During the NFL offseason players have the chance to take advantage of some rest and relaxation, while some head to tropical destinations, others decide to travel abroad. Pittsburgh Steelers' guard David DeCastro decided to join a recent USO tour and traveled overseas for a week to spend time with the men and women of our armed forces serving our country.
DeCastro traveled over 25,400 nautical miles, 52 hours on a plane and made it around the world in 6 days. A whirlwind trip which DeCastro says he wouldn't change a bit.
"It's something you don't get to do every day and will never do again," DeCastro told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. "It was really special. It was so much in such a little time. It was such a whirlwind, so many cool life experiences. The best trip of my life wrapped into one fast week."
DeCastro wasn't alone on this tour. He was accompanied by college teammate and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Colts Coach Chuck Pagano, tight end Dwayne Allen, American Idol alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, actor Dennis Haysbert , Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev, platinum recording artist and season 11 "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips and motion picture and television personality Jason "Wee Man" Acuna.
Throughout the process, DeCastro could always feel a strong presence of Steelers Nation around the world.
"There were a lot of great Steelers fans there and everywhere we went. It's crazy. There were times when the Steelers chants definitely outnumbered the Colts chants. I let the others know about it as much as I could."
Football aside, DeCastro was able to take away much more than just a trip around the world, but a better appreciation for the service men and women stationed to protect our country.
"The best part was meeting the troops. I was so excited to see them, see what they go through, what they do. It was a cool experience for me. It was nice to see how happy they were and hopefully we gave them a little morale boost. Seeing the sacrifice, how long they are there, seeing how young they are. I didn't realize how young they are. It made me feel old when I saw some of them. It's eye opening."
There are times when us living stateside can forget about those keeping our country safe and our freedom a reality, and for that everyone here at BTSC would like to thank those who might be reading this while stationed outside the United States borders, or are serving our country here stateside. Your service doesn't go unnoticed.