HOHENFELS, Germany (Feb, 5, 2018) -- Despite the time difference, despite the accommodations, U.S. Army Soldiers watched Super Bowl LII at the 7th Army Training Command's Hohenfels Training Area (HTA), Hohenfels, Germany, Feb. 4-5, 2018.
What made the evening even more special, was the appearance of several Washington Redskins Cheerleaders as they entertained the troops as part of the Armed Forces Entertainment's 58th Military Appreciation Tour.
Exercise Allied Spirit VIII had just concluded prior to the Super Bowl, but many Soldiers remained at HTA with no real access to watch the game. It was an unusual circumstance for them as they are not home stationed in Germany. In response, the USO converted an aircraft hangar into a Super Bowl viewing venue where hundreds of Soldiers spent the majority of Sunday night into Monday morning.
Though kick off was after midnight here, Soldiers received hours of entertainment by the cheerleaders, and retired Redskins players, earlier in the evening.
Fourth-year cheerleader, and co-captain of the Redskins squad, Heather, was honored to take part in the celebration and tour.
"This is one of my favorite parts of being a Washington Redskins Cheerleader," said Heather. "To be able to come overseas and visit with servicemen and women, and their families, means so much to me."
The main event of the evening was watching the 52nd Super Bowl, in which the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33, but meeting the cheerleaders and enjoying their dance routines was still a highlight for many Soldiers.
"This is so cool," said Pfc. Jacob Miller, an infantryman with 2nd Armored Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. "Most of my friends and I would rather be in a bar somewhere enjoying the game, rather than watching it here in an aircraft hangar, but meeting these cheerleaders makes up for that."
Another bright cheerleading smile was first-year cheerleader, Ceci, who really did her best to bring a slice of America home to Germany for the Soldiers in attendance.
"It means so much to me to get to know them," said Ceci. "We were able to tour some of the units and eat lunch with them. Learning about them, their backgrounds and why they serve is so inspiring."
In addition to the makeshift aircraft hangar venue, the HTA's Garrison Bowling Alley and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation center, the Zone, also aired the game, and provided an opportunity for the Redskins Cheerleaders to interact with the Troops.
"This is my fourth Military Appreciation Tour," added Heather. "And every time I do this it brings a whole new perspective to me. I don't think people back home realize what goes into a typical day for service members. The hard work and sacrifice they make is very special."