Assignment Afghanistan: Deployed Troops Get Cheery Visit

By: Steve Fullhart & Rachel Cox Email
By: Steve Fullhart & Rachel Cox Email
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Keep up with Assignment Afghanistan reporting from KBTX's Steve Fullhart and KWTX's Rachel Cox:

Assignment Afghanistan Web Section

MANAS, KYRGYZSTAN News 3's Steve Fullhart and Rachel Cox from KWTX News 10 in Waco are on assignment covering Texans serving in Afghanistan.

Morale boosts can do wonders for service members deployed overseas, and for those at the transit station in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, they often come at Pete's Place.

The only location on the base that serves alcohol, it plays host to visiting musicians, comedians, entertainers, and athletes. The latest visitors Thursday were members of the Miami Dolphins cheerleading squad, along with a couple of player representatives. The ladies performed routines for the packed house, and signed autographs after their show.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to come all the way out here," said cheerleader Lily Waters. "I don't know many people that could come to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan to visit the troops, and they're all very happy to see us, and we're happy to see them, too. We thank them for all that they do for us."

For people like former Dolphin Lousaka Polite, there's a more personal meaning to the trip.

"My dad served in the Navy," he said. I have siblings who served in the Army. I have cousins in the Marines. My uncle just retired from the Army after 25 years. I definitely respect it. I definitely appreciate it every day."

PO3 Erique Lynn was one of the many service members who stopped by, watched the show and stood in line afterwards for the meet-and-greet.

"I've always wanted to meet the Miami Dolphins, and I never got to as a kid, so I took the opportunity to come out here," the sailor said, "especially being that we just got done with our deployment and we're on our way home."

Pete's Place was named after Peter Ganci Jr., the fire chief with New York City's fire department who died in the attacks of September 11, 2001.


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