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Posted at 1:55 PM ET, 12/17/2010

USO tour: bringing some cheer to our Armed Forces overseas

By LaVar Arrington

On Thursday afternoon I met up with some awesome guys at Dulles airport. The list of men included Rodney Peete, Zach Thomas, Andre Reid, Javon Kearse, Antonio Freeman, Ron Dayne and coach Bobby Bowden.

It brought a giant smile to my face to see guys that I respect so much and to know that we all came together to do something for our troops. Your're probably wondering what I'm talking about. Well, here's the breakdown.

I was contacted by officials from the USO and Tostitos for a campaign to bring the taste of home to our soldiers in the Middle East. So we all packed up our bags to fly over the holiday season to play a flag football game with the troops.

My knees are bad and I have not worked out in quite some time, but when I received the invite there was no way I would miss out on this extraordinary opportunity. The military, especially the Army, holds a very special place in my heart. My father served as a soldier in the Army. He was drafted and went and fought for our freedoms in Vietnam, just like the soldiers I'm going to spend time with on this trip.

While serving my father was almost fatally injured. He lost his leg from his knee down and lost his foot on the other leg. He almost made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us and that would be to lay his own life down in the line of duty like so many have done through the years and continue to do now.

I could be home Christmas, shopping and going about my everyday duties but instead I proudly will spend the next six days spending time with my dad's brothers and showing my support the best way I can.

My dad sacrificed his body for our country, and for me to have this opportunity, which falls ridiculously short of my dad, I am just so honored. I am honored to have a chance to, in my own way, provide a service by spending time and sharing some stories with our men and women of the Armed Forces, to bring them a piece of home and if just for a couple of minutes take their minds off of the everyday rigors of military life.

If I can do that, then I've made a difference.

By LaVar Arrington  | December 17, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
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Next: USO Trip Day 2: Good morning, Kuwait!


Proud of you lavar and thanks to all the People making the trip to let the Troops know their sacrifice has meaning and purpose beyond the battle field.It's occasions like this trip that plays a big role in the healing process of war. DAD

Posted by: blessednsaved | December 17, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

LaVar, what a wonderful article. I am so impressed with how God is using you to be an instrument of encouragement toward others. As your Mom, I'm honored, privileged, and blessed to call you my son. Keep up the good work.

Love forever,

Posted by: blessednsaved | December 17, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Great job Lavar! Class act as always! Will miss ya on the radio, but look forward to hearing your great stories when you get home. Have a safe trip!

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | December 17, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Nothing personal, just business ... not! What I like about LaVar is that he does take things personally and lives by a code. I can't wait to hear LaVar's take on the D McNabb benching, considering how LaVar has commented so honestly on McNabb's play this year.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | December 18, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for sharing about this.. while the rest of us are using so much of our energy talking about McNabb vs Grossman, you're bringing some much needed smiles and laughs to our people over there... thanks!

Posted by: CaliforniaGranata | December 19, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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