ESPN Interviews USAG Ansbach USO Center Director for Pat Tillman’s Next Feature | Article
ANSBACH, Germany (November 4, 2022) – On November 3 at Katterbach Kaserne, The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) interviewed Kimberley “Ley” Steadman, United States Army Garrison Center Manager (USAG) Ansbach United Service Organizations (USO) about it. participated in Pat Tillman’s jersey return to the United States from the USO Pat Tillman Center at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
The crew came to Germany from the United States specifically for the special which will tell the story of Pat Tillman’s jersey and his journey home from Afghanistan.
Steadman served with the USO for four and a half years and in troop support since 2018.
She is responsible for all aspects of operations at the USO Center at USAG Ansbach in Germany, including the daily supervision of over 35 volunteers.
“I was with the United States Peace Corps before I worked for the USO, and I just knew I wanted to be somewhere where I could work with soldiers,” Steadman said of what motivated her to join the USO. “While this jersey was on display at the Pat Tillman Center, you could feel the sense of service and sacrifice that he believed in and was committed to.”
As the United States was in the midst of withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan, Steadman did everything she could to make sure the jersey and other memorabilia were safe and brought home.
Steadman and other USO staff packed and secured Pat Tillman’s jersey and other memorabilia in a bag to carry back to the United States, while also carrying a second bag with all of his personal belongings .
“As we were queuing to weigh our pre-flight bags, one of the managers came over and said we couldn’t take two bags and I had to leave one,” she said. “I didn’t have to think twice about it, I dropped my bag on the sidewalk, called one of our volunteers and asked him to mail it if he wants. could and if not to leave it.”
It’s an important story to tell, to show what the jersey means to so many people in the USO and so many people in the armed forces,” said Joshua Vorenski, feature producer for ESPN. “When I hearing about the story for the first time, I had to find out more and make sure others know about it.”
“He (Pat Tillman) responded to his inner calling instead of taking the easy way out,” said Harry Hawkings, Associate Producer II for ESPN. “Whether someone would give up millions of dollars and a life in the National Football League (NFL) to serve in the military is beyond me.”
“‘What can the NFL do for you?’ did NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ask me,” said USO Zone Four Director Carly Harris, telling the story of when the NFL committed $250,000 to the USO Center. from Bagram Air Base “I said what about a USO center in Afghanistan in honor of Pat Tilman?”
Following the NFL’s donation to the USO in 2004, the Pat Tillman USO Center opened in April 2005 and was the first and last USO center in Afghanistan, where Pat Tillman’s jersey remained until May 2021.
Following the conclusion of the interviews, Lt. Col. Miguel Cisneros, one of the USO volunteers at the USO Ansbach Center, was recognized as the USO Area 4 Volunteer of the Year and will be in up for USO Volunteer of the Year for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Cisneros played a key role in securing a USO center in Ansbach and helped coordinate the logistics of the ESPN interview.
“The other thing that makes today special is that the Area Four Volunteer of the Year was selected, and he’s from here, USAG Ansbach,” Harris said.
“It’s a privilege to be recognized as a volunteer, the USO does it all the time, they really take care of their volunteers,” Cisneros said of being recognized for his work at USAG Ansbach. “Thank you for acknowledging that we volunteer our time to serve others, especially soldiers and their families through the USO.”
Pat Tillman’s ESPN feature airs Nov. 13 on NFL Countdown Sunday.