USO Tour Veteran/New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees Leads Team in Taking Home Football’s Most Coveted Trophy

Just in case you weren’t one of the more than 100 million viewers that tuned into CBS to watch Super Bowl XLIV…USO tour veteran and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees helped lead his team to a 31:17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday in Miami!

Brees was recently named “FedEx Air Player of the Year” (for the second year in a row) AND he was named MVP!  Can you tell we’re proud?

New Orleans Saints QB - Drew Brees (R), signs autograghs for the troops with footballs of this tour of Forward Operating Bases in the Middle East. Brees was in the region as part of a seven-day, three-country summer USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (USO Photo by DAVE GATLEY)

While basking in his team’s first Super Bowl win, Brees is also preparing to deploy on his fifth USO tour.  Two grandparents fought in World War II, spurring Brees to being touring with the USO in 2007.  His passion and dedication have touched the lives of thousands of troops and military families over the years.

Along the way Brees has racked up the frequent flier miles while visiting six countries: from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.  His USO experience memorably includes being a part of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s first USO tour in July 2008 (other special guests included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora).

On behalf of the USO and the troops stationed around the world, congratulations to Drew Brees – his teammates Donnie Edwards and Billy Miller who are also going on the tour – and the New Orleans Saints for winning football’s most coveted trophy.  May you enjoy this moment and have continued success both between and beyond the goal posts!

National Guard Keeps the East Coast Safe from the Storm

As USO Centers along the east coast have greeted Troops whose flights are delayed or cancelled because of the Blizzard of 2010, one group is tackling the snow head on: the National Guard.

“‘This is our job, and this is what we do,’ said Army Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. Guard Joint Force Headquarters. ‘We have always answered the call for help from the District of Columbia at a moment’s notice, and our people have done a tremendous job in supporting emergency missions during this historic blizzard.'”  –Click here to read the complete DC National Guard news release.

National Guard Blizzard 2010

Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 116th Infantry Brigade, prepare their vehicles for potential missions in the Staunton, Va area, Feb. 5. Approximately 30 Soldiers from the Brigade are on state active duty in the Staunton area ready to assist local authorities in case of emergency. The Soldiers will be positioned in area emergency operation centers. (Photos by Capt. Matt Nowak, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

The Virginia National Guard, meanwhile, is dispatching up to 500 personnel throughout Sunday and the governor continues to urge residents to stay home for the Super Bowl, as even Humvees are finding themselves mired in the snow!  –Click here to read locations and additional info from

We still think we’d rather be in a Humvee than an SUV, as evidenced by this video:

National Guard units in Delaware, West Virginia, and Maryland are responding similarly, with Delaware dispatching troops “in about 75 Humvees and other specialized vehicles [to take] police, doctors and nurses to and from work. They drove patients to emergency room appointments such as dialysis treatments. They took people without power to shelters.”  These essential acts are the hallmark of National Guard activity in times of emergency.  –Click here to read the full story from Delaware Online.

“Theater of War” Connects Ancient Warfare to Modern, Facilitating Healing Along the Way

Sophocles may not be the household name he once was, but the Greek playwright offers some surprising insights into today’s military experience. Through the plays Ajax and Philoctetes,Theater of War”  aims to bring a sense of connectivity between ancient warriors and modern, with a belief that some elements of war are timeless.

According to Theater of War, “By presenting these plays to military audiences, our hope is to de-stigmatize psychological injury and open a safe space for dialogue about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their caregivers and families.”

Theater of War

First Sgt. Lorenzo Zamora draws parallels from his personal experiences to the characters in ancient plays before an audience that includes the brass at Fort Drum, N.Y. (Photo by Gary Walts for USA TODAY)

Featured recently on PBS Newshour, “Theater of War” brings together experiences and well-known actors of screen and stage for readings of these classic texts in front of military audiences as well as their health care providers.  They have also recently partnered with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), with the hopes of creating a meaningful experience for wounded warriors, veterans, and those who care for them.  View an interview with director-creator Brian Doerries below and click here to view the entire Newshour segment:

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As Sophocles wrote in Philoctetes, “War never takes a wicked man by chance, the good man always.”  The bravery of those who chose to serve their country – no matter what century – deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated.  Look for an upcoming performance near you:

March 5 and 6, 2010
Naval Special Warfare Command, San Diego, CA

March 9, 10 and 11, 2010
Camp Pendleton, San Diego, CA

March 12, 2010
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, CA

March 24, 2010
Fort Polk, New Orleans, LA

March 26, 2010