Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Wow Overseas Troops
By Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Marsh
Joint Staff Public Affairs
OVERSEAS WITH THE USO TOUR, March 1, 2013 The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have partnered with the USO for the last 34 years, and since that first performance in 1979 in Korea they haven’t looked back.
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Cassie Trammell, left, performs a dance routine as American Idol finalists Diana DeGarmo, middle, and Ace Young perform for sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, Feb. 28, 2013, during a USO-sponsored tour led by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. The Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
With two cheerleaders, Jackie Bob and Cassie Trammel, currently on a USO overseas troop entertainment tour with Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the high-stepping, high-kicking and high-energy ladies show no signs of slowing down.
“The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders take pride in showing support to our troops in the U.S and all over the world,” Bob said. “We’ve been doing this for so many years because it’s the way we can give back to the men and women who sacrifice so much for us. This is my third tour and I’ll do as many more as I can during my tenure as a cheerleader.”
The USO tours began in 1941 when Bob Hope and a cast of other entertainers sought a way to give back to the troops. Winnefeld, who’s accompanied on the tour by his wife, Mary, felt the same calling to bring entertainment to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen stationed and deployed around the world.
This is the second USO tour headed up by Winnefeld since taking his post as Joint Chiefs vice chairman in August 2011.
“These women are so professional, they work so hard and they train very, very hard,” Winnefeld said. “They are in a sport -- it’s so physically demanding that they can only do it for a few years. They are so poised that there was no question in my mind who I wanted to bring on tour with us again.”
Aside from showing off their dance moves on stage, the pair of “America’s Sweethearts” shared their stories with the audience and why it’s important to them that they are on the USO tour.
“It’s a joy,” said 24-year-old Trammel of her fifth USO tour so far.
“I’ve spent the last four Christmases and New Years away, and people come and ask me, ‘Why would you do that? Why would you want to be away from your family to go visit people overseas?’”
The troops are “away from their families all year. Why can’t I give up one day?” she replied.
For Trammel, a Garland, Texas, native, travelling on USO tours is something her family knows a lot about.
“For me, this is really special. My mom went on USO tours when she was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader in the ’80s so I’m just walking in her footsteps,” she said.
Bob, the other half of the dancing duo, had a different reason for joining the team. The four-year veteran cheerleader opened up to the military audience in Naples, Italy, and let them know she, a California native, was cheering for another NFL team, but wanted more.
“I was a 49ers cheerleader for four years,” she said. “I left California to join an organization that took pride in serving those that serve us. I left home, I joined the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and am now honored to be here on my third USO tour.”
She continued, “When I turned in my time-off request to the physician I work for, in the reason for leaving section I wrote, ‘To be able to serve those that serve us.’
“This is a tradition that we know the team will carry on for many years to come, and we’re glad to be part of it and to have the chance to say ‘thank you’ to the men, women and family members who help us have the freedoms we enjoy,” Bob concluded.