While many people will spend their summer vacations on sandy beaches, Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox will spend part of his on sandy desserts in the Persian Gulf. He will visit members of the U.S. military for several days later this summer as part of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour.
"As a son of a Navy Seal, I grew up in a military family and know first-hand the sacrifices the men and women in our military make," Fox said. "We get a lot of attention as players and coaches in the National Football League, but our service men and women are the heroes. They enable us to enjoy the freedom we have in our country, and I look forward to this trip. I view the opportunity to spend time with our troops as a privilege."
"It's something that I've been wanting to do for years. I finally was able to work it into the schedule and I am going with three really good guys that I know and have admiration for," Fox said. "I can't think of a better way to spend a week, although it's very little to show our appreciation for what those troops are doing over there to protect us."
The NFL and USO have organized overseas morale-building visits for more than 40 years. In 1966, the NFL teamed with the USO and became the first sports organization to send a group of players to Vietnam and other parts of Asia to demonstrate the league's support for America's troops. Former Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker participated in an NFL-USO tour to military bases throughout Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan in 2008.