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NFL cheerleader turned Army officer comes home from Afghanistan

Lt. Rachel Washburn

A whole new meaning to "Hot Landing Zone"

It's not everyday that a young lady makes an NFL franchise's cheerleading squad, or earns an Officer's Commission in the United States Army, or even delivers a baby in an Afghan mud hut during a raging snowstorm. Yet that's exactly what Rachel Washburn has done as reported on Dec. 20, 2013 by USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the sports news portal

1st Lieutenant Washburn of the Army's Military Intelligence Corps has just returned to her Ft. Stewart, Georgia home base after completing her tour of duty in Afghanistan where she served on a "Culture Support Team," in which American Servicewomen attempt to reach out and communicate with Afghan women in a culture that would just as soon beat their womenfolk for as much as speaking to any American or Allied Serviceman.

Perhaps the best example the young Lieutenant Washburn could have done in both winning hearts and minds as well as leadership by example were her actions during a raging snowstorm in an isolated Afghan village.

As reported, a local woman went into labor, but no doctor or midwife was available.

With the woman's husband refusing to allow any men lay eyes on his wife sans burka and obviously nearly naked, so the former Drexel University Dragon and other soldiers took the woman in a military vehicle to their unit's mud hut.

On a military radio, a Special Forces Medic helped them deliver the baby.

"Everything was successful," Lt. Washburn said. "Her husband gave us a little trinket. He was so grateful to have a boy."

With Washburn's obligated 4-year hitch coming to a close, she has stated that she very well may put "a few more years" into her Army service.

But not until she is honored as a "Hometown Hero" by the Eagles at this week-end's home game against the Chicago Bears.

What Americans Value...

With the exception of a few vets who were recently on various practice squads, currently there are no active players on any of the NFL teams who have ever served in the Armed Forces, much less ever set foot in an officially designated Combat Zone.

The average salary for a player in the NFL is $1.9 million per year.

The average take-home-pay for those in the Armed Forces, from Private/Seaman Recruit to any 4 star Flag Officer, is roughly $40,000 a year.