ELK GROVE, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle surprised a family of a fallen military veteran with the trip of a lifetime.
The LaMar family is heading to Miami next Friday for the Super Bowl.
When you first walk into the LaMar family home in Elk Grove, you’re greeted by the “Daddy Wall,” a wall full of photos, flags, and awards dedicated to Martin Lamar’s 12 years of military service.
He died while stationed in Iraq in 2011. His son Nicolas was seven years old and daughter Sophia was three months old. He and Josie were married for 11 years.
“The day he was killed was actually our wedding anniversary,” Josie said. “So I was expecting a call that day, never got it, what I got was a chaplain soldier to give me the news. It turned my life upside down.”
Now, nine years after his death, Josie says his spirit is constantly with them.
Even recently showing up in the form of a surprise, when San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, USAA and Tragedy Assistance Program chose to send them to Super Bowl 54.
Josie says football helped weave this family together.
“When we got married, he told me I would not have a husband, that Sundays were his days. That he’d be watching football sun up to sun down,” she said. “And I was okay with it until I thought, wait a minute, how about you teach me so I learn to love it? And he did, and I loved it and I became the biggest fan.”
Nicolas, now 16 years old, is also a big fan and is thrilled to be able to join his mother at the big game.
“Being able to go to a Super Bowl is very, like I don’t believe it, but I do believe it at the same time,” he said.
During the game, the LaMar family will proudly honor their father and husband, a man who gave his life serving his country and spent Sundays cheering on San Francisco.
No matter the outcome of the game, Josie says the memories from Miami will be going up on the ‘Daddy Wall.’