9:07 a.m. (EDT), May 11, 2011
The tour rolls on this morning after a stop at D.J. Jacobetti Veterans Home in Marquette.
Home to veterans going back to World War II, the facility hosted a gathering of more than 80 residents, families and staff to hear from the Packers.
Mark Murphy introduced the Tailgate Tour group and began by thanking the veterans for their service to our country.
Gilbert Brown said hello and asked how everyone was doing. When the response wasn’t to Brown’s liking, he asked again in a much louder voice. The residents, some of whom were surprised, responded in kind.
Brown began his remarks by pointing out a staff member, Randy Saatio, who was dressed in Lions apparel.
“I can see right away the idiot in the room,” Brown said to laughter.
Saatio knew it was coming, of course.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” he said with a smile. “It was fun to be a part of it. And for these veterans, this visit was great. They gave so much for our country for the rest of us to have the privilege of being able to watch football games and other entertainment, and to have these players be here and thank them for that is a great experience for everyone. These guys watch the players on TV, and now to meet them is awesome.”
Howard Green, a WWII veteran from Daggot, Mich., who celebrated his 100th birthday in April, was all smiles after meeting the players.
“Oh yeah!” he said when asked about whether he enjoyed the visit.
His son, Terry, beamed with pride as he spoke of his father’s service as a medic in France, Germany and Belgium.
The question-and-answer session provided a light moment when a resident asked about new helmets that are available to players. Josh Sitton expressed some reservation on quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ appearance in his helmet.
“His face seems a little squished in there,” he said with a chuckle.
Mark Murphy was quick to point out Rodgers’ success with the helmet.
“Hey, he’s 6-0 in that helmet. I think we’ll be fine,” Murphy said. The residents laughed with agreement.
Tonight’s event at the Ashland Civic Center is to benefit BRICK Ministries Inc. It is sold out.
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour