May 26, 2024

Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson always carries a tangible reminder of his great-grandfather, Joseph Bernardi, a World War II Army Ranger, in the form of his dog tags. Hutchinson, who was named after his great-grandfather, spoke to Fox News about his family’s military legacy and his partnership with USAA in anticipation of Veterans Day.

In collaboration with USAA, Hutchinson aims to go beyond mere expressions of gratitude on Veterans Day, urging Americans to engage in meaningful conversations to honor veterans. The Associated Press reveals that Joseph Bernardi, Hutchinson’s great-grandfather, was part of the World War II jungle fighting unit, “Merrill’s Marauders,” and posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal for his role in a secret 1944 mission in Japanese-occupied Burma.

Lions' Aidan Hutchinson honors Veterans Day with meaningful partnership |  Fox News

Reflecting on Veterans Day, Hutchinson emphasizes the significance of taking a moment to acknowledge the sacrifices made by veterans like his great-grandfather. He describes the day as an opportunity to reflect on the family’s history and the profound impact Joseph Bernardi had on both his relatives and the nation.

USAA’s “Beyond Thank You for Your Service” campaign, launched this year, encourages civilians to actively honor veterans in their communities. Hutchinson participated in the initiative by engaging in a conversation with U.S. Air Force veteran Patrick Fitzhugh, emphasizing the power of sharing personal stories and asking questions to gain a deeper understanding of veterans’ experiences.

Shifting to Hutchinson’s football career, the article recounts his journey from a season-ending injury during his junior year at Michigan to being the Heisman Trophy runner-up in his subsequent standout season. Drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2022 NFL Draft, Hutchinson has continued to make an impact in the current NFL season with notable statistics in sacks, tackles, and tackles for loss.

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