49ers' Kittle helping to send the family of a military veteran to the Super Bowl

Cameron Salerno, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Football

49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle made a family's dream come true.

Kittle teamed up with USAA and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors to give the family of a dead military service member a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- a trip to Super Bowl 54 in Miami between Kittle's 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

USAA will be helping other players around the league give a similar gift.

Mick LaMar enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986 after graduating from high school. He served in the first Gulf War and after his deployment ended he returned home and worked as an electrician for an armored truck company. He had a desire to serve again and re-enlisted in the Army in 2007. While LaMar was on his second tour in Mosul, Iraq, he was shot and killed on Jan. 15, 2011 -- the same day as his wedding anniversary and the day he was supposed to return home.

LaMar left behind his wife Josephine and five children, including a daughter he never met. Josephine LeMar, his widow, is a diehard 49ers fan who learned to love football from her late husband. She will be rooting for the 49ers in Miami with her 16-year-old son Nicolas, who is also a fan of the hometown team. Nicolas was only 7 when his father passed away.

The LaMars will join other military members and their families at USAA's Salute to Service Lounge during Super Bowl weekend. The lounge is only open to current military, veterans, and their families. In the lounge will also be NFL players, coaches, personalities and legends.


"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 news release.

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