POSTED: Monday June 14th 2010


Coaches will tour Southwest Asia this summer

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, long recognized for his support of the U.S. armed services, will join three other head coaches later this summer on a USO tour to meet and greet servicemembers in Southwest Asia. Also on the tour will be coaches Brad Childress (Minnesota Vikings), John Fox (Carolina Panthers) and Andy Reid (Philadelphia Eagles).

        The NFL and USO have organized overseas morale-building visits for more than 40 years. In 1966, the NFL teamed with the USO and became the first sports organization to send a group of players to Vietnam and other parts of Asia.

        Lewis has organized numerous Bengals involvements with military personnel. Just this week, the team has helped promote the Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team, and early in his Bengals tenure, Lewis traveled with several Bengals players to visit wounded soldiers at major hospitals in Washington, D.C.

        “Our military personnel make significant sacrifices on a daily basis to protect and ensure our freedom,” Lewis said. “This USO trip is one small step that I can take to say ‘thank you.’ I don’t know that you’d call it a ‘sacrifice’ on my part, because I am very much looking forward to the experience, but I hope my presence can be helpful in letting our troops know how much they are appreciated back home.”

        In the past four decades, NFL stars including Terry Bradshaw, Larry Csonka, Franco Harris, Howie Long, Don Meredith, Lynn Swann and Johnny Unitas have visited servicemembers on NFL-USO tours in such locations as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Kuwait and Somalia.  In 2008, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined players on a USO trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. In March, Vernon Davis, Joe Thomas, Mario Williams and Jason Witten spent a week traveling through Afghanistan and Qatar visiting the troops.

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Keywords · Cincinnati Bengals · NFL · football · U S Armed Forces

Name: Inky Moore
Organization: Cincinnati Bengals

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