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Walt Aikens Savors His PAL Days
June 15, 2018 03:00 PM | Andy Cohen
The Dolphins honored about 30 kids and a large contingent of police officers from the North Miami Beach PAL earlier this week and you could tell it meant something special to one of the team's special teams standouts.

Because Walt Aikens was once one of them.

"I grew up a PAL kid in Charlotte, North Carolina," said Aikens, now entering his fifth season. "It helped me in so many ways. What the PAL does is help keep kids like me stay out of trouble."

Today, Aikens is one of the national spokespersons for the PAL. You could tell how much he relishes that role, how much he adheres to the mission of the PAL, which is helping kids everywhere engage with law enforcement. You could see the pride in Aikens' face as he listened to Jeff Hood, the National CEO of the PAL.

"(Aikens) is what we want in our young people," said Hood. "I couldn't be more proud of the person he is."

The Dolphins often honor groups like the PAL and as well as various high school teams from around South Florida. On this day, the kids were treated to some time under the practice bubble, a tour of the training facility and about 90 minutes under the hot sun to watch the Dolphins go through an OTA practice.

It was a day I'm sure many of them will never forget.

"How does your job feel? " a little girl asked Dolphins Executive VP Mike Tannenbaum.

"When we win," Tannenbaum responded, "it feels pretty good."

A few minutes earlier, Tannenbaum was talking about life in general the group, delivering a message he hopes resonates with each one.

"Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life," Tannenbaum said to the kids. "When you make good choices, good things happen."

Good choices like the ones Walt Aikens first made many years ago.

"No matter who you are or where you are, you can always make an impact on a life," Aikens said. "I wish I could feel like I did back then all over again."

Instead what Aikens has is great memories, something he got a chance to relive during that recent visit from the PAL.
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