As Peyton Manning Returns from Troop Visit Overseas, Teammates Champ Bailey and Von Miller Join Fellow NFL Players on USO Tour to Middle East

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Broncos Players to Travel to Frontlines and Deliver Thanks With D'Qwell Jackson, Davin Joseph, Steve Smith and J.J. Watt

“I am honored to have this rare opportunity through the NFL and USO to spend time with the men and women serving in our armed forces," said Smith. "Being able to visit with soldiers during their deployment, having the chance to shake their hands, .....

Twitter Pitch: Steve Smith joins @champbailey, @DQ52, @DavinJoseph75, @MillerLite40 & @JJWatt on @the_USO @NFL tour to SWA!

WHAT:    USO/NFL Handshake Tour

WHO:    Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey
            Cleveland Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson
                Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph
                Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller
                Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith
                Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt

WHEN:    Winter 2013

WHERE:    Middle East
Note. For security reasons, the specific countries and dates cannot be released in advance.

WHY:    NFL players to travel overseas and show their appreciation to service men and women as part of a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to the Middle East. Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Von Miller, Cleveland Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccanneers guard Davin Joseph, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt to spend a week on the front lines. During the week-long USO/NFL visit, the group will tour multiple military sites, talk one-on-one with troops and discuss football techniques.

A regular fixture in USO entertainment, the NFL has partnered with the USO for 47 years, sending out celebrity sports figures around the globe to visit and uplift the spirits of troops multiple times each year. Since 2007, the USO has sent out 166 NFL representatives (to include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 75 officials, 59 players, 24 coaches, 5 Hall of Famers and 2 analysts) on 40 tours to 20 countries, boosting the spirits of more than 10,000 troops and military families.

This trip will mark the first USO tour abroad for each player.

QUOTES:    

Attributed to Champ Bailey, CB Denver Broncos:
“This is a great opportunity to support the service men and women of our armed forces and bring attention to their efforts overseas.”

Attributed to D’Qwell Jackson, LB Cleveland Browns:
"It's an honor to be a part of this USO tour. I think it's a great experience and an opportunity to speak first-hand and show our gratitude to our military. What they do for our country is something special and words can't express the appreciation that we have for the job that they do."

Attributed to Davin Joseph, Guard Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
“To get the opportunity to represent the NFL, the Buccaneers, and to really show how much appreciation we have for the troops that serve our country is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have the utmost respect for our servicemen and women and the things they do, the sacrifices they make for our country. To go out there, pay our respects to them, and see how we can brighten up their day is what it’s really all about.”

Attributed to Von Miller, LB Denver Broncos:
“I’m excited to represent the Broncos and the NFL on this tour and show my appreciation for the military personnel who serve our country.”

Attributed to Steve Smith, WR Carolina Panthers:
“I am honored to have this rare opportunity through the NFL and USO to spend time with the men and women serving in our armed forces. “Being able to visit with troops during their deployment, having the chance to shake their hands, look them in the eye and personally thank them for what they do is a privilege.”

NOTE:    The USO strives to deliver life-changing experiences, like this USO/NFL visit to the Middle East, which sends some of today’s most talented players abroad to visit troops on the front lines. You can get in on the action too by giving a gift to a deployed service member year round at USO Wishbook. Visit uso.org to learn ways to help show your support.

About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America¹s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, jcpenney, Jeep, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

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Oname Thompson
USO
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