Members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders left the comforts of home this week bound for military bases in the Middle East and Korea to take part in their annual tradition of performing in USO shows.
On Tuesday, many of the cheerleaders showcased their final dress rehearsal of their 2009 America and Her Music Holiday Show which they will perform in Korea over Christmas. The Korea tour is the group's 69th overseas USO tour.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders first traveled to Korea 30 years ago at the request of the Department of Defense "in an effort to impact the morale of American service members stationed there," said Dan Devens with the Dallas Cowboys Football Club.
"The success of that inaugural overseas visit to the troops began a tradition that continues today wherever the men and women of America’s military are deployed, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders stand ready to volunteer their time to offer a heartfelt message of thanks and support," said Devens. "The DCC were among the first group of entertainers to Bosnia and Kosovo. They were with the first group of entertainers to Afghanistan. They were with the first group of entertainers into Iraq."
Over the last three decades, the cheerleaders have been to Korea every year for the Christmas holiday, with the only exception being a trip to Bosnia in 1998.
While on tour, the ladies will travel by plane, helicopter and humvee to reach soliders stationed at camps, bases and outposts across the world. The cheerleaders will spend time visiting with soldiers, sign autographs and of course perform their holiday show.
Currently there are two groups of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders visiting with deployed troops this December.
DCC members Justine Phillips, Meagan Sharp, Meredith Oden and Abigail Klein join country singers Leeann Tweeden, Mark Wills, Sheryl Underwood, Keni Thomas, Alana Grace and the U.S. Army Band Downrange on the Sergeant Major of the Army’s Hope and Freedom Tour of Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
DCC members Nicole Hamilton, Tobie Percival, Brooke Sorenson, Trisha Trevino, Ally Traylor, Brittany Evans, Kelsi Reich, Crystal Trevino, Whitney Isleib, Michelle Keys, Cassie Trammell and Evan Anderson are headed to Korea.
"The entire Dallas Cowboys organization is justifiably proud of each of the Cheerleaders who volunteer to spend time away from their families and friends during the holidays in an effort to make the season a little brighter for our service men and women spending the holidays far from their loved ones," Devens said.