Families of 15 fallen soldiers had a chance to meet and have lunch with Philadelphia Union players, who wore the name of their loved one on special training jerseys on Friday.
The Union partnered with Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS) for the event on Friday ahead of Military Appreciation Night at the Real Salt Lake game tonight (kickoff 7:30 p.m. at Talen Energy Stadium).
“To see the Union players wearing their loved one’s name on the back of their jersey and just saying their name out loud and recognizing their loss and wanting to honor that is just beyond words, it’s so special for these families,” said Megan O’Keefe, TAPS entertainment and sports coordinator in a video released by the team.
“Not that this is filling a void but it’s really giving them a new person to connect with and share their loved one’s story,” O’Keefe said.
Kandence Mahlenrock said it was “really nice” to see her dad honored by Haris Medunjanin and to also get to meet the veteran midfielder and interact with the team.
“I don’t get to do this a lot,” she said. “No one gets to do this a lot.”