Detroit Lions’ Aidan Hutchinson gives away Super Bowl tickets to Army veteran

Tessa Robinson
Feb 10, 2024 1:42 PM PST
2 minute read
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SUMMARY

The Detroit Lions’ Aiden Hutchinson had a great year on the field. But it’s what he’s doing off of it in partnership with USAA that’s making headlines.

Aidan Hutchinson has a special place in his heart for military service. His great-grandfather, Joseph Bernardi, was part of "Merrill's Marauders," an elite jungle fighting unit in World War II. The Marauders “answered the call for the most dangerous missions” and “faced the most brutal conditions in the jungles of Burma,” then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said during the ceremony in which the Marauders were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. They endured fierce combat, life-threatening illnesses, extreme exhaustion and heat, and in the toughest terrain one can face in battle. Everything they did laid the foundation for the creation of our Army Ranger regiment.” Because of this, Aidan has a profound respect for the military. This year, he was able to partner with USAA to give away two Super Bowl tickets to a U.S. Army veteran.

William “Russ” Hall graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and went on to serve as an Armored Cavalry Officer and Strategic Planner for 27 years (1979-2006), achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his Army career, LTC Hall served at every level in the military, from platoon to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, with overseas deployments that included over 10 years in Germany and multiple deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. LTC Hall’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, National Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal (4th Award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2d Award), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2d Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Medal, European Service Medal (2d Award), NATO Medal, Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, Ranger Tab, Airborne Parachutist Badge, Army Master Fitness Trainer Badge, and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Silver).

Hall recalls the highlight of his career as being selected to command the 417th Base Support Battalion in Kitzingen, Germany, where his unit earned the Commander-in-Chief's Award for Installation Excellence as the top garrison in the Army. In retirement, he spends much of his time volunteering with local veteran service organizations and holds the position of VFW National Strategic Planning Committee Chair. He is a two-time past All-American VFW State Commander and led Delaware to the highest membership percentage in the Eastern Conference both times.  

Russ’s favorite sport is football and his favorite team is the Philadelphia Eagles. Russ lives in Smyrna, DE, with his wife of 23 years, Sandra, a schoolteacher, who will be his guest at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, where they will both meet Aidan Hutchinson before going to the game. We caught up with Aidan to talk about what this opportunity meant to him:

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