MIAMI -- A contingent of Marlins representatives is going the extra mile to support the United States military. Beginning on Monday, a small group of Marlins team officials will visit U.S. troops stationed in Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The trip will run through Feb. 3.
It's yet another year in which the Marlins are traveling abroad to support those in uniform. The tour is being organized by the Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE).
The organization began the visits in 2010, which became an annual event before nothing was scheduled prior to the '13 season.
This will be the club's fifth visit. For the first time, however, no active Marlins players are making the trip.
Representing the club will be former Marlins outfielder Cliff Floyd and catcher Charles Johnson. Both were members of the franchise's 1997 World Series championship team. General manager Dan Jennings, executive vice president of ballpark operations and events Claude Delorme and director of community outreach Angela Smith also will be on the trip, as well as two members of the Marlins Energy Team.
One leg of the trip will be to Kuwait, a base that team representatives visited in 2010. At that time, the group visited military bases in Iraq and Kuwait.
In 2011, players and front-office staff traveled to Bahrain, Germany and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Later that year, the Marlins visited Japan, Guam and Hawaii during a 12-day trip.
During the tour, the contingent will participate in activities such as baseball clinics, Energy Team performances, meet-and-greets and take part in a softball game with U.S. soldiers.
The trip will be chronicled at the Marlins' "Beyond the Ballpark" blog at beyondtheballpark.mlblogs.com, the team's website at marlins.com/troops and through the @MarlinsAyudan account on Twitter, as well as through other official Marlins social media channels: facebook.com/marlins and @marlins on Twitter.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.