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PHOTOS: NFL Stars Visit Troops in Germany

Friday, June 01, 2012

Three NFL stars flew to Europe to visit with wounded, ill and injured troops at USO locations in Ramstein and Landstuhl, Germany, on Friday.

Super Bowl MVP and current New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes, Chicago Bears Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte and San Diego Chargers Pro Bowl defensive lineman Tommie Harris got to interact with troops and Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility (CASF) staff, where transportation and medical care is provided for patients staged in Germany from locations in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia before they depart for America on aeromedical evacuation flights.

Holmes elected to bypass the Jets' offseason OTAs (organized team activities) to take part in the trip, tweeting (@santonio10): "As some have noticed, not at OTA's today - overseas in Germany visiting with members of our military #USA #Jets" and "Thank you to all of our military personnel stationed around the world."

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From left to right, Holmes, Forte and Harris proceed to meet service members on Ramstein Air Base.

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Harris autographs a tour card for a troop during a tour at CASF, Ramstein Air Base. The players visited and signed cards for approximately 50 wounded, ill or injured patients who were being prepared for MedEvac.

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From left to right, Forte, Harris and Holmes take time to sign for the servicemen and women at CASF. The trio also joined the convoy of MedEvac ambulances to visit Ramstein's flight line and boarded the C-17 awaiting to accept the MedEvac patients, meeting with additional medical staff and personnel.

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Holmes chats with a service member during a tour at CASF. The group went to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) to visit with more wounded, ill or injured troops and their caregivers. At the hospital, the NFL players spent quality bedside time personalizing autographs and taking pictures with many of the patients being treated in the hospital's wards as well as the ICU which included two coalition patients from Poland and Romania.

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Forte autographs a USO banner at CASF. To end their day, they visited the Warrior Center where they enjoyed a great barbeque and spent one-on-one time with several wounded, ill or injured troops from Landstuhl and neighboring Medical Transit Detachments (MTDs).

One troop commented: "The USO function today was wonderful. The NFL football players stayed an extra long time and entertained the wounded warriors with some Xbox games and social interacting. All had a great time. Thank you!"

 (Photos by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Basic Brea Miller / Produced by Jake Jacobs, Christian Pelusi) 

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