Photo: USO photo by Steve Manuel
Olympic Gold Medalist and former Ten-Time World Champion in six weight divisions who turned USO veteran, Oscar de la Hoya touched down stateside today following a whirlwind seven-day USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to Kuwait and Iraq. Accompanied by up-and-coming fighters Adrien Broner, Danny Jacobs and Seth Mitchell, De La Hoya led the group to the Middle East on March 8, where they went on to extend their thanks to troops and visit eight military bases. Among some of the installations visited were Camp Arifjan, COB Basra, Camp Victory, Camp Liberty, JSS Loyalty and JSS Justice.
Having lifted the spirits of thousands of servicemen and servicewomen, the group held a series of boxing clinics as well as signed hundreds of autographs and delivered an infinite number of smiles. Most telling of the group’s popularity among troops was seen at Camp Victory, where more than 600 troops turned out to attend a USO boxing demonstration featuring the fighters. Despite the tour coming to a close, its impact on De La Hoya and the others were felt once they returned home.
De La Hoya saw this as a life changing experience,
“Hearing their stories and seeing what they go through on a daily basis has changed my life. The opportunity to see how our troops live and understand their ability to be ready for anything at a moment’s notice showed me what it means to be truly brave.”