LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Paying respects to those that serve.
Some local military families got a chance to see some of their favorite Las Vegas Raiders in person at Allegiant Stadium on Thursday.
"Oh man, it's amazing. Longtime fan. Big fan of the guy."
"Arguably one of the best tight ends in the league. He's the man."
Mike and Frank Goodwin could not contain their excitement when they got the chance to meet Raiders tight end, Darren Waller. They were able to check something off their bucket list.
"Being able to meet them is a dream come true for me,” Mike said.
They were among dozens of active military personnel and their families from Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases visiting Allegiant Stadium as part of a USAA event.
Waller and teammate Clelin Ferrell held a question and answer session sharing their own family’s military experience. Waller was proud to share that he witnessed his cousin's service and from that, Darren gained a greater respect for all the men and women who serve.
"They're just really cool normal human beings and it's awesome to see them and their sacrifice and how deeply they care about the country and what we have here and the blessing that we have just been here,” Waller said.
Both of Ferrell’s parents served as combat engineers which he says helped him understand composure.
"When danger is involved, the type of composure to still be calm, and have a process of elimination to complete your mission, to complete your task,” Ferrell said.
The Goodwins say this meet and greet humanized the players they love watching, and acknowledge there are bonds that tie both teams together.
"We're kind of from the same kind of place, and it's great to connect with them on that human level,” Mike Goodwin said.