Sunday's football game turned out to be an honor and tribute to our current members of the military and veterans from across western New York at New Era Field as the Buffalo Bills hosted the Chicago Bears

Editor's note:

This past Sunday, Messenger Post Media's digital editor and reporter, Josh Williams had the honor of participating in the NFL’s salute to service at New Era Field. Beside working as a full-time journalist, Williams is also an Air Force Reservist, serving as a  video broadcaster for the 914th Air Refueling Wing in Niagara Falls. He spent three years in the United States Army stationed at the 101st Airborne as an Artilleryman. Here is his recount of the event.

As a broadcaster for the 914th, I have the absolute privilege telling the story of the sons and daughters of our fine nation - something I take great pride in. Despite the theme of this article- I'll try my best to separate what I do between my military career and my civilian career, but as a citizen airman this is nearly impossible.

This past Sunday I put my camera down and joined approximately 150 other military members to carry Old Glory across the turf of New Era Field as the Bills hosted the Chicago Bears.

The NFL flyover is one of the most spectacular experiences one can see with their own eyes. Three years ago I flew on the 328th flying squadrons’ last C-130 flyover, two years ago I was on the field with my video camera as we walked across midfield, and this past Sunday I walked out on the field as a participant. Every one of which was an incredible experience.

As members of the military readied to unfurl the rolled up flag carried upon our shoulders, veterans were honored from across western New York including Naples resident, Mr. Bill Cooper, who served during World War II.

After the recognitions, the 100-yard wide flag was spread across the field to the sounds of our beautiful national anthem as we awaited the perfectly timed Hercules C-130 flyover. A tremendous amount of work and planning goes into these flyovers. There’s a lot of mathematics to make sure you pass over the stadium at the perfect moment. The wind speed at 10,000 feet is different from 600 feet above New Era Field. The talent of our pilots, aircrew maintainers and support staff is something I stand in awe of everyday. There were heroes in the sky as well as throughout New Era Field.

All of the branches of the military were recognized by the Buffalo Bills organization. As individuals we stood there but in our hearts we were not alone. In our hearts, we were filled with the spirit of the current members of the military, the veterans in the stands, veterans watching from home- and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. It was a humble day made possible by living in a nation founded on the principles of freedom - and it was a day I will forever hold in gratitude.