As part of a USO campaign to say thank you to service members and their families, players and cheerleaders from the Carolina Panthers flew to Germany and spent March 6 and 7 learning about Ramstein.
“The Carolina Panthers organization has always been a great supporter of our service members and their families stationed in North Carolina,” said John Falkenbury, USO of North Carolina president and CEO. “I am honored to be traveling alongside them and helping the USO’s long-time partner, the NFL, deliver upon its mission of connecting troops to family, home, and country.”
Five players and two cheerleaders made the journey from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Germany.
The players met with fans in the 721st Aerial Port Squadron’s Passenger Terminal, the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight, the 86th CES fire and emergency services flight, and the 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron during their visit.
“It feels great to be able to represent the Carolina Panthers organization,” said Andrew Norwell, Panthers left guard. “To come over here and thank the troops, it’s truly an honor to be here and supporting everyone.”
The Cincinatti, Ohio, native, added that seeing the teamwork demonstrated by individuals working as a unit here was an inspiration to him as a football player.
“Seeing what it takes to come together for a common goal, to protect us back home, is truly amazing,” Norwell said.
The Carolina Panthers organization is an avid supporter of service members, frequently including them in their game-day activities, and even reserving a row of honor for service members to sit in at every home game. Norwell explained that the respect and admiration for those who volunteered starts at the top.
“It’s great,” he said. “It starts with the head coach (Ron Rivera). He has a deep military background. He loves the salute to service month. His father served in the military, and he loves to pay it forward.”
After their visit to western Germany, the team loaded up and drove to U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, to continue their trip in Europe.