Lyons honors wounded veterans

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This week isn’t just about football at Lyons.

Tuesday was the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, the team planned to fill three buses after practice for a trip to the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital in Chicago to visit with wounded veterans in the center’s blind and spinal units.

The trip is part of this weekend’s Salute-to-Service game organized by Lyons assistant coach Jason Brauer, who has organized many activities this week to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The trip to Hines was put together by another assistant coach, Jon Beutjer. The football team was to tour the facility with administrator Sara Rhodes and meet many of the veterans there for rehabilitation.

The Salute to Service was created by Brauer, who was inspired by a similar event at Libertyville High School. Raising money through the community is not new to Brauer, a physical education teacher at Lyons, who helped collect nearly $23,000 for the Kelli O’Laughlin Memorial Scholarship Fund by holding a Blackout Game during the boys basketball season.

Brauer hopes to produce $20,000 for the Wounded Warriors when Lyons (1-2, 0-1 West Suburban Silver) hosts Downers Grove North (3-0, 1-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bennett Field in Western Springs. The game is Lyons’ first home game of the season.

“Myself and coach (Kurt) Weinberg talked last year about wanting to do a game for the football program that was unique,” Brauer said. “We wanted a way to provide to the community and show that our athletes are more than just athletes; something good to the community, but involve active parts of the community.”

This week, students can purchase Salute to Service camouflage T-shirts. Players will wear special camouflage jerseys for the game that will be raffled off afterward.

Prior to the game, members of the school’s aviation department helped invite four paratroopers who will deliver the game ball and an American flag onto the field during the national anthem.

There will be a special halftime ceremony to honor all veterans in attendance and the cheerleaders have planned a special routine.~.

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