McMahon, Bellas and Kofi bring smiles and handshakes to troops overseas
It's no secret, Tribute to the Troops is the most important - and patriotic - show WWE does each year. From bringing a piece of Americana to U.S. Armed Forces bases overseas in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, to giving troops unforgettable memories at U.S. military bases right here on U.S. soil, the experience often changes the lives of not only the troops, but the Superstars and Divas who interact with them.
WWE CEO Vince McMahon, WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston and The Bella Twins continued WWE's tradition of visiting U.S. Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan as part of the 2011 Handshake Tour - Tribute to the Troops. The mission of this trip was to continue to build morale and bring smiles to as many troops as possible who are fighting overseas.(PHOTOS)
Each Superstar and Diva travelling brought one suitcase and was given an extra duffel bag which had a sleeping bag, towel and basic supplies such as flashlights. McMahon, Kingston and Brie & Nikki found themselves up at 6 a.m. each morning, and were quickly woken up with many a cold shower. A 100-foot walk outside in the cold took them to a portable trailer which had bathrooms and showers.
After getting ready, they would share breakfast with the troops - as they did with every meal - and listen to the service men and women talk about the rigors of life in the cold, rocky and dusty terrain of Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan and the emotions of missing home for the holidays. McMahon, Kingston and The Bellas offered up hugs and appreciation to every troop they met. (MORE PHOTOS)
Black Hawk choppers were the mode of transportation between bases as a measure of security for WWE's ambassadors. As they travelled to each base, they were honored with a coin from that division.
This was the WWE CEO's third trip to Afghanistan, the second time for The Bellas and Kingston's very first tour of this region. Unanimously, for all three competitors and McMahon, it was an unparalleled experience. While at the bases, they learned about the role K-9s play in the military, a demonstration on Air Traffic Bird Control and met with wounded soldiers, who had smiles beaming from ear-to-ear when WWE's twin sisters came in to spend some time with them.(AFGHANISTAN PHOTOS)
At the end of every day on base, everyone would again share dinner with more time for conversation, photos and autographs, all while creating unforgettable memories. As McMahon, Kingston and The Bellas retired for the evening to their sleeping bags, often in 25 to 30-degree weather, they would get ready for another long - yet unbelievably rewarding - day ahead.
WWE's tribute continues this Tuesday with the most patriotic show of the year, Tribute to the Troops, on at USA Network 9/8 CT.