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Posted at 5:29 PM ET, 12/20/2010

USO Tour: a flight across hostile territory

By LaVar Arrington

Today we woke up at 3:00 a.m., went to a military airport and flew on a military plane to our next stop on tour here in the Middle East. On our flight we were a part of flight maneuvers, which was a tad scary but very exciting. When a plane is crossing over borders and hostile zones the pilots do some pretty interesting things with the aircraft.

After landing we met with soldiers for a bit before going to meet with the general of the base. He explained to us the importance of why they are here and what their responsibilities consist of. He spoke with great pride about the forces and what was really interesting was how much the Tuskegee Airman are revered and respect by today's Air Force. After he finished his talk with us he allowed us to view a ceremony for airmen that were transitioning back home.

Then we were taken on a tour of the aircraft. We got a chance to see different aircraft up close. One was the Predator, which is an unmanned aircraft that allows the military to collect data and execute missions without putting troops in danger.

We also got a chance to see some F-16 fighter jets up close. Those cockpits are some really small areas for pilots. Two F-16's took off while we were there and it was very impressive to say the least.

We finished the tour and got a chance to eat and then relax for the rest of the evening.

There's a lounge for us to hang in and watch television, and even here, worlds away from America in a war zone, they had NFL games airing. And yes I did see the Redskins game. I will try and do a post on the game. They have us busy over here.

By LaVar Arrington  | December 20, 2010; 5:29 PM ET
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thanks for the posts. very interesting.

Posted by: Jazzconcert | December 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

thanks for the posts. very interesting.

Posted by: Jazzconcert | December 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Getting out of the DC sports light and watching the Redskins game you have to be proud of Rex Grossman. It was a big day for him, regardless of everything else.

Posted by: Jazzconcert | December 21, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I am currently at the Naval Base you stopped at during your USO tour and also on the Relay for Life Board Committee. I cannot tell you thank you enough nor what it meant to us, seeing you and your fellow players on the track with us. It took our already high spirits and lifted them to the heavens. I was able to run a lap around the track with Zach Thomas as I watched my fellow Sailors do the same with the other players from the tour. We talked about our different experiences for days and I know we will always look upon that memorable night. I would also like to thank the players who donated, especially Rodney Pete and Zach Thomas for their generous donations, with their help we surpassed our goal and raised over $10,400.00 towards the fight and research of cancer. Thank you for everything you do, it is much appreciated!

PO2 Michael Smith, USN

Posted by: smitty200280 | December 26, 2010 4:30 AM | Report abuse

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