Miami Dolphins cheerleaders bring smiles to Kadena with pens, pompoms
February 6, 2005
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Servicemembers greeted the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders with wide grins and a flurry of camera flashes Friday afternoon at the Rocker NCO Club.
The cheerleaders signed autographs and posed with everyone from children to grandfathers, turning hundreds of servicemembers and their families into Dolphins fans, even if only for a day.
“Coming here really makes me thankful for everything the [servicemembers] go through, and everything they do for us,” said cheerleader Kristine Fraga. “The least we can do for them is to come out here, perform and sign autographs.”
The cheerleaders toured Camp Foster and Camp Hansen on Thursday, then stopped at Torii Station on Friday before arriving at Kadena Air Base.
At Kadena, the parking lots overflowed well into nearby housing areas. Servicemembers eagerly waited in long lines for autographs, and many jumped behind the tables for closer photos with the cheerleaders.
One they had their turns, many huddled together over digital cameras and cell phones, peering at the tiny screens and saying something along the lines of “Wow. You gotta send me that one.”
Children were just as happy to meet the smiling Dolphins cheerleaders.
“It’s a big thing for my kids,” said Army Sgt. Darrell Wright, who came dressed in a Dolphins jersey with his son Alex, 11, and daughter Tonaya, 12. “My daughter is a cheerleader, and it’s great that she can see live cheerleaders from an NFL team. It’s something to boost the spirit up.”
Cheerleader Stephanie Hautman, who never had visited a military base before, said she was impressed by the enthusiasm coming from the people she met.
“One thing I didn’t realize is that there were so many families here,” Hautman said. “It’s great meeting so many of them. They’ve been wonderful to us.”