Wrestlers’ McChord visit ‘really eye opening’ experience

By Somer Breeze-Hanson/JBLM PAO on December 18, 2011

American professional wrestler Madison Rayne has toured several U.S. military installations to meet and greet servicemembers and sign autographs.

When Rayne visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord with professional wrestler Angelina Love Dec. 6, taking a tour of an aircraft on McChord Field hit home for the celebrity. Rayne married an Airman in February and her husband was deployed to Afghanistan in September.

While touring a C-17 Globemaster III, Rayne learned about all the things she hears her husband talk about.

"Everything they show us and everywhere they take us around here, at first it's cool and neat," Rayne said. "But then I sit back and think as a wife, 'this is what my husband's doing right now.' He's across the world doing these things right now and it's like play time for us."

Rayne and Love were on a two-day promotional tour of JBLM with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The duo visited an MP station, a fire department, participated in a gun simulation, signed autographs at the Lewis and McChord Exchanges and toured the C-17. The visit was Love's first to a military installation. Her boyfriend, who wrestles as Crimson on TNA, is a former Soldier.

"It's really eye opening because you really don't know until you experience it how hard everyone works and all the training they do and what they go through," Love said.

Aboard the C-17, the wrestlers sat in the cockpit and also worked the levers to lower the ramp of the plane.

Senior Master Sergeant Derek Bryant of the 728th Airlift Squadron, directed the tour and shared with Rayne and Love what his job entails.

"It's always good to show people how we operate," Bryant said. "They're part of the community, too."

Medical technicians of the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron explained their roles aboard the plane and had the wrestlers load and unload a dummy on a stretcher aboard the aircraft. Just the sight of dummy patients on stretchers caused Rayne to become a little emotional.

"It puts it all in perspective," she said. "It really got to me for a second."

The celebrity wrestlers were an appreciated visit by the Soldiers and Airmen of JBLM, but Rayne and Love left the base with a deeper understanding of those that serve them.

"It gives more appreciation to each individual job," Rayne said. "Now we kind of understand what each branch does and then within each branch, what each division does."


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