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Beauty queens visit troops in Okinawa

Date Posted: 2008-03-07

It’s hard to tell who was having more fun on Okinawa this week, Hillary Cruz and Rachel Smith, or the young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who shared photo opportunities and autograph sessions at USO Centers.

Hillary Cruz, Miss Teen USA, and Rachel Smith, Miss USA, visited USO Centers on a two-day meet-and-greet mission sponsored by the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment. It was the first time either beauty pageant winner had visited military personnel stationed overseas. In addition to meeting with the troops, they visited the Spouse’s Gift Shops run by military volunteers.

Apart from the troop visits, during which they autographed more than 400 photographs and posed for hundreds more, Cruz and Smith were shown Okinawa’s culture, including Fundo Okinawa crafts, yachimun pieces created by Yuzuru Kikuchi and Hideo Miyagi, and Okinawa’s bingata kimonos.

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