NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL stars J.J. Watt, Von Miller and Champ Bailey will take part in a weeklong visit to U.S. troops at military bases throughout the Middle East.
The league said Monday that Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, Cleveland Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph will also be on the trip.
I am honored to have this rare opportunity through the NFL and USO to spend time with the men and women serving in our armed forces, said Smith. Being able to visit with troops during their deployment, having the chance to shake their hands, look them in the eye and personally thank them for what they do is a privilege.
The NFL and USO have been organizing overseas visits with players for more than 45 years.
Watt, the Houston Texans defensive end, is the reigning Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. Miller, the Broncos linebacker, joined him on the All-Pro first team. Bailey, Miller's Denver teammate, was a second-team cornerback.
This is the first NFL-USO tour abroad for all six players.