Cleveland Browns quarterback
Wallace joined members of the St. Louis Rams, including quarterback Sam Bradford and linebackers Rocky McIntosh and James Laurinaitis, on a USO Tour to visit members of the United States military on bases in Kuwait.
“I think it was just more of showing my support,” Wallace said. “When I was asked to do this, this was the second time. The first time, I had some other stuff going on when they asked me. This time, it was a no-brainer. Just being able to go across the country (Kuwait) and seeing what our troops do on a day-to-day basis was something I was intrigued by and it was a no-brainer to go over there and support them.”
During their time in Kuwait, the players visited five bases, including one of the smallest and the largest in the Middle East. Wallace and his fellow NFL players led Punt, Pass and Kick competitions and games of 7-on-7 at each of the military bases in Kuwait.
“It was awesome,” Wallace said. “Just seeing their faces, the men and women, young, old, they were just excited to see a pro athlete over there. These men and women have a strict routine they have to do day-to-day and it goes on for 10, 11 months at a time. For them to get a break and us to go over there and support them, it meant a lot.”
While on the USO tour, Wallace got an opportunity to ride in a military humvee and fly inside a Blackhawk helicopter. He also had the rare chance to see a Patriot missile. Wallace said it was a moving experience to see where a war has been fought.
“You get to see stuff on CNN and you don’t really realize what’s going on until you get over there and you’re actually driving down a road where, at one point, there was a lot of fire and battle,” Wallace said. “Being over to see those different things and how they live day-to-day was an eye-opener.”
Wallace’s eye-opening experience gave him “a great appreciation” for those who serve the United States and its citizens in the military.
“What we do is nothing compared to what they do,” Wallace said. “They actually put their lives on the line on a day-to-day basis. We’re over here just putting smiles on people’s faces and giving them something to do on Sundays. It’s nothing compared to what the men and women do in the military.
“They probably don’t understand how much we, as athletes, look up to them because they give us the freedom to do what we do. Just because we can, for a moment, bring a smile to their faces because we might score a touchdown or get a big play or whatever, we bring excitement to their lives. That’s nothing compared to what they have to go through. Our hats go off to them and we salute them for what they do and giving us freedom in this country to do what we love to do.”