Wow. Where do I even begin? As I look back on my time with ProTour Productions and Armed Forces Entertainment, I am at a loss for words, although I’ll do my best to find them for the sake of this blog!
My eyes have truly been opened to the sacrifices our servicemen and servicewomen make for us. I saw, heard, and felt firsthand their love for both our country and their careers. My eyes have also been opened to the fact that not only do our troops make these sacrifices, their families do as well — something I think most of us don’t even realize. Families in Alice Springs, Australia, have been uprooted from their homes in the United States to live in the Outback, where the nearest town is hours away. Their children change schools, leave friends behind, and don’t have things like regular box mac and cheese available! And yet, they have created a strong, beautiful and resilient community amongst themselves.
While holding a kangaroo, four-wheeling in the Outback and visiting Manly Beach in Sydney were all incredible and opportunities of a lifetime, my favorite memories are from all of the tiny moments in between. Just to name a few: getting to know our driver, Terry, and his beautiful family who had just been stationed in Alice Springs, teaching a cheer camp for the kiddos on base only to find the sweetest mini DBC who teared up because she was so happy to see me; watching SBLII on that Monday morning and talking something we all know and love with our troops and their families ... FOOTBALL!
At the beginning of my trip I knew I’d be impacted by these families and their stories but I wondered how and if I would make a difference for them. It is so rewarding to know that our visit brought so many smiles and so much energy to those stationed in Alice Springs. Countless people came up to me and my tourmates to thank us for visiting them and for giving them something to look forward to and talk about for months to come. However, I think all the thanks should go to them for their sacrifice for our country!
I owe a huge "thank you" to ProTour Productions and Armed Forces Entertainment for putting this tour together and for the many more they will do in the future. The connections, impact, and experiences they create are priceless!