After celebrating Veteran’s Day, the stage was set for the Dolphins vs. Chargers game on November 17th, which served as our Military Appreciation game.
As I arrived at the stadium, the sky was crystal blue and the temperature was just perfect (it’s finally beginning to feel like fall in South Florida!). There seemed to be a different buzz in the air. Perhaps it was all of the women and men in uniform. The cheerleader locker room was also filled with excitement. There is a lot of preparation behind the scenes and we couldn’t wait to share it all with the fans.
Prior to each game, we perform for the fans in the Ford Sideline Lounge. Our “Every Day Hero”, 1LT Nathan Rimpf, joined us in our studio for the performance. Nathan served as Infantry Platoon Leader with the First Infantry Division and stepped on an IED while deployed in the Middle East in July 2012. Nathan revealed that he received a signed squad photo while he was hospitalized and how grateful he was. My teammates and I were beyond flattered as Nathan put his life in jeopardy for our country. Nathan’s positive energy was infectious and we were eager to take the field and perform!
After our pregame performance, our service members joined us on the field for the player introduction. As Darius Rucker sang the National Anthem, an American flag the size of the field was displayed. Immediately following the Anthem, there was a flyover, which gave me chills!
During the first quarter, we wore a camouflage military jacket and different hats, displaying the branches of our Armed Forces – Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. We performed our first end zone to “Danger Zone”. If you haven’t seen Top Gun, drop everything you’re doing and watch it! “Talk to me, Goose”.
For the halftime performance, we changed into 1800s inspired Solider Uniforms. The main attraction was the air show, we formed “USA” on the field and as the planes flew over we proudly waived our red, white, and blue pom poms.
Throughout the game, the Jumbotron displayed beautiful clips of men and women fighting and serving our country, as well as a live feed from Kandahar, Afghanistan. These elements coupled with all of the service members on the field and throughout the stands, solidified how blessed I am, due to their sacrifices. It was an honor to recognize these invaluable members of our community.
To top it off, we had a win! Ask any of my teammates and they’ll tell you how much I love the fight song and Jimmy Buffet’s “Fins”. I proudly sang them as we left the field victorious!