New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, as well as actors Milo Ventimiglia ("Heroes") and Jack Lenglyel ("We Are Marshall") flew today to the Middle East aboard Air Force 2.
The celebrity-traveling contingent is on a seven-day, three-country summer USO Tour led by Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. This is Brees' second USO trip to Middle East and his third trip to support the troops overall.
For Brees, the co-winner of the 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award who has produced the first two 4,000-yard passing seasons in Saints history, this USO trip marks his second such USO trip this off-season. The Saints signal-caller previously visited Okinawa on a USO tour this spring. While on those Pacific beaches, Brees talked by phone to his grandfather, who had landed as a U.S. Marine on those same beaches more than 60 years ago and participated in some of the heaviest fighting in World War II.
Brees, an ardent supporter of the United States' military personnel, embraces and cherishes the time he gets to spend visiting with members of the Armed Forces.
"It makes me very proud to be able to experience a USO tour," said Brees. "It is humbling experience, and one that leaves you with indelible memories. I know that the NFL has a proud history of great players that have been able to go on USO Tours and I take the endeavor seriously and hope to be able to impart to the people that we will come in contact with how much we appreciate their efforts and sacrifices."
To learn more about the USO and their efforts, please click here.
Along on the tour is NFL Public Relations Executive Pete Abitante, who is sharing his experiences. Click here to read Abitante's account!