USO tours have long been bringing some of the world's most famous athletes to military installations across the globe, but the crew that recently showed up at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan may have been one of the most impressive. Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning and three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling were among those who touched down to pay tribute to the country's servicemembers, according to the Army's official website.
The military community is especially close to Manning's heart, as the Denver Broncos' quarterback has had many family members who have joined the Armed Forces. In addition to speaking to the gathered crowed, Manning threw the football around with some of the troops, while former teammate Austin Collie helped him out on stage. The experience certainly left a lasting impression.
"Another officer told me that our casualties are way down compared to before, which is a sign that the Afghan military is taking over more," Manning wrote in a personal journal on ESPN.com. "That's certainly good to hear, but he would rather be saying zero casualties. Just another reminder of the sacrifices these men and women make."
Of course, Manning was not the only highlight of this stop on the USO tour. Former American Idol standouts Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo performed for the crowd, while Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders – a staple of such events – performed as well.