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Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, U.S. Forces, Korea commander, hugs one of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders Thursday. The cheerleaders came Monday to South Korea visiting U.S. soldiers in remote camps as part of their annual holiday visit.

Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, U.S. Forces, Korea commander, hugs one of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders Thursday. The cheerleaders came Monday to South Korea visiting U.S. soldiers in remote camps as part of their annual holiday visit. (Courtesy of USFK)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Despite a miserable season on the field, the Dallas Cowboys may have gained a few new fans this week.

In their 50th USO tour, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders toured far-flung bases in South Korea, signing autographs and bringing some holiday cheer for overseas servicemembers.

“The troops are always glad we come,” said cheerleader Julie Moulas, on her fifth South Korean tour. “We don’t feel we can do enough.”

Dressed in form-fitting bodysuits, the cheerleaders roamed the post exchange after stopping by the office of Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, USFK commander, earlier in the morning.

Master Sgt. James Shaheen’s wife, Kap Jae, captured a few autographs on color cardboard sheets with the women’s pictures.

“It’s great,” James Shaheen said. “It reminds everybody that people at home, and the NFL, support soldiers.”

The cheerleaders made it to camps Bonifas, Greaves, Giant, Garry Owen, Essayons, Stanton, Kyle, Edwards, Casey and Howze, said Capt. Dan Gruber of 17th Aviation, who was helping escort the group. They also tried to visit a few groups of soldiers stationed on some of South Korea’s high mountains, but weather prevented one visit, he said.

Spc. Brian Robinson was lucky enough to be on one of the Black Hawk flight crews that flew the cheerleaders around. Robinson was collecting some autographs at the post exchange and also buying a stick of deodorant.

“It’s cool they spend all their time to come over here in Korea,” Robinson said.

Sgt. Rebecca Steinfeld got a few autographs, a gift for her husband, Matthew, who came from Fort Lewis, Wash., to visit her for the holidays.

“He will like it,” said Steinfeld, who said her husband is a Cowboys fan.

Spc. Ricky Slavens and Cpl. Nigel Lindsay both were doing courtesy patrol checks near the Townhouse eatery Thursday morning but managed to sneak away for a few minutes to the exchange.

“It’s nice to see that people from the States actually care about us,” Slavens said.

“It’s a nice boost of morale,” Lindsay said.

No, they didn’t forget Japan

The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders swing through Japan this week for shows, autograph signings and clinics.

At Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, the cheerleaders will hold a clinic on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the main gym. A show for all ranks starts at 7 that evening, also in the main gym.

On Wednesday, the cheerleaders will hold a “meet-and-greet” session at 2 p.m. in Iwakuni’s Hornet’s Nest for single Marines.

A 4:30 p.m. autograph session takes place later that day at the Cross Road Mall.

The cheerleaders head to Yokosuka Naval Base on Friday, where they’ll sign autographs at 11 a.m. and eat lunch at the U.S. Navy Hospital galley.

A youth cheerleading clinic will be held at 2 p.m. at Thew Gym. Spectators are welcome. That night, the Dallas cheerleaders will perform at 6 for all ranks in Thew Gym.

On Jan. 4, the cheerleaders will conduct a clinic at Atsugi Naval Air Facility in Cinema 77 at 1:30 p.m. They’ll put on an all-ranks show at 6 p.m., also in Cinema 77.

— Jennifer H. Svan


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