If Oscar De La Hoya was getting a bit jaded from his life as a big-time promoter, last week served as a reality check. The 10-time former world champion is now a USO veteran. De La Hoya along with Golden Boy Promotions prospects Danny Jacobs, Seth Mitchell and Adrian Broner hit the ground in the Middle East on Mar. 8. DLH visited Camp Arifjan, Camp Victory, JSS Loyalty, JSS Justice and Camp Liberty.
"I hope that we were able to make a difference in the lives of the troops we met," De La Hoya said. "I am dedicated to continuing to help the USO with their mission of uplifting the spirits of our nation's troops, sharing my experiences and encouraging others to support our brave servicemen and servicewomen in any way they can."
It was an eye-opener for De La Hoya.
"Going on this USO tour and spending time with the servicemen and servicewomen who protect our country was a life-changing experience," De La Hoya said. " You don't realize what it means to be a participant in our military efforts and the sacrifices each one of them is making to fight for and protect our freedom until you see it first-hand."
Stepping in the ring for a fight is one thing, heading to war is a different level of moxie.
"Hearing their stories and seeing what they go through on a daily basis has changed my life," De La Hoya said. "The opportunity to see how our troops live and understand their ability to be ready for anything at a moment's notice showed me what it means to be truly brave."
DLH and his fellow fighters held autograph sessions and boxing clinics at the various sites. The troops at Camp Victory went crazy, with over 600 servicemen and women attending a USO boxing demonstration.
You can follow De La Hoya and the other fighters on Twitter at @OscarDeLaHoya, @ajtheproblem21, @DanielJacobsTKO and @GoldenBoyBoxing.