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Lutui Has Extra Motivation Sunday

Posted Nov 23, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans right guard Deuce Lutui has some extra motivation when Tennessee visits Jacksonville on Sunday that doesn't involve football. The veteran is playing for Sgt. Jacob M. Schwallie of Clarksville, Tenn.

Lutui was flying back to Nashville on Tuesday night from Arizona when Titans fan Tom Schwallie recognized the lineman in first class and gave him a metal bracelet commemorating his son. The black bracelet is engraved with Schwallie's name, the name of the 82nd Airborne Division he served in and May 7, 2012 _ the date Jacob Schwallie was killed in action in Afghanistan at age 22.

A father of five himself, Lutui said the man became so emotional that the lineman got up during the flight, crossed the aisle and hugged Schwallie.

"We meet people through God for a reason," Lutui said. "I mean this is just a reminder of how thankful I should be for this Thanksgiving. For him to give up something so close to him, it belonged to his son. It was made for his son. he said, `You don't have to wear it. Just put it in your locker and let the boys know Jacob was a great fan and he was a great young man and he served in the Army.'"

Lutui gave Schwallie his Titans sweat shirt, with the man advising the lineman to just hug his children, be thankful and not yell at them too much. Lutui noted his mother lost her youngest child in a car accident, and he called home to talk to his wife as soon as the flight landed.

Schwallie later shared a photo of his son's gravestone along with a picture of his wife wearing Lutui's sweat shirt. The lineman, who posted a photo of the bracelet on Twitter and his Facebook page, wants to invite the Schwallies to an upcoming home game.

"This is such an inspiring story, an honor for me to hold this band that's such a treasure for him," Lutui said.

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