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Before: Eagles Cheerleader; Now: U.S. Army Intelligence Officer

USA Today reports: “As a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, Rachel Washburn toted pom-poms. As an Army intelligence officer with a special ops combat unit in Afghanistan, she carried an assault rifle and pistol. She was a pioneer on a special mission to relate to local women in ways that would be culturally inappropriate for male troops — including helping deliver an Afghan baby in a snowstorm.”

“Washburn, 25, who recently returned from her second tour in Afghanistan, was honored Sunday night as a ‘Hometown Hero’ by the Eagles at their home game against the Chicago Bears.”

“Cheerleader turned soldier? Did that turn heads when she was in military training or living in a mud hut with Green Berets in a village in Afghanistan?”

“‘Initially, it was kind of a novelty to people I met if they ever found out,’ Washburn said Thursday in a phone interview from Savannah, Ga., where she was on the first day of her post-deployment leave. “‘It’s kind of a bit of a shock. You don’t expect those two things to go hand in hand with one person.'”

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