Representatives of the Marlins organization are set to visit U.S. troops stationed in Southwest Asia from December 6 through December 13, 2014. The tour, organized by Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE), will mark the Marlins' sixth visit to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas. Representing the Marlins on this tour will be former Marlins outfielder Preston Wilson, infielder Justin Bour, pitcher Chris Hatcher, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Brendan Cunningham, Manager of Event Services Karl Ebert, Video Production Editor Mark Stewart Jr. and three members of the Marlins Energy Team.
"It is a great pleasure to announce our sixth overseas visit to the U.S. military troops," said Marlins Senior Vice President of Marketing and Event Booking Sean Flynn. "The program commenced in 2010 with our visit to Iraq and Kuwait, and this program has become a staple of the organization's outreach efforts. We look to serve the military personnel any way we can, from ticket specials, in-game presentations and working with military-oriented organizations to these offseason visits." The Marlins' partnership with AFE dates back to January 2010, when the Marlins became the first Major League Baseball team to send active players abroad to visit U.S. troops deployed overseas. At that time, the group visited multiple military bases in Iraq and Kuwait. In early 2011, players and front office staff traveled to Bahrain, Germany, Qatar and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Later that year, the Marlins visited Japan, Guam and Hawaii during a 12-day trip. The most recent overseas troops visit took place earlier this year as the traveling group toured Kuwait, Oman and United Arab Emirates from January 27 through February 3.
Throughout the next tour in December, Marlins players, the Marlins Energy Team and front office staff will participate in activities such as baseball clinics, Energy Team performances, meet-and-greets and a softball game with U.S. soldiers. The Marlins' visit to the troops is part of an organization-wide effort to partner with the military, recognizing the military's great service and sacrifice. The Marlins have coordinated a variety of military-friendly promotions and initiatives from South Florida Heroes Mondays to working with various military-oriented organizations and charities, such as GovX, Bunkers in Baghdad, Pros vs. G.I. Joes and Savannah's Soldiers.
Check below for all a full recap of the trip featuring news updates, live blogs, photos, videos and more!