George Kittle is known for his work as a San Francisco 49ers tight end but he is quickly making a name for himself as a nice guy. When the Super Bowl is taking place in Miami, Florida next Sunday, he will have two special guests with him to the biggest game of the year.
Kittle is working with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and USAA to provide tickets for a widow and son of Sgt. Martin “Mick” LaMar. Josephine and Nicolas LaMar will be able to watch the action live from the stands.
January 15, 2011, was the day that LaMar was killed in Mosul, Iraq when an insider attack occurred. An Iraqi soldier was training under the supervision of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team when he opened fire. The attack killed LaMar and Sgt. Michael P. Bartley.
Excited to provide 2 tix to the #SuperBowl to the surviving family of @USArmy SGT Martin "Mick" LaMar of Sacramento (KIA 01/15/2011). Humbled to work with @USAA & @TAPSOrg to honor his legacy. We will never forget. #SaluteToService 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/OFeE4cQV2t
— George Kittle (@gkittle46) January 23, 2020
LaMar was 43 when he was killed. He was survived by his wife and 5 children but he never met his youngest daughter.
It took a number of years before LaMar joined the military a second time. He was in the Marines for 4 years and then was a civilian before joining the Army in 2007.
“[He] wanted to go back,” LaMar’s brother-in-law, Gilbert Alvarado, told the Sacramento Bee following LaMar’s death. “He wanted to fight for his country.”
Players around the National Football League as well as coaches are honoring the sacrifice that others have made. For example, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and Carolina Panthers running back Kristian McCaffrey are working with TAPS and USAA to give a military experience to military families during the Super Bowl.
Semper Fi SgtMaj Luis Leiva at Camp Lejeune! Thank you for nearly 30 years of service to our country and being part of the best defensive team I've ever seen. Proud to present 2 tix to #SBLIV on behalf of @USAA & @MCA_Marines. #SaluteToService pic.twitter.com/so8jqkAb0R
— Christian McCaffrey (@CMC_22) January 22, 2020
“The work I do with the USAA and the TAPS organization is something I really have kind of fallen in love with,” Kittle told the Sacramento Bee. “I have a lot of family in the military, so it’s something that I just respect, and the sacrifice that they give is the ultimate sacrifice. So if I can ever give back and make a family’s day or just make them smile a little bit, then I’ve just done a little part in their lives.”
The LaMar family will spend time with players and coaches during the game-day festivities.
Kittle will likely have his focus on the big game but when he comes out from the tunnel at Hard Rock Stadium, he knows that at least two people will be watching him closely from the crowd.
Never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Honored to work with @gkittle46 & @TAPSOrg yesterday to host the family of fallen Soldier SGT Martin “Mick” LaMar – his son Nick & wife Josie. Kittle presented them with tix to #SBLIV. #SaluteToService pic.twitter.com/qWVuRYMKcs
— USAA (@USAA) January 25, 2020
“As I hit the field to play in the Super Bowl, I find comfort in the fact that 49ers fans Josie and Nicolas LaMar will be cheering our team on.”
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