Bucs’ Clinton McDonald sending injured veterans to Super Bowl

Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, the team's Man of the Year for 2017, is starting the new year with another kind act to help local military families.

McDonald announced Thursday that in conjunction with USAA, he's sending two injured veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project and their guests to Minnesota for Sunday's Super Bowl, featuring the Patriots and Eagles.

"Being raised in a military family, I've grown to understand the services and sacrifices that our nation's men and women commit to when they dedicate themselves to defend our country," McDonald said in a statement. "Teaming up with USAA and Wounded Warrior Project to award Jonathan and Ronald a trip to the Super Bowl is just a small token of our appreciation for all that men and women in uniform do for us."

McDonald and USAA are sending retired Army Cpl. Helmer Jonathan Flores Rivera, who served from 2005 to 2009 and was injured during an attack while stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Marine Cpl. Ronald Holton, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was shot while serving in Afghanistan.

Both live in Tampa and are Bucs fans; Flores will attend Sunday's game with his son, while Holton will have his wife Maria with him. As part of their trip, they'll meet with McDonald at USAA's Salute to Service Military Appreciation Lounge on Saturday.

McDonald, 31, just finished his fourth season with the Bucs, totaling five sacks and 29 tackles. He's an unrestricted free agent but could return for his ninth NFL season this fall.

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Neil S. Schwartz

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