Cowboys Meet & Greet Troops Sarah Piland & Erin Bolen DallasCowboys.com Staff Writers July 30, 2004, 10:23 a.m. (PDT) OXNARD, Calif. --Even when the Cowboys leave the state of Texas, they can't escape their adoring public. Before they even stepped foot in California, the Cowboys players were greeted by a group of fans cheering as they came off their charter flight Thursday afternoon. From there, players were whisked away to sign autographs for about 400 people at Naval Station Ventura County, a local base that is home to nearly 16,000 troops. Air traffic controller J.D. Wilmore, an air traffic controller who brought his eight-year old son Michael out to the event, was thrilled to meet the Cowboys. "I work here, and definitely glad to see the players out here," said Wilmore. "I've been following Vinny Testaverde since his college days with the Hurricanes, and I follow the Cowboys all the time. They're my brother's favorite team in the world. My son is starting out in football, so it's a chance for him to meet some real professionals. It's a great opportunity." Testaverde, who's making his first official trip with the Cowboys, happily signed autographs and posed for photos with fans for about an hour with about 10 other players at the Port Mugu station. Another 10 made an appearance at the Port Huemene station, about 15 minutes away. "It's pretty amazing, actually," Testaverde said. "To get off the plane and be able to meet some of our fans out here in California. I think it's wonderful." Other Cowboys at the signing included Roy Williams, Flozell Adams, Quincy Carter, Dexter Coakley and new Cowboys Keyshawn Johnson and Eddie George. Event organizers said the Cowboys approached them about the signing around a year ago. The staff was delighted because very few groups make appearances at the base. Also greeting the troops were a group of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who spent most of the day on the base, and mascot Rowdy. But the Cowboys players were excited to be there as well. "Any time that you interact with fans is always good," said George, the newly acquired running back. "It allows them to see us without the helmets on and to get as feel for the personalities that we have. It makes us feel good that we have the support and want to try to win that much harder. It feels good to be appreciated." The fans appreciated the Cowboys presence as well, from long-time supporters all the way down the newest fans. "I just like all of them," said seven-year old Marcus Chambers, who was decked out in full football pads. "I want to be in the NFL when I grow up, probably the Cowboys." Even kids who weren't quite old enough to understand what was going on had a great time meeting the Cowboys. A little boy, about two years old, rolled his Cowboys toy truck from player to player, collecting autographs at each stop. When his car was covered, he sat on the floor and drove it around the feet of other fans. He'd better be careful, though, to make sure that his dad doesn't have more fun with the truck than he does.