INDIANAPOLIS – A stop in Bethesda, Maryland kicked off the USO tour for Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen on Tuesday.
Led by Admiral James Winnefeld Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Colts trio stopped by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit troops.
Before they departed yesterday on their world tour, Winnefeld and some of the celebrities visited Arlington National Cemetery and then spent time with wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
"It's always terrific for the wounded warriors to be able to see these people who are so successful in life [and] don't have to do this, but take the time to come speak with them, ask them questions, see how they are doing. It makes a heck of a difference," Winnefeld said.
"It's a break from the routine, and it really shows these wonderful people who have given so much to our country that they really do matter," he added.
Winnefeld, who spoke to DoD News as he and the crew headed for Germany, the troupe's first stop, said he looks forward to thanking the deployed men and women in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard who have given so much in service to the nation.
"They've raised their right hand. They've volunteered to serve. They're overseas," he said. "They're serving their country and they're sacrificing a lot while they are doing it."
The group is now overseas as they embark on their seven-country tour in eight days.
Here are some thoughts from Pagano, Luck and Allen on the start of their experience:**
"It's a great opportunity. Very humbling. A chance to give back and serve. We talk about team first and self second at the Colts organization and serving and giving back so this is a great opportunity for all of us and myself to go over there and experience this."
"From my perspective, probably a once in a life time opportunity to show all our appreciation for what all the branches of the military do around the world and to go around the world and see the men and women in different settings I think it will be very special. I'm looking forward to it very much."
"To be able to serve our troops who around the clock, around the year, are serving us is a tremendous honor and one that I wouldn't pass up for anything."
The USO Tour including Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen began earlier this week. The tour is being lead by Admiral James Winnefeld Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.