitzel, Bratwurst, or Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle)! But it's not just about the food; it's about human connection. I admire that in Europe, it isn't a constant rush to finish your meal. That's a custom I will definitely be taking back to the states.
With our hearts full and our stomachs fuller, we were ready to get back on the tour bus and head to USAG Stuttgart for Day 6. We started the morning off with an interview at AFN Stuttgart: The Eagle radio station located in Panzer Barracks. My fellow rookie sister Stephanie B. showed off her pipes and sang while Redskins alumni Chris Samuels, Reggie Branch, and Ricky Sanders gave a sweet shout out to all of our troops across Europe. We also had the pleasure of going to Kelley Barracks to thank the MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) marketing department who played a huge role in planning our itinerary. The day closed a little differently this time around - we went bowling!! After working so hard this past week, it was nice to kick back with the group, relax, and of course WIN!
To all our service men and women: This opportunity has given me a newfound respect and appreciation for the military. It takes a special kind of human being and I have been beyond fortunate to meet so many of you this past week. Learning about each of your personal journeys has brought tears to my eyes. I understand your sacrifice is the reason why I get to do what I love every day, and I cannot thank you enough. Bringing a piece of home to you has been an honor I will forever cherish.
Thank goodness our trip isn't over yet! Check back later this week to see what Tonee has to say about the last leg of our tour!