In homage to his roots, an NFL sensation is sending a Purple Heart veteran and his son to enjoy the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, who has not been shy about expressing his faith in post-game interviews, announced on social media that he is sending United States Marine Corps Sgt. Craig Mazeska and his son on a trip to watch the Super Bowl Feb. 11 and meet NFL stars, including Stroud.
“Coming from a military family has helped shape me into the man I am today – seeing firsthand the sacrifice required. Thanks to @USAA & @AFA_Air_Space I’m sending @USMC vet SGT Craig Mazeska and his son to #SuperBowlLVIII in Las Vegas! #SaluteToService,” Stroud posted on social media platform X.
#ad Coming from a military family has helped shape me into the man I am today – seeing firsthand the sacrifice required. Thanks to @USAA & @AFA_Air_Space I’m sending @USMC vet SGT Craig Mazeska and his son to #SuperBowlLVIII in Las Vegas! #SaluteToService pic.twitter.com/Gbp6xjt2eZ
— CJ Stroud (@CJ7STROUD) January 25, 2024
USAA, or United Services Automobile Association, is an insurance and banking enterprise for military members and their families. USAA is the NFL’s official Salute to Service partner. Stroud’s post also referenced the Air and Space Forces Association.
Mazeska served from 1988 to 1994, with deployments in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, according to KPRC-TV.
During the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm, Mazeska was responsible for breaching walls, tank traps, minefields and bunkers, according to KHOU-TV.
Along with a Purple Heart, he was awarded a Combat Action Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal and a Unit Citation, among other commendations.
Mazeska was a teacher and school counselor after leaving the military. The Baltimore Ravens fan has since retired and lives in Washington D.C.
“Beyond football, my family is one of the most influential parts of my life, and I especially appreciate the lessons learned from my loved ones who have served in the military,” Stroud said.
“Like some in my family, Marine Corps veteran Sergeant Craig Mazeska selflessly served our country, so I’m honored to join USAA and the Air & Space Forces Association to send Sergeant Mazeska and his son to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, where I look forward to meeting them,” he said.
Stroud marches to his own drummer, as he did in November, when he gave God the credit for how he rolls with the punches on the field and in life.
“I don’t deserve His grace and His mercy, but He still gives it to me and I love Him for that.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about Him and His glory. So that’s where it comes from, God made me like that.” – CJ Stroud
In a world full of Megan Rapinoe’s, be a CJ Stroud pic.twitter.com/WMvhYHiufd
— Alec Lace (@AlecLace) November 13, 2023
“For me, I mean, it’s a lot of prayer. A lot of just knowing that man, God wouldn’t put anything on me that I can’t handle,” Stroud explained.
“I don’t deserve His grace and His mercy, but He still gives it to me, and I love Him for that,” he said.
“It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about Him and His glory.”
Stroud offered similar comments after a playoff win over the Cleveland Browns earlier this month after he led the team into the second round of the playoffs.
“First and foremost, I just want to give all glory, praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Stroud said.
“I mean, it’s been amazing, being in this city for as short as I’ve been, but the love I’ve got — I’ve really just been doing it for Houston, man … I’m blessed to be in the position that I am, blessed enough to be playing at a high level right now,” he continued. “And we’ve got to just keep it going. But I’m super blessed.”
You thought people wouldn’t notice that you edited out Stroud’s statement of faith and gratitude but we have the receipts.https://t.co/bmkgPYre5g
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 17, 2024
Although the interview was given to an NBC reporter, the network edited out Stroud’s comments about his faith, but they were widely shared on social media and by other outlets.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.