Vikings coach Brad Childress mentioned at the NFL owners meetings in late March that he would be part of the NFL-USO coaches tour this summer. Now we know more details.
According to the NFL, Childress will be joined by three other coaches -- Carolina's John Fox, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis and Philadelphia's Andy Reid -- on the trip to to the Persian Gulf in the coming weeks. Childress was a member of Reid's coaching staff with the Eagles from 1999 to 2005 and the two remain good friends.
The four coaches will meet and greet members of the U.S. military for several days. The exact location to which the coaches will travel and the dates when they will be gone is not revealed for security reasons.
This will be the second year in a row that a group of NFL head coaches has gone to show their support for members of the military. Last year, three current and two former coaches went to Iraq over the fourth of July weekend. The list included Tennessee's Jeff Fisher, the Giants' Tom Coughlin, Baltimore's John Harbaugh, former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher and former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden.
This trip certainly will have added meaning for Childress, whose son, Andrew, joined the Marines in 2008 and was recently deployed to the Middle East.
While coaches only recently started going to visit with soldiers, the NFL has been working with the USO to send players to visit troops overseas since 1966. In March 2009, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is from the Twin Cities, spent 10 days traveling through Iraq and Kuwait.