in Helpfully White

I’ve sat through a few ridiculous USO shows.

I’ve also sat through some pretty great ones: until Iraq I did not know there was such a thing as an all girl AC/DC cover band.

No, not AC/DShe.

Wasn’t ThundHerStruck.

Pretty sure it was Hell’s Belles.

(These are all real bands).

We had the obligatory cheerleader visits, because who doesn’t love pompoms?

That fine tradition of objectified women smiling with hormone-y young soldiers for the Facebook page still continues.

Only now, in 2018, the USO’s mission is more dangerous than ever.

Cheerleader Amanda R., whose last name is being abbreviated for security reasons, said she was nervous before traveling to Afghanistan, but she said Saturday that she was happy she volunteered for the trip.

“It’s an honor for us to be here,” she said. “It’s been amazing to meet the troops and get to know what they do. We want them all to feel that they have a little piece of home while we’re here.”

I hope that call was made by the Ravens organization and not the reporter, because Stars and Stripes was OK with running the full name of a dude in the actual army:

Army Spc. Elijah Baker said he and fellow American troops had been looking forward to the event for days.

“We saw the sign in the chow hall and were all waiting. We were excited,” Baker said. “I’m glad they came out to see us.”

If I had to put my money on who’s got the security risk, it wouldn’t be the cheerleader who’s heading home in a few days. It’d probably be the kid who’s stuck there for several more months.

But she brought some joy to his life.

Because he’s been excited.

For days.

The highlight of this specialist’s young life is cheerleaders.

Like Amanda R.

Who like many cheerleaders only goes by one name.

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