ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --For Von Miller, it's hard to describe the experience of embarking on a week-long USO tour in the Middle East.
"I can't even put it into words," Miller said on a phone call during a quick break between visiting military bases. "It's just given me a whole new perspective on what it means to be an American."
The Pro Bowl linebacker called the trip "historic," and he has enjoyed getting "a look at the whole military life."
Miller along with teammate Champ Bailey, Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, are visiting a number of military bases throughout the Middle East.
"This is a great opportunity to support the service men and women of our armed forces and bring attention to their efforts overseas," Bailey said.
The week-long USO trio is part of a tradition that began more than 45 years ago, when NFL players began taking part in morale-building visits to visit overseas troops.
Miller said that sharing the experience with Bailey has made it all the more special.
"Coming out here with Champ, it's just been a great trip," he said. "I've really enjoyed it."
At one base, the NFL players joined military men and women in a game of football.
Miller said it wasn't as lopsided as one would think.
"There's a lot of athletes over here in the military -- they showed their speed out there on the football field," he said. "It was great just going out there and playing around with the guys. It's special being on the field with them."
All-in-all, it's been an experience that Miller said he won't forget. And he hopes the NFL players can provide a "good distraction" from daily life overseas in the military.
"I'm just grateful for our troops over here," he said.