Vietnam POW gets tickets to Super Bowl from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed with helmets of the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Combined ShapeCaption
The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed with helmets of the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs fan and Air Force pilot Edward Lee Hubbard was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for just over 6 1/2 years. During that period, the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl IV.

Hubbard was shot down over Vietnam in 1966 by two surface-to-air missiles. After running through the jungle for a number of hours, he was captured and put in a prison camp. He didn’t find out that his favorite team made it to the Super Bowl until his release on March 4, 1973.

NFL officials heard the story about Hubbard and decided to make sure he wouldn't miss the Chiefs in their return. So with a special invitation from Commissioner Roger Goodell, the 81-year-old Hubbard will be in Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday night to watch Kansas City play the San Francisco 49ers in its first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.

“We are inspired by your story and service and sacrifice,” Goodell told him in a video. “I read all about what you went through, the 6 1/2 years is incredible, and we just don’t want you to miss the Kansas City Chiefs playing in the next Super Bowl. We would like you to be here so you can see it live.”

With a big smile, Hubbard replied: “It would be the greatest day of my life.”

He retired to Fort Walton Beach on the Florida Panhandle, but he’ll be in Miami for the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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