NFL Honors Cheerleader Turned Soldier

Rachel Washburn gave up her pom-poms to join the Army.
3:00 | 12/22/13

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Transcript for NFL Honors Cheerleader Turned Soldier
And finally tonight, from the sidelines to the spotlight at an nfl pro football game this evening. A special tribute is planned for a former cheerleader, now a soldier serving with distinction in afghanistan. Abc's linzie janis on the woman who is america strong. Reporter: Tonight, 25-year-old rachel washburn will be honored as a hometown hero by the philadelphia eagles. The team she used to cheerlead for. Four years ago, she gave up her pom poms for an assault rifle, becoming a lieutenant in the u.S. Army. I was always going to join the military. They're not exactly the same, but both jobs require you to handle stress. Reporter: While in college, washburn was an officer training. But craved another challenge. So, she tried out for the squad. I was very intimidated to do push-ups next to her. She was just a great role model. Reporter: After graduation, washburn gave up one job she loved for another. Deploying to afghanistan. We lived in a tiny mountain village, very rural, very, very conservative. We lived in a mud hut. Reporter: Washburn and another female officer were part of a special operations mission. Tasked with winning the support of local afghan women. One night, they were given a rare opportunity to do just that, by delivering a baby. It was very important to her husband that her integrity be maintained. And part of that is that she's not seen by anyone but her husband and family. We had the medics on the radio talking us through everything. Reporter: Washburn is reluctant to talk about combat, but remembers two female officers who died performing the same role. Those girls paid the ultimate sacrifice and every single one of us is so heartbroken by their loss, but so grateful these women lived. Their sacrifice just means so much to me and to other women. Reporter: Just weeks ago, washburn returned from her second tour in afghanistan, where she led a platoon of 22 soldiers. Her sacrifice makes her america strong. Linzie janis, abc news, philadelphia.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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