Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck, Dwayne Allen Reflect On USO Tour

Intro: On this Memorial Day, takes a look back at Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen joining the USO Tour earlier this spring.





INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano rattles off the numbers like he's reading a post-game box score.

He doesn't need to say the final score though.

The Colts won all these road games.

25,401 miles. 52 hours in the air. Flying on a C-17. 8 countries. 7 days.

With Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen alongside for every mile, Pagano and his players helped give a spring USO Tour some serious Colts flavor.

"To be able to give back and serve those who serve our country, day in and day out, the men and women of our armed services, it's pretty, pretty darn special the sacrifices they make so that we can do what we do--to coach and play a kid's game," Pagano said reflecting on his USO Tour in March.

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.

Luck, Allen and Pagano joined Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr. for his final USO Tour as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Joining the Colts trio on the trip were Steelers guard David DeCastro (a Stanford product), American Idol alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, actor Dennis Haysbert, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev, recording artist Phillip Phillips and movie/television personality Jason "Wee Man" Acuna.

For Luck, he was approached after the season about attending the USO Tour.

Hesitation was nowhere to be found in Luck's answer.

"Yes, I'm in. I'll make it work no matter what is going on," Luck said of his response.

"It's a once and a lifetime experience really and a chance to go around the world and see our troops. The folks kept on saying, 'Thank you for coming. Thank you for coming.' To me, it was like, 'This is more important to me. I'm getting more out of this than you are.' It was special."

Growing up near Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Allen wasn't a stranger to military life.

The USO trip was a definite reminder to Allen of what all goes into serving your country overseas.

"Sometimes you become desensitized to the importance of their jobs," Allen said. "To me (the USO Trip) was really a recharging and an understanding. We all just stressed the point of these servicemen leaving their loved ones, but they are also leaving behind a lot of comforts that we get to enjoy every day.

"I had actually planned my offseason to go to Australia for a little over three weeks. Then I heard about the opportunity to go on the USO Tour early February. It was cutting in on my trip to Australia, but it was a no brainer that I needed to get back to go on the USO Tour. It was an opportunity though for me to serve those who serve us around the clock. I couldn't pass up on it and I'm so thankful I didn't. I had an amazing time interacting, talking, just being around our men and women who serve."

The word "serve" is something Allen and Luck have heard endlessly from their head coach.

What the USO Tour offered the Colts was seeing service at the highest of all levels.

"We've all been through our own circumstances and then when you go and have an opportunity to do something like that, it puts things back into perspective for you," Pagano said.

"I've always had a great appreciation for men and women who serve. We talk about serving, Our big mantras in our locker room and in our organization is team first, self second. We have a great appreciation and even greater appreciation for the men and women who serve and give us the right and privileges every single day."

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.

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