Superstars headline Tribute press conference at the Garden
The WWE Superstars joined various members of the armed forces at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday for the Tribute to the Troops press conference. The event, which was attended by WWE fans and members of the media, kicked off WWE's annual holiday visit to the United States military stationed in the Middle East.
Art Meyers, who serves as Director of Armed Forces Entertainment and will guide WWE on their journey, outlined the Superstars itinerary, and was quick to point out that they will receive no special treatment along the way.
"The Superstars will stop at 25 sights throughout the war zone," said Meyers. "During their visit, they will receive the same treatment as each and every one of our troops would receive. They will sleep on floors and cots, and eat MRE's."
Following Meyers address, Raw's Torrie Wilson and Carlito took to the podium to give a performer's point of view. The Superstars echoed the sentiments of many in describing how excited they were to once again be visiting the troops.
"It's a huge honor for me, and everyone involved to be able to go back," said Wilson. "This trip always provides us with some great memories."
"These troops are so brave," continued Carlito. "This is such a special trip for us. I'm looking forward to going over there. It's going to be a very…cool… trip."
Raw ring announcer Lilian Garcia was overcome with emotion when describing what it was like to sing the national anthem for the troops.
"I get to perform the Star Spangled Banner all over the country," said a teary-eyed Lilian. "But with all that our troops do for us, it just means so much more for me to perform it for them."
ECW's newest Extremist, the hard hitting Lashley, comes from a military family, and served there years in the army prior to his transition to the world of sports-entertainment. Lashley spoke about a special gift that the Superstars will be delivering to the troops along the way.
"This is more than an honor for us to be headed to Iraq," said Lashley. "As a gift from us, we will be delivering XBoxes to troops at each stop on our visit. With the XBox, the troops can connect with their families, and speak to them while playing different video games."
The press conference wrapped up with a special message from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
"Many people think that WrestleMania is our biggest event," said a serious McMahon. "But what we do in Iraq, meeting these troops and hearing their stories, this means more to us than WrestleMania."
The special Raw Tribute to the Troops from Iraq will air on Christmas night at 9pm ET on the USA Network.
Watch the press conference
Photos of the press conference
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