The military holds a very special place in my heart. As the sister of a U.S. Navy serviceman, this game hit close to home. My brother has been to Afghanistan and will be deployed in January once more. So you can imagine how wonderful it was for me to have the brave men and women of our armed forces come together and support the Dolphins for our Veterans Day game against the Tennessee Titans.
I arrived early to the Stadium so that I could take pictures with the men and women in uniform on the field. This was very exciting. It meant a lot that I could be a part of their special day. One of the most exciting parts of the morning was recognizing the gentlemen of the US Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin. I met them during a visit to the Port Of Miami, and was very happy that they could come see a game. I had the chance to take pictures with them as well.
At 1:00 pm, it was finally game time! We started with our pregame cheerleader performance and then one of my favorite parts of the game: the National Anthem. Our service members joined us on the field in formation along with the unveiling of our nation’s flag. A military band played the national anthem. I felt goose bumps on my arms. Seeing an entire stadium filled with thousands of people standing together to represent and respect our country and soldiers was truly heartwarming.
There is no greater joy than when I get out onto the field and start performing for the fans. Our first end zone dance was military themed. We danced to Stars and Stripes and changed into these adorable blue, red and gold soldier costumes. Throughout the entire game the Jumbotron showed clips of men and women overseas fighting for our country. Every time I would catch one I couldn’t help but smile and just think of how grateful I am to have these amazing people serving. They risk their lives so that we can be here in America having football games and live freely.
As the game drew to an end, it still felt as if it were my first game. The excitement of being a cheerleader for the Dolphins will never fade away. I will have these beautiful memories forever and cherish them for years to come.