NFL/Eagles overseas with "PROJECT SALUTE"

<b>Carl Moran JR is in the United States Air Force, stationed in Baghdad Iraq. Duce Staley and Jason Taylor paid the Troops a visit to lift their spirits this past week, and Carl covered the event for us here at <i>EaglesInsider</i></b>

BAGHDAD, Iraq (June 19, 2003)-History is being made by the NFL this off-season. Eagles Running back Duce Staley and Miami Dolphins All Pro defensive end Jason Taylor were among a cast of 60 celebrities to take part in a USO sponsored tour to visit U.S. troops in the Middle East. Along with Staley and Taylor were USO Ambassador Wayne Newton, music stars Kid Rock, Nappy Roots, Chely Wright, Neil McCoy, actors John Stamos with wife Rebecca Romaijn Stamos, Brittany Murphy and others.

The tour made stops at numerous bases across the Middle East to include the first ever stop at former Saddam International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq. That is were I am stationed as a member of the United States Air Force.

As Staley and Taylor were escorted through the sea of dessert camouflage estimated at over 5,000 soldiers to the stage, stopping briefly for pictures and handshakes, you could feel the excitement in the air. A feeling rarely felt in this type of environment. "Are there any Eagles fans out there?" Staley asked as he took center stage. "We just want you to know that we're behind you and care about you. Thank you for all you do and for keeping us safe." "You are our hero's," stated Taylor. "Thank you for ensuring our freedom."

After the show concluded, Staley and Taylor spent more than two hours signing autographs, handing out merchandise and talking to the troops.

"This means so much to us. To feel appreciated by national stars and celebrities for what we do is really special and makes us proud to do it" stated a senior airman from the USAF Security Forces Squadron, "This is something we will never forget and will be able to tell our children and grandchildren about."

The tour will continue across the Middle East touching the lives of thousands until June 21st when they return home and Staley and Taylor will begin to prepare for the beginning of training camp.


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