DELTON, Mich. - The Detroit Lions are spreading holiday cheer by giving two tickets to the proud parents of a soldier being honored as Hometown Hero during the big Thanksgiving Day game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
First Sgt. Shawn Burch has been serving our country for nearly 20 years, and his parents, Jan and Jim Elloston, are very proud. The Lions will recognize Burch's service at Ford Field as millions watch the big game on Thursday.
"I’m just so proud of him," said Jim Elloston, "and knowing what he’s been through in his years of service, I just couldn’t be prouder. Even though he’s my step-son, I feel like he’s my own."
Burch's parents reached out to FOX 17 over the weekend and said they couldn't afford to be at the game. FOX 17 contacted The Detroit Lions Monday, and they're rushing two tickets to the Ellostons.
Serving in the Michigan Army National Guard, Burch has received medals for valor and bravery and received the Purple Heart after an explosion during a tour overseas. Burch suffered traumatic brain injury from the blast. "They were short on man power and they needed someone to be a loader in the tank," said Elloston. "An IED, it blew the hatch off the tank and destroyed the tank but didn’t kill anybody. Shawn got rattled enough to where he injured his head."
Burch is a proud father of five receiving the Hometown Hero Award. His parents are thankful they'll be watching every minute of the special ceremony.
"He doesn't like talking about himself," said Jan Elloston. "To him, he's not a hero, he's just doing his job