Mar 2, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
by Bill Miller
It’s with great disappointment I have to announce that the much-anticipated Paralyzed Veterans of America/Armed Forces Entertainment Outdoor Legends Tour to meet and greet servicemen and women in Southwest Asia has been postponed – at least a portion of it. The situation in Afghanistan with the burning of the Qurans and the resulting protests and violence, makes it too dangerous for the group with which I was planned to travel to go the places we planned to go! The Armed Forces Entertainment Division pulled the plug 0n our portion of the Tour … for now.
In preparing for the trip, I learned how big a tool the internet and social media are for troops seeking to stay in touch with “home.” Moms and Dads following news of the Tour passed along word to their sons and daughters on duty via various social media channels to let them know we’d be coming. I received lots of “…if you get to XYZ, then be sure to look me up!” kind of messages and posts. So I hope there’s a strong possibility that this NBCSports blog post will be spread and forwarded to troops who were anticipating our visit.
My message to all of you in harm’s way is: We will get there! But right now you’ve got more important things to worry about than escorting a bunch of fish-out-of-water celebs and protecting us from getting hurt or worse. Look out for yourselves. Keep your heads down. Stay safe. God bless you and thank you for everything you’re doing! We will get there to see you!
The group with whom I was to be traveling was scheduled to spend the entire Tour visiting troops at a number of austere bases in Afghanistan. The other group who is visiting other locations in Southwest Asia is going ahead with their part of the Tour as the situation elsewhere does not seem as volatile.
The bags were packed, the vaccinations were all up to date, the Bible was atop the stack of reading material, but it just wasn’t meant to happen right now. Iam disappointed, but my family is relieved. In fact, my mother must have had a premonition. No one, including her, new for sure that I’d be traveling in Afghanistan proper as it was just one of about 10 countries the Tour would possibly be visiting, but she called 3 days before the trip was cancelled to ask if we were still going! Moms always have a way of knowing.
Good news is the Armed Forces Entertainment Division is already considering new dates for our portion of the Tour. We will make this happen sooner or later. We want to let the troops know that America’s outdoorsmen and women are thinking about them, praying for them, and await their return to the woods and waters of this Great Country!
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