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Local Veterans head to Super Bowl Tribute Game

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Local veterans with Sanford were in the Twin Cities enjoying a well-known tradition of Super Bowl Week.

For Vikings Fan Aaron Hanson, it wasn't quite the Super Bowl trip he had anticipated.

"Little heartbreaking, I had plans on spending the whole week there, saved around 4,000 bucks to buy tickets for the game, so little devastating after the game last week," said Aaron Hanson, Air Force Veteran.

But, it is a trip that has a little more meaning.

"You know, I'm a brother at arms with all these guys who exceed life every day," said Hanson.

Aaron, an air force veteran, and a handful of other Veteran Sanford Employees were in the Twin Cities to check out the "Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team."

While there, they took on retired NFL players in the annual Super Bowl Tribute Game.

This trip, sponsored by the hospital, is a part of a recent push by Sanford.

"Set up a Department of Veteran and Military affairs so to speak. Really want to honor veteran patients and customers," said Tim Vangerud, Director of Security Services.

For these veterans, it was a privilege just to go.

"Amazing to be around people who served at that capacity. It feels great to feel like they're supporting you but really they're inspiring you," said Kelsi O'Keefe, National Guard Veteran.

Although it wasn't quite the big game, this trip is one these men and women won't be forgetting any time soon.

The group met some of the players after the game ended.

Cassandra Rohlfing

After working part time at WDAY-TV during her college career, Cassandra – who goes by Cassie, joined the WDAY news team full-time in January as an Online Editor/Weekend Producer. She switched over to Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in June and is excited to work on stories you want to see!  She was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, ND and is part Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Cassie graduated from  North Dakota State University in December of 2015 with a degree in Journalism, and an emphasis in Broadcasting. Cassie bleeds green and gold and is an avid Bison Football fan who attended every home game in her college career, thanks to being a part of the Gold Star Marching Band. Her hobbies include binge watching TV shows on Netflix, attempting to work out, and getting outside when she can. If you have any questions/story ideas feel free to email or call. 

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