By Sgt. Nathaniel Free
204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
Between the first and second quarter of the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz, in partnership with Larkin Mortuary, took a moment to recognize a local hero and member the Utah National Guard, Sgt. 1st Class Steven Sandberg, Feb. 5, 2020.
Sandberg was sitting in section A during the game, wearing his Army Service Uniform. He knew something was happening the moment his wife, Amber Sandberg surprised him with tickets to the game and asked him to wear his uniform. Unknown to him at the time, Amber had nominated her husband to be recognized as Jazz Vet of the Game.
Escorted by two Jazz Dancers, he made his way down to the court, where he was given a Jazz jersey emblazoned with his name and the number 1, and received a standing ovation.
“I was a little anxious when I found out what exactly was happening,” said Sandberg. “But it was a good feeling to stand in front of thousands of people and be recognized by the Jazz organization knowing that I wasn’t the only one being recognized, but also all of my fellow Soldiers that I was deployed with.”
Sandburg returned from Afghanistan in 2019 where he was deployed with the Utah National Guard’s 4th Infantry Division, Main Command Post—Operational Detachment in support of NATO-led Operation Resolute Support.
“That’s why we do this, to take a moment to recognize and say thank-you to our troops for what they do,” said Rachel Marconato, Director of Activation, Corporate Partnership, Utah Jazz. “We appreciate his service and hope to be able to recognize our troops for many years to come.”
Sandberg currently serves as the human resources non-commissioned officer for the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Camp Williams, Utah.
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