The Chiefs Cheerleaders recently visited five military bases throughout Germany and the United Kingdom. The Cheerleaders have a long-standing relationship with the military and are continually visiting local bases, assisting in hosting military personal at Arrowhead Stadium, or traveling overseas to support our troops.
This year, the group had a few unique opportunities to support the military, including multiple local base visits, a trip to a base in Nevada and a trip overseas. Six women were selected to travel overseas and tour the five different bases.
"One of the great things about being a Chiefs Cheerleader is spending time with our military," Stephanie Judah, Chiefs Cheerleader Director, commented. "For these six girls to have the chance to travel overseas to thank the men and women who serve our country is an incredible opportunity that I know they cherished."
The Chiefs Cheerleaders visited Germany and the UK recently in support of the military.
Over the years, the Chiefs Cheerleaders have also traveled to Egypt, Germany and Japan. Each visit, they work in conjunction with that base's Post Exchange to organize several activities, including youth cheerleader clinics, social outings, and visits in hospitals to meet wounded troops.
The girls spent 11 days touring Germany and the UK, while hosting events and supporting the military.
"The purpose of the trip was to visit with the military and their families and to give them a piece of home," Krystal, 8th year Chiefs Cheerleader, explained. "Each day, we hosted a youth clinic for boys and girls ranging in age, from five or six years old to 18 years old, then a Variety Show performance, and a meet and greet session to follow."
Each Cheerleader truly values these trips to the military bases, but for Krystal, this trip was special.
"These visits are extremely close to my heart, since both of my parents served in the military," Krystal said. "As a kid, I remember saying goodbye to my dad and waiting for him to come back from tour. I remember how much I missed him, so being able to hang out with the children at the bases and give them a moment of joy and happiness, truly meant the world to me. Since I didn't follow in my dad's footsteps and join military, I feel like this is my way to contribute and give back. It has also brought us closer together as we have stories to share and bond over."
When they arrived at each base, they were welcomed with open arms and beaming smiles. All of the girls were overwhelmed with emotions and very thankful for the response they received and the opportunities they had to impact these families' lives.
"I have always had a special place in my heart for the military and I was overjoyed with each and every moment I got to spend with not only the soldiers, but the wives, girlfriends, and even children," Kassi, 2nd year Chiefs Cheerleader and UMKC graduate, noted. "The responses and the reactions were that of gratitude and appreciation. It didn't matter whether they were a Broncos fan, Raiders fan, or not a fan at all. They made a point to tell us thank you. The kids acted like we were celebrities, it was a great opportunity."
The girls came back to the states with some incredible stories and memories they will never forgot and cherish always.
"It's so hard to pick just one favorite memory, but I'd have to say that one of my favorite memories during our cheer clinics was teaching the kids and their families The Chop," Leslie, 2nd year Chiefs Cheerleader and Mizzou graduate, said. "As I watched the families and their children participate, I witnessed the same feeling of pride and excitement as I get on game day watching our fans at Arrowhead. Whether they were Chiefs fans or not, they all came together to support us and our organization with such enthusiasm."
The group also had the chance to tour the bases, learn the different jobs and responsibilities of the members on the base and get a behind the scenes look at what it's like to be in the military.
"My favorite part of the trip was being able to tour the workplaces of our service men and women," Hayley, 4th year Chiefs Cheerleader from Peculiar, MO, said. "We were able to see them in their element, hear about their pride in their work and really get to know them. It was eye opening to see the day in and day out work our military puts into such a large variety of jobs. It made me even more appreciative of these men and women and gave us a better understanding of the impact each individual has on the big picture."
The girls returned with an even greater appreciation for these men and women and were incredibly thankful for the experience and opportunity to serve and thank these brave families.
"It didn't matter who their home team was on Sunday afternoons or what color jersey they had in their drawer, we were a part of a bigger picture — a representation of the NFL and the USA, which brought a familiarity of home to the servicemen and women and their families," Pamela, 2nd year Chiefs Cheerleader from Blue Springs, MO, explained. "Our brief time with them was a piece of home and I truly believe that we made a difference and touched the lives of these families and conversely they forever changed ours."
These girls truly value their time visiting the military and were thankful for the chance to impact these men and women's lives overseas. In turn, they had life changing experiences as well, learning a lot about themselves and caught a glimpse of life in the military.
"Nothing was better than getting to spend so much time with these military men and women and really get a different feel for what they do every day," Brooke, 3rd year Chiefs Cheerleader from Liberty, MO, said. "The families were amazing and touched my heart to the fullest. It really put everything into perspective. All military men and women need to be thanked more often. They constantly put their lives on the line and we are so proud to support them and give back to them in this small way."
In addition to these international military visits, the Chiefs also honor the troops locally throughout the year. The Chiefs Cheerleaders make annual base visits to local military installations such as Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Riley, Whiteman AFB and McConnell AFB.