SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle awarded the family of a fallen military service member an experience of a lifetime: a trip to the Super Bowl in Miami.
In a tweet, the Niners star said he was excited to provide the tickets to the surviving family of U.S. Army Sgt. Martin "Mick" LaMar of Sacramento, Calif.: "Humbled to work with @USAA & @TAPSOrg to honor his legacy. We will never forget. #SaluteToService."
LaMar enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating high school in 1986 and served in the first Gulf War. He returned to civilian life following his deployment and reenlisted in 2007 with the Army.
While on his second tour, LaMar was shot and killed in Iraq on Jan. 15, 2011. He died on the same day as his wedding anniversary and also the day he was supposed to return home.
LaMar is survived by his wife, Josephine, and five children, including a young daughter he didn't have the opportunity to meet.
USAA shared the photo of Kittle meeting the wife and son of Martin LaMar on Twitter.
His wife and son, who are both 49ers fans, will be on hand to cheer for Kittle and the 49ers when the team takes on the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2.
"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," said Kittle in a statement. "It's a special privilege to be able to team up with USAA and TAPS to award a trip to the Super Bowl to Sergeant LaMar's family in recognition of his military service and paying the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country."
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The LaMars will be joined by other military members and their families at USAA's Salute to Service Lounge during Super Bowl weekend. Open only to current military veterans and their families, the lounge will feature NFL players, coaches, personalities and legends. Events like this are an example of how USAA uses its NFL partnership to authentically honor and appreciate our military.
Kittle teamed up with USAA, Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to award these tickets. USAA will be coordinating a similar effort with other players around the league.
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