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Good Neighbors: Cable Dawgs deliver an early Christmas

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Christmas came early this year for 24 children from an orphanage in Itoman City thanks to Kadena's "Cable Dawgs."

Members of the 18th Communications Squadron's cable and antenna maintenance shop, affectionately called the Cable Dawgs, visited the orphanage on Sept. 22, 2015, carrying toys, clothing, and other donated gifts.

Senior Airman Alexander Brown, a cable and antenna maintenance technician, said it is the second year the Dawgs completed the volunteer project, and he is hoping it continues for years to come.

"There were huge smiles, from ear-to-ear," Brown said of both the children and the Airmen who made the visit. "This is definitely something we'll keep doing."

Brown said 40 Airmen from his shop spent two weekends collecting donations from community members, and the outpouring of support was inspiring.

He said people purchased the goods to donate, from blankets to baby clothes, skateboards to stuffed animals. Many donated cash. Since the kids ranged from newborn babies to teens, a big variety was required, Brown explained.

Brown, who is married with kids of his own, said the opportunity to work with the children at the home was moving. He said the Airmen who volunteer take a lot away from the event.

"Just being able to hang out with them for an hour or so, to play with them and their new toys, and to give out some hugs made everything worthwhile," he said. "It gets emotional."

Makiko Yamamoto, chairman of the orphanage, said having the Kadena Airmen visit was incredible. She said the kids look forward to spending time with the base visitors.

"We're really grateful to get the support," she said. "The children are so excited to get the toys from the Americans. And they can't wait to see the Airmen again."

Naoto Anazawa contributed to this story.

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