An Eagles cheerleader is becoming something of a household name this week after the female athlete supporter on the sidelines worked to become an army woman now serving as a first lieutenant. Rachel Washburn has been honored with the title of Hometown Hero by the Philadelphia Eagles, and has since served 2 tours while a part of the United States armed forces. CNN shares this incredible young woman’s transformation into a prominent figure in the news and the army this Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013.
The Eagles cheerleader is Rachel Washburn, who no longer bears pompons but instead an M4 carbine in her official duties. This young woman in the military was once a popular NFL cheerleader, and now serves as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. This Sunday, she is being honored with the prestigious title of Hometown Hero, a designation bestowed upon her by the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL team she cheered for back in 2007 up to 2009.
Since then, Washburn has become a recipient of the Bronze Star of Service following two tours of duty while active in Afghanistan, as well as an outstanding member of the relatively new Cultural Support Program in the military. While overseas, this former Eagles cheerleader handled the sometimes overbearing job (that including missions and special operations) with determination and wit, speaking with Afghan women and children about support, comfort, and life skills.
"We could be their voice during missions for engagement to ensure security on objectives, and we could help search and secure the females and the children during missions," she told the Philadelphia Eagles website.
Offers the press release on this amazing army woman’s story:
“Rachel Washburn, 25, said she learned during her Army training to think of a happy place when confronted by stress. For that, she liked to think of her first game as an Eagles cheerleader. It was a beautiful August day and she was lined up for the pregame dance. It is one of her best memories, she added in a statement … Washburn also recalled fondly her trips to hospitals in Philadelphia and a USO trip to Iraq. Cheerleading is more than just dancing on the sideline and looking pretty.”
Another memorable statement helped conclude the interview:
"We're all beautiful women who are there to be entertaining at games, but also, we are incredibly involved in the community, which is something that I am incredibly proud of.”