This week, Denver G.M. Kiki Vandeweghe is taking part in a goodwill tour organized by the Nuggets that will visit various U.S. military bases across Europe from May 18-23. The tour will serve as a way of paying respect to troops overseas. Vandeweghe will file daily diaries with during his tour. Today, the group arrives in Italy.
Photo Galleries: Day 2 | Day 1


Sarajevo, May 21 -- I’m sorry I wasn’t able to send in a diary entry yesterday. We spent the day in Incirlik, Turkey which is a very secure area and we were unable access the internet or use cell phones because there was not a secure line. Incirlik had an extremely more intense atmosphere than what we experience in Italy and it was very eye-opening to see what national security truly means.

In Turkey, we spent the morning giving a clinic to children of base personnel. In the afternoon, we went to the fitness center on the base and signed autographs. Clyde Drexler and I played some one on one with some of the guys and had a great time. It felt good to get back on the court, but I think we’re both glad we’re still retired. We spent the afternoon at the fitness center on the base. At night, we went to the noncommissioned officers club, where there was a reception for us. We played pool and ping-pong with the officers and there was a trivia contest.

The Nuggets board a plane for Turkey, the next stop on their Goodwill Tour.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

We are meeting so many people who show you the true meaning of honor and you realize how sincere they are about defending our freedom back home. It’s a very heart-warming experience to see the smiles and the joy we’ve been able to bring. This is the only entertainment they’ve had here in months and we’re the first people to do something for the children on the base in over a year. Most people are here for 90 days if they don’t have kids. Those with children have to stay for two years. There is very little for the kids to do here off base, but they’ve done a fantastic job on base. The rec center looks like an American arcade. They have video games, pool tables and a basketball court.

We were able to get an upclose look at AWAX, C5s and C17s. There are no larger planes in the world. Some airmen showed us their living quarters. It was unbelievable. These guys are living in tents - four or five to a tent about the size of a large shed. While they had electricity and televisions, it still made you very proud to see the sacrifices these guys have made and what they go through in their daily lives defending their country.

At night we were able to catch some highlights of the Lakers and Kings game. We also ran into several Colorado Avalanche fans who were thrilled that the Avs tied the up the series. It’s amazing to see how much these guys are into their sports. The games don’t come on until early in the morning, but some still stay up to try and catch them on satellite.

I look forward to sharing details about Sarajevo with you soon.