Story and Photos by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers with the Warrior Transition Battalion, here, and military keiki received a treat when three players from the Miami Marlins baseball team and three members of the Miami Marlins Mermaids dance team visited, here, Dec. 11.
The Marlins and Mermaids signed autographs, posed for photos and conducted baseball and dance clinics.
This year is the fourth consecutive one that the Marlins have donated their time during the holidays to visit with Soldiers and their families.
Brett Hayes, catcher; Bryan Petersen, outfielder; and Mike Stanton, right fielder, along with three Mermaid dancers, came to show their support.
“We have fans and military members come out every game to support us, so we feel it is our duty to try and return some of that support,” Hayes said. “What they do on a daily basis is something we can’t repay. They sacrifice their lives for our freedom. This is the least we can do.”
First on the Marlins’ agenda was to visit the WTB, where they signed autographs and ate lunch.
“I’m a big baseball fan and it’s my first time meeting a major league player being from the islands,” said Spc. Victor Fernandez, WTB. “It’s a great experience. It’s nice to see people visit us other than other Soldiers. We really appreciate their visit.”
Afterward, players and dancers moved to Ralston Field, here, to conduct a youth baseball and dance clinic for all Army-affiliated children between the ages of 9-14.
More than 30 kids showed up to learn from the pros and get a chance to meet the team’s mascot, Billy the Marlin.
“It’s important to put action to words,” Petersen said. “We all say that we’re so thankful for these guys and girls that serve and make our lives safe and easier. But, it’s important to come out here and shake hands and tell them personally that we support them.”
All players and dancers said they loved their visit and hoped to come back again.