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Postcards from Alaska: Tandra Transitions from Hawaii to Alaska

Posted Jan 28, 2014

Titans cheerleader Tandra transitions from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii to a goodwill military trip with other NFL cheerleaders, mascots and former players in Alaska!

Alaska Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

I can’t believe I am already in Alaska!  It is absolutely breathtaking here!  This is my first time in Alaska, so I had no idea what to expect.  Ironically, it is warmer here in Alaska than it is back home in Nashville!  I have always heard how beautiful it was, but I never would have imagined just how much.  I spent the past 18 hours traveling from airport to airport with the Atlanta Falcons Mascot, Frankie.  We met up with Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader, Denita.  We immediately clicked! 

I had a true humbling experience today.  On the flight from Seattle to Fairbanks, I sat next to one lady and her daughter (Teal, around the age 15).  After about 15 minutes of sitting there, I noticed the daughter staring at my bag labeled “Titans Cheerleader.” So, I asked her, “Do you like cheerleading?”  She put her head down and had a slight smile on her face.  I continued to talk to her about activities she liked to do and how she felt about living in Alaska.  Before the end of the flight, Teal, was making some communication with me -- lots of smiling, and even making eye contact.

Just before landing, her mom began to tear up and told me how her daughter had just been shot a year ago from today and had not truly communicated with anyone since the incident.  She said Teal was just leaving the children’s hospital located in Seattle.  She was given a 5 percent survival chance a year ago, and now she is a miracle! 

Knowing that I was able to put a smile on this beautiful girl’s face after everything she had gone through, and was going through brought tears to my eyes!  She was thanking me for helping her daughter and for being an inspiration to her, but Teal was the true inspiration.  She was a strong, beautiful, and brave girl. Today was an incredible lesson showing that you never know whom you might impact that day. 

When we arrived to the airport, we met all the other people with our trip.  We have two retired Kansa City Chief Players -- Jon McGraw and Eddie Kennison; two mascots, Freddie Falcon from the Atlanta Falcons and Rampage from the St. Louis Rams; and three other cheerleaders -- Denita (Atlanta Falcons), Christina (Buffalo Bills), and Taylor (St. Louis Rams).  As soon as we arrived on base at our hotel, we had dinner and our first meeting. 

After our long travels, we are off to bed.  I’ll have more for you in the morning Titans Nation!  

**Tandra**


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