John Reitenbach of Sunbury, PA, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was plenty excited to celebrate his 51st birthday at Thursday's game at Heinz Field. After all, who doesn't get excited to go to Heinz Field for a game?
Being that it was a primetime home game, Reitenbach went into Thursday expecting a fun night at Heinz Field. What he wasn't expecting, though, was the surprise that came his way during the third quarter. During a TV timeout, [Steelers Nation Unite](https://www.steelersnationunite.com/pages/home.php?utmmedium=website&utmsource=steelers.com&utmcampaign=nonpaid&utmcontent=ten fan recap cp articlelink) showed up at his seat to recognize him as the Member of the Game. There to help honor Reitenbach and present him with a signed jersey was Army Veteran and Steelers Legend Rocky Bleier. For a number of reasons, it was a very special moment.
"He really symbolizes what the Steelers are about," Reitenbach said. "Just to keep on pressing, never quitting and keep going towards your goal. Sometimes winning and sometimes getting knocked down, but learning how to keep fighting. He symbolized a lot of that. What can I say to meet a man like that? I know he's just a man, but he inspired me a lot when I was a kid."
Reitenbach also scored a package with new Salute To Service Steelers gear, and helped out all the fans in his row, too, with everyone winning two tickets to Bleier's one-man show, "The Play", and passes to go down on the field for photos after the game.
As excited as the entire row was after winning, it would be hard to find anyone as thrilled as Reitenbach was after meeting Bleier, being recognized as the Member of the Game and getting to be on the field.
"Tony Toe Tap! As soon as I came down on the field, I was thinking of my daughters and how much they love Antonio Brown and Troy Polamalu. I'm thinking of The Bus running over Urlacher in this endzone in the snowstorm," he said.
And with the Steelers securing another victory at Heinz Field on Thursday night, these experiences only added to what was certainly a memorable night for this fan and Air Force Veteran.
"Everything just really came together for us today," Reitenbach said. "It's just an overwhelming day. When I got the call from a 412-area code last Friday, I had a feeling of what this was about and thought it was too cool. They said they had a big surprise for me but I never expected this."
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