Tuberville Enjoying Time With the Troops

Comments from Auburn's head coach are featured from his trip to visit U.S. troops in the Middle East.

It's been a busy week for Tommy Tuberville and four other college head football coaches as they have flown to Europe and to the Middle East to spend time with American troops.

"It's truly been a whirlwind tour," Tuberville said on Friday. "We've been busy and on the go, but it's been an experience of a lifetime.

"We've met people from four-star generals to privates and seen lots of Auburn fans along the way," Tuberville added. "They're very appreciative of us being here, but we're just as much flattered of them letting us get in their way for a few hours."

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Tuberville is making the trip along with Randy Shannon of Miami, Mark Richt of Georgia, Jack Siedlecki of Yale and Charlie Weis of Notre Dame.

"We are in Bahrain today preparing to get on helicopters to fly to ships to meet sailors and spend the night on a ship, which should be very interesting," Tuberville said.

After flying a KC-135 transport from Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, the coaches visited wounded soldiers.

After meeting with soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the coaches flew to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. They spent a day there meeting with military personnel, signing autographs and doing question and answer sessions before spending a day in Bahrain.

"We're having a great trip," Tuberville said. "We're very encouraged by the enthusiasm of all the troops fighting for us. I've had the opportunity to shake hands with probably 2,000 men and women in uniform during the last two days from a lot of different areas and units. We spent a lot of time Thursday with troops on 2-3 days of rest and relaxation from Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan."

The trip is the first of its kind in bringing college football coaches to meet with trips. It is sponsored by Under Armour in association with Armed Forces Entertainment and Morale Entertainment. The coaches are scheduled to return to the United States on Monday.

"It's very hot here and will try your patience with the 120 degree heat," Tuberville said. "It doesn't faze these people, however, that are here doing a difficult job in a tough situation."

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