A Class Reunion in Afghanistan?

While in Bagran, Afghanistan, Firefly Fisher met a high school classmate, Jorianne, Garcia, class of 2004, Kingston High School, Kinston, N.Y.

"Before we head out on our “You Write The Rules” World Tour, we had the chance to make a very special trip. For the first time in our 87-year history, the Globetrotters annual Holiday Military Tour included a visit to Afghanistan. We played in Bagram, Jalalabad, Bahrain, Kuwait, Djibouti, and the United Arab Emirates.

Another first for the Globetrotters involved us playing in specially-designed camouflage uniforms from Russell Athletic. This was our way of paying tribute to, and showing how much we support the troops. We are icons and symbols of the United States, so wearing them felt great. I love going to countries for the first time, and I’m blessed to have the chance to put a smile on the faces of our troops. They need it. I enjoyed playing on a Navy aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, patrolling the Arabian seas. Not many people can say they did that!

"We're mighty glad and awfully proud to have them here at Jalalabad Airfield."

This was my second military tour with the Harlem Globetrotters. My first was in 2009 when we visited Iraq. That was a great experience, but this trip was even better. I enjoyed my time with the troops and am coming back home with even more pictures, souvenirs, videos and memories. The interactions with the soldiers were great.  I had a lot in common with many of them. They are from all over the world, similar to the Globetrotters, which made our conversations exciting. They were thrilled to watch us play because they had fond memories of the Globetrotters as young kids.

I was happy to run into an old high school classmate, Jorianne Garcia. He had contacted me through social media just before we went to Afghanistan, because he'd seen me on a Globetrotters poster on the base.  How ironic to run into a classmate I hadn’t seen since 2004 - all the way in Afghanistan!  We talked about our careers and all the great things that are happening in our lives today. I hope he’ll be able to come to watch us in Albany, New York on Super Bowl Sunday. This moment will pave the way for us to keep connected with each other from now on.

There isn’t another professional team that can relate to the troops like the Harlem Globetrotters. We travel around the world at least nine months out of the year, missing holidays at times because of our schedule, but we love what we do and people appreciate it.  It’s a little similar to the troops being away from their families, and I think that’s part of why we were able to connect. We appreciate what they do on a daily basis: it’s the dedication and sacrifice of the troops that allow the Harlem Globetrotters to do what we do."

-Firefly Fisher of the Harlem Globetrotters

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