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A visit from a true hero

Posted Nov 10, 2017

WWII Veteran Charles Wiggins was the guest of the Steelers at practice on Friday.

Veterans Day will be celebrated on Saturday, a day to say thank you to the brave men and women who have served in all branches of Armed Forces throughout the years.

On Friday, though, the Steelers welcomed one of those heroes to practice, honoring a man who truly is a local treasure.

Charles Wiggins, a World War II Navy veteran who lives in Wilkinsburg, was presented with a jersey after practice with a unique number on it. The personalized jersey had No. 100, as Wiggins celebrated that milestone birthday in September.

“This is marvelous,” said Wiggins. “I never thought I would have the opportunity to walk in here. It’s great to see the guys in person and how they react in different conditions.”

One of the first players to greet Wiggins was Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger.

“That was special,” said Wiggins. “I am glad that we were able to serve our country and be here to enjoy it today.”

Wiggins, who you would never in a million years guess is 100 years old, said he still takes pride in serving his country during World War II.

“To be able to see our country, and the condition we are in where we are better today, and to continue to make this country as great as it should be is special,” said Wiggins. “It’s wonderful to see the appreciation. When I walk down the street, people see I am a veteran and say thank you for your service and it makes me feel good. It gives me that feeling that it was worthwhile what we went through and for people to know we weren’t just doing it for ourselves, but for everybody.”