By Vanessa Lynch, Hawaii Army Weekly, U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiFebruary 3, 2012
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Football fans, both young and old, converged on Aloha Stadium, here, Saturday, to watch some of their favorite players in action.
The National Football League hosted its annual Ohana Day, a free event that drew more than 2,500 military families into the stadium for a chance to watch players from the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference go through their final preparations for Sunday's Pro Bowl game.
The 2012 Pro Bowl teams practiced in front of their fans, with cheerleaders and mascots roaming the sidelines, and in some cases, taking the field with the players.
Ohana Day serves as a family day, allowing families to enter the stadium at no charge to meet their favorite players, cheerleaders and mascots.
The NFL extended its gratitude for the sacrifices military service members and their families make and provided free busses to transport military families from all branches of service to and from the event.
"I got the opportunity to meet with some real heroes during my visit to Hawaii, the Purple Heart recipients at Schofield Barracks," said former NFL strong safety and nine-time Pro Bowler John Lynch .
The event included prize drawings, a chance for kids to go on the field for contests, as well as a sneak peek of the pre-game and halftime shows, where the military took center stage.
In between practices and press interviews, NFL mascots, cheerleaders and players took the time to meet their fans.