49ers' Kittle invites late veteran's family to Super Bowl

Arun SrinivasanContributor
Yahoo Sports Canada

George Kittle is often asked to carry the San Francisco 49ers’ offense, and he’ll be bringing some more welcome passengers along with him to the Super Bowl.

Mick LaMar served in the U.S. Army and was killed in January 2011, while in Iraq during his second tour of duty. LaMar’s widow, Josie, and their son, Nicolas, are fans of the 49ers and Kittle is taking the family to Miami, in conjunction with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) when his team squares off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2.

“The work I do with the USAA and the TAPS organization is something I really have kind of fallen in love with," Kittle said via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. "I have a lot of family in the military so it's something that I just respect, and the sacrifice that they give is the ultimate sacrifice. So, if I can ever give back and make a family's day or just make them smile a little bit, then I've just done a little part in their lives."

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Kittle has emerged as one of the NFL’s best tight ends, earning his second Pro Bowl selection after a campaign where he caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards, five touchdowns and developed into the league’s best blocker at his position.

“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," Kittle said in a statement. "It's a special privilege to be able to team up with USAA and TAPS to award a trip to the Super Bowl to Sergeant LaMar's family in recognition of his military service and paying the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country."

Kittle has become an indispensable part of the 49ers and entering the biggest game of his career, he’ll have a lot more than himself and his teammates to play for.

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