ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - April 10, 2017) - As part of their commitment to keep service members connected to family, home and country, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell and Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker recently wrapped up a weeklong USO/NFL tour to Southwest Asia. The trip marked the first USO tour for the group and is part of the NFL's Salute to Service partnership with the USO and its 51-year commitment as a Force Behind the Forces. ***USO photo link below***
- In total, the group met and uplifted 1,435 service members stationed at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, two undisclosed locations in Southwest Asia and a U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations. While onsite the trio visited roughly nine military units, participated in three re-enlistment ceremonies, met with base leadership, tour numerous flight lines, dined in countless dining halls and visited the Camp Buehring USO Center -- one of more than 200 USO locations worldwide that provide a warm and comforting place where service members can connect to loved ones via Internet or phone, play a video game, catch a movie, have a snack or just put their feet up and relax.
- An extension of Salute to Service, the League's year-long military appreciation campaign, and in support of the USO's Force Behind the Forces initiative, the group were also onsite for two military-themed athletic competitions. With activities ranging from an obstacle course and tug of war to a Humvee push featuring troops, among other activities, Jordan, Maxwell and Walker were front-and-center for the excitement. The trio even gifted two military units with a sports-themed USO2GO kit.
- The USO2GO program launched in 2008 and is designed to deliver much-needed electronic gaming, sports/musical equipment and personal care items to service members in remote locations to help them relax and recharge. To date, the USO has shipped more than 1,600 USO2GO kits to more than 1,000 remote locations around the world.
- During a tour stop at U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, the trio proudly wore their Force Behind the Forces USO t-shirts to show their pride for our heroes in uniform. The shirt is part of the USO's annual t-shirt campaign and was selected and voted on by thousands of service members across the world from Afghanistan to Alaska. You can join the campaign in support of our nation's service members by visiting USO.org/t-shirt.
- The NFL and USO launched their 2017 Salute to Service activations at Super Bowl LI and highlighted a $5M commitment to the USO over the next three years to support the expansion and refurbishment of USO centers around the globe and worldwide USO programming. Just last month, the longtime partners wrapped up their first weeklong tour of '17, which featured morale-building visits to seven military locations throughout Germany by several players with the Carolina Panthers.
- The USO and NFL partnership began in 1966, when the NFL became the first sports organization to send players to Vietnam and other parts of the Far East on USO tours to visit service members. Since then, they have partnered to send renowned NFL icons like Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Bill Cowher, Peyton Manning, Larry Fitzgerald, Lynn Swann and J.J. Watt, among countless others on annual USO tours around the world.
- In 2008, Commissioner Roger Goodell became the first sports commissioner to visit the troops overseas as part of a USO/NFL tour when he visited Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Son of long-time NFL veteran Steve Jordan, CAMERON JORDAN anchored the defensive line in his fifth NFL season -- recording 61 tackles (40 solo), 10 sacks for a total loss of 67 yards, seven passes defensed, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, as well as an invitation to his second career Pro Bowl. It also marked the second time in his career that he has posted at least 10 sacks, making him just the ninth Saint with multiple double-digit sack seasons. Jordan tied for ninth in the league in defensive fumble recoveries and tied for 15th in the league in sacks. A University of California alum, he has appeared in 80 games with 79 starts, posting career totals of 327 stops (188 solo), 39 sacks, 25 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries.
- A native of North Charleston, S.C., BYRON MAXWELL was acquired by the Dolphins in a trade from Philadelphia in March 2016 and was originally drafted by the Seahawks in 2011. In 2016, he started 13 games and recorded 53 tackles (43 solo), two interceptions, 15 passes defensed and four forced fumbles. He was second in the NFL among defensive backs with four forced fumbles and tied for 13th in the league with 15 passes defensed. His 15 passes defensed this season are the most by a Dolphins player since 2008 (Andre Goodman).
- One of the NFL's top play-making tight ends, DELANIE WALKER was picked up by The Titans in 2013. The 6-foot-2-inch, 248-pounder spent the first seven years of his career with the 49ers after being selected in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. His first three seasons in Tennessee arguably resulted in the best three-year stretch in franchise history by a player at his position. During that time, his 217 receptions and 2,549 receiving yards (to go with 16 touchdowns) set a franchise high for a tight end in any consecutive three-year period, and his reception and yardage totals ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the NFL in that timespan. In 2015, he set the single-season franchise records among tight ends with 94 receptions and 1,088 receiving yards, leading to his first career Pro Bowl invitation.
Attributed to Cameron Jordan:
"We ate on the base at the dining facility with some service members. We just walked up to their table and sat down. While talking to them, I started to realize how young they are but also that they're in a similar place that we're in. They're just trying to figure out how to best play their role, and try to figure out their next steps."
"I was talking to a Master Sergeant at Camp Buehring. This was a Sergeant that was in charge of one of the tanks that we toured. He was telling me about how he prepares the soldiers on his team and I realized how similar it was to football. Older, more experienced guys coaching younger ones. He was a leader and was taking the younger guys under his wing."
Attributed to Delanie Walker:
"Being here means a lot to me because I'm worry free at home, thanks to these people here. I don't have any fears that our country is going to be attacked. Being able to see some of the training that the service members go through is eye opening. These guys are on top of their game. These young men and women are ready to give up their lives to protect our country and I'm thankful to them for that."
USO Tour Photos: http://bit.ly/2och5ey
About the USO:
The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours 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: AT&T, Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL, Southern New Hampshire University and Four-Star Partners: Altria, BIC, ConAgra Foods, GEICO, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, TKS, USAA and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
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