Per a press release by the NFL, four players who excel on the field and in their community are continuing a USO-NFL tradition initiated nearly 50 years ago. These NFL ambassadors are taking part in a week-long USO tour throughout the Middle East to visit U.S. troops at military bases.
One of the four players taking part in the USO-NFL tour is Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack. Joining Mack on the tour this year are defensive tackle Akiem Hicks of the New Orleans Saints, free agent offensive tackle Will Svitek, and former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brian Banks, who is now a member of the NFL league officiating department.
Mack previously took part in the 2012 USO-NFL tour. He made the following statement regarding the upcoming tour:
"I am truly excited to be going on my second USO tour to visit American troops stationed overseas. It's an honor to be invited into the lives of our servicemen and women and to be given an opportunity to show my appreciation. They do a dangerous job so we can enjoy our freedom and way of life. I'm lucky a lot of our soldiers enjoy watching football and I can bring a little slice of home out to them while they are serving. Last time I was on a USO tour, the troops showed me an extraordinary time. They were kind, friendly, engaging, and took me into their lives with open arms. I did amazing things with even more amazing people. Hearing their stories and learning about their life abroad gives me a new appreciation for what they do and go through. I look forward to another unforgettable trip."
Mack is under contract with the Browns for certain this upcoming season, but will have the option to opt out next offseason.