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Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey helps decorated Marine make it to Super Bowl

carolina panthers christian mccaffrey (Keith Allison/WikiCommons)

Carolina Panthers’ star Christian McCaffrey is helping provide a trip to the Super Bowl to a decorated Marine.

Sgt. Major Luis “Chino” Leiva is an active duty Marine who joined the corps in 1990. He will enjoy the game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami thanks to McCaffrey, insurer USAA and the Marine Corps Association & Foundation. USAA is coordinating a similar effort with other players around the NFL.

McCaffrey is scheduled to meet Leiva and other military members at USAA’s Salute to Service Lounge on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 during Super Bowl weekend.

“Sgt. Major Leiva started serving this country in the Marines before I was born and is still serving today, which is remarkable,” McCaffrey said in a news release.

McCaffrey, the Panthers’ star running back, say he’s looking forward to meeting Leiva at the Super Bowl Experience in Miami.

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Leiva served in Iraq in 2006-07, Afghanistan 2009-10, and in South Korea and Japan. He also has been stationed at various U.S. bases.

He has received the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star and the Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, according to a news release from USAA and MCA&F.

He is a N.Y. native and Baltimore Ravens fan who plans to attend the game with his older brother Jorge.

The lounge is open only to current military members, veterans and their families with appearances by NFL players, coaches, personalities and legends.

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© 2020 The Charlotte Observer