Hometown Hero--Sgt. Lucas Hynes - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hometown Hero--Sgt. Lucas Hynes

Posted: Updated:
Purple Heart recipient Sergeant Lucas Hynes will be one of 90 combat heroes honored at Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Purple Heart recipient Sergeant Lucas Hynes will be one of 90 combat heroes honored at Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Sergeant Hynes spoke with WTOC via satellite from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas, Friday. Sergeant Hynes spoke with WTOC via satellite from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas, Friday.

SAVANNAH, GA--Lucas Hynes is seeing a different level of football than he once played this week. But as one of 90 combat heroes being honored at the US Army All-American Bowl high school all-star game, the National Guard sergeant is also symbolizing the shared ideals of leadership, courage and strength to the game's young athletes.

Paired with an individual player throughout the week's activities, the soldiers have also served as mentors for some of the nation's best senior players who will participate in Saturday's game.

"We try to instill in these athletes the fact that no matter what you do you are not alone and you don't have to do it alone,'' said Hynes, who will be on the field at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio for a ceremony prior to Saturday's game. "You can always rely on teammates, soldiers, Marines, whatever to get through your daily routines or your daily missions."

Hynes can speak from the experience of getting through missions that were anything but routine.

A member of the National Guard for seven years, he has been deployed twice, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor for his actions while on duty in Afghanistan in 2002 and receiving the Purple Heart for injuries sustained on Christmas Day 2005 when an IED struck his vehicle while he was serving with Georgia's 48th Brigade Task Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This week, Hynes background has impressed the American Bowl players, but the former high school kicker has also been impressed by the athletes who will all play at the highest level of college football next year with many of them moving onto the NFL someday.

"We're inspired by them as far as they can do something I'll never be able to do, taking it to the next level as far as athletes go,'' said Hynes. "And they're inspired by us, considering they actually get to meet real heroes, so to speak and hear our stories about being overseas and doing our thing in the military.''

One side of the game that pits East against West in an All-Star format has also heard something along the lines of an order from Hynes, who grew up in Springfield, lives in Savannah, attends Georgia Southern and has a decided rooting interest in Saturday's game.

"The East better beat them. Otherwise I'm going to have some words with my guys," he said.

That motivation, along with the guidance he has offered young men at the All-American Bowl, Lucas Hynes is a WTOC Hometown Hero. 

 Reported by: Tim Guidera, tguidera@wtoc.com - Read more of Tim's stories here.

Powered by WorldNow