BATON ROUGE -- LSU football coach Les Miles reached the halfway point Wednesday on his trip to visit the American Troops serving in Kuwait and Iraq.
Miles, along with former South Carolina coach Lou Holtz and Tampa Bay Devil Rays owner Vincent Naimoli are all taking part in the United Service Organization Tour, which serves as morale booster for the troops serving abroad.
The U.S.O. frequently invites professional sports figures, movie stars and other prominent people overseas to visit with the American Troops. This trip is the first of its kind for Miles.
Miles’ week-long trip to the Middle East had the coach departing the United States on Sunday, and after a 20-plus hour plane ride, he arrived in Kuwait on Monday afternoon. Since his arrival in Kuwait, Miles has met with the U.S. soldiers at three major bases.
Miles traveled on Wednesday from Kuwait to Iraq, where he will spend the next two days.
“It’s been truly amazing to be here and see what is taking place,” Miles said. “The spirit of the troops is high. I’ve seen a bunch of soldiers from Louisiana and they are excited that we are here. They all want to talk football and they are excited for the 2006 season.”
Miles said he has a video camera, a tape recorder and a journal with him on his trip. He said things happen so fast that he hasn’t been able to keep up with his journal, but that he has taken plenty of video of his experience with the American Troops.
“This experience has been off the charts,” Miles said. “I really can’t put in to words what it’s like to be here. I’ve tried to write down in a journal as much as I can, but it’s been hard for me to do that and soak everything in.
“I do know that all of the American Troops that we have met and talked with are proud to be serving their country and I’m just honored to be in their presence.”
Miles will begin his journey back to the United States on Saturday, when he will go from Kuwait, to Frankfurt, Germany, to Washington D.C., to Atlanta, to Baton Rouge.