CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- -- Service members were more than happy cheering on a performance by the Denver Broncos cheerleading squad during their visit here July 19.
The squad toured the camp and performed for a packed theater as a part of their United Service Organization tour of Iraq.
The USO has been providing entertainment for deployed troops in an effort to get their minds off combat and to make them feel closer to home since 1941, according to the USO website.
“I think what the USO’s shows do is let everyone step back, and make them feel like they’re back home again,” said Cpl. William C. Barber, an administrative clerk for I Marine Expeditionary Force.
For 65 years the USO has been raising deployed troops’ morale by providing them with services and entertainment, and the Broncos cheerleaders were no exception.
“I thought the show was great. It brightened up everyone’s day, and everyone was in a good mood afterward,” said Lance Cpl. Elizabeth A. Canode, a legal administrative clerk for Combat Logistic Battalion 5.
The Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen who attended the show were in for a treat, as the cheerleaders’ show turned out to be more than a night of cheering and dance routines.
“I thought it was really entertaining the way the show was set up, with the audience participation, the hosts, and the dance numbers. It was more than I expected,” said Barber, who originally attended only to help setup lighting, but stayed after watching the first few minutes of the show.
The cheerleaders accomplished their mission with a nearly two-and-a-half-hour performance.
“I loved the audience participation. The way they would kind of embarrass people was hilarious,” Barber said. “I would love to see another show like this.”
According to the USO’s official Web site, the entertainment will continue as long as U.S. servicemembers are serving overseas.
“I went to one other show, and it was awesome. I think they should keep doing them,” said Canode. “It says a lot about them to be willing to come out here.”
The shows would not be possible without the entertainers who volunteer to come to places such as Iraq.
“I think it’s something (entertainers) have to want to do. It shows their support for everyone who is out here, and it says a lot about their character,” Barber said.
Character was what the cheerleaders were all about, as throughout the show they radiated spirit and expressed their support.
“They put a lot of effort into coming out here to entertain us. It shows they actually really appreciate what we do,” said Cpl. Leopoldo Lopez, an administrative clerk for I MEF Headquarters Group.
“All in all, I loved the show,” Barber said. “It was like I got to forget about what was going on for a little while, relax, and watch hot women.”