Football star visits Tropic Lightning Soldiers

| January 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

NFL star Tim Tebow throws a football to a fan during a visit Jan. 11 at Wheeler Army Airfield, HI. Tebow visited the 25th Infantry Division to learn how America’s Pacific Division stays ready to deploy, fight and win tonight. (Photo by Sgt. Ian Morales)

Story and photos by
Sgt. Ian Morales
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — During a visit to Hawaii, Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL star, and current N.Y. Mets outfielder Tim Tebow stopped by, here, and Schofield Barracks, Jan. 11, to see how the 25th Infantry Division stays ready to deploy, fight and win.

Tebow began the day with a visit to the flight line, here, where he met with Soldiers and families from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. He threw footballs with young fans and even took a few “selfies” to commemorate the visit.

On Wheeler, Tebow and his brother and his father received a tour of the runway, the different air frames, such as the UH-60 Black Hawk, UH-47 Chinook and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star Tim Tebow looks over the edge of the rappel tower while being instructed on the safest method to abseil at the Lightning Academy Jan. 11 near Schofield Barracks, HI. Tebow visited the 25th Infantry Division to learn how America’s Pacific Division stays ready to deploy, fight and win tonight. (Photo by Sgt. Ian Morales)

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Renzo Rivas, an Apache pilot with 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th CAB, explained how Army aviation enables ground forces to complete their missions.

Punctuating their visit to the aviation brigade, the Tebows strapped into a Black Hawk for an orientation flight around the island.

“It was awesome,” said Tebow. “It’s a unique experience that I’m glad my family and I got to share with the troops.”

After his flight, Tebow and his family were taken to the 25th ID Lightning Academy to see how service members from all branches are taught to survive in jungle environments with limited resources. They also received a demonstration on how to rappel from a 60-foot tower with and without combat gear.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Tebow volunteered to conquer the tower as well.

“I was a little bit nervous, especially walking up the tower and knowing you can get down in five seconds,” Tebow said. “It’s different than walking out on the field with thousands of fans, but once you get off the edge, it’s totally fine. My mom, at 68 years old, did and she kind of crushed it!”

Wrapping up their visit, the Tebows met with Maj. Gen. Ronald Clark, commanding general, 25th ID, at the division headquarters on Schofield Barracks. There Tebow explained his admiration for what Tropic Lighting Soldiers do and their professionalism.

“First, I just want to thank you for all that you do,” Tebow said. “What you do really matters. You’re an inspiration to so many, and unfortunately, you probably don’t here that a lot.”

“I think in this day and age a lot of people are searching for purpose and significance,” Tebow said. “I can see that you have that in what you do every day, and it’s very special.”

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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