Mount Juliet veteran selected to attend Super Bowl | Wilson County

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – A Tennessee veteran will be going to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles thanks to an NFL football player.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Deandre Hopkins said on social media that Sgt. Melvin Gatewood, who lives in Mount Juliet, and his wife will be thanks in part to USAA and the Wounded Warriors Project.

“Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Sergeant Melvin Gatewood, an Army veteran, for his military service and his continued service in helping fellow military veterans,” Hopkins said in a news release. “Thanks to USAA and the Wounded Warrior Project, I’m honored to award Sgt. Gatewood a trip to the Super Bowl, where I look forward to meeting him.”

Hopkins teamed up with USAA, Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, and the Wounded Warrior Project, to award a deserving military member an experience of a lifetime – a trip to the Super Bowl, along with one guest. USAA will be coordinating a similar effort with other players around the league.

Gatewood said on social media he is excited about going to the Super Bowl with his wife and to meet Hopkins.

Gatewood served three years (2003-2006) in the U.S. Army and earned the rank of Sergeant. He was deployed to Iraq.

A Humvee driver and member of the Quick Reaction Force, his duties while deployed included convoy missions and presence patrols. In 2005 he was injured on a convoy mission, sustaining burns to his body, a back injury, and a TBI.

During his service, Gatewood earned the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal.

After medically retiring from the Army, he is now a Certified Peer Support Specialist with the Department of Veterans Affair and a volunteer Peer Support Group Leader with the Wounded Warrior Project. He is passionate about helping fellow veterans, especially those struggling with mental health and substance abuse.

He and his wife Shalonda will be attending the Super Bowl. They are fans of both the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans.

Hopkins will meet Gatewood and other military members at USAA’s Salute to Service Lounge during Super Bowl weekend on Friday and Saturday at the NFL’s Super Bowl Experience. Open only to current military, veterans and their families, USAA’s Salute to Service Lounge will feature NFL players, coaches, personalities and legends.

 

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