New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees helps a Hattiesburg military veteran get to the Super Bowl

After a week of sulking over bad news, here’s a bright spot for Saints fans.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has helped award a trip to the Super Bowl to a southern Mississippi military veteran.

Patrick Gray, a sergeant first class, recently retired after 20 years of service. He’s a Natchez native who studied music education at University of Southern Mississippi, and he still lives in Hattiesburg.

Brees met with him and his son Monday at the team’s facility. They’re pictured posing and tossing a football in an Instagram post by Brees on Tuesday.

“With the help of USAA and the USO, I’m honored to award Sergeant Gray a trip to the Super Bowl,” said Drew Brees in a statement. “As a lifelong Saints fan who has served our country for twenty years, this is simply a small way to say thank you.”

Gray said he’s a lifelong Saints fan and will attend the big game with his brother. They’ll get access USAA’s Salute to Service Lounge in the stadium

Gray earned several medals and honors in the Army, and deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served at Fort Benning, SHAPE Belgium, Fort Sill, Fort Stewart and Fort Bragg. He retired from the 82nd Airborne Division.

The trip is sponsored by USAA and the United Service Organizations.

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