They devote their lives to protecting those that they've never met, selflessly stepping forward to defend all that we hold dear in this country.
These individuals don't join the service for recognition or fame, it's just simply what they feel called to do, forgoing personal ambition to become a part of something much larger than themselves.
They're the brave few who make up our Armed Forces, and some of our nation's very best are right here in Chiefs Kingdom.
The Chiefs have a rich history of supporting our men and women in uniform throughout the years, including through the "Tribute to the Troops" program at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, which recognizes the real heroes in our community during every home game.
That initiative took place once again earlier this month, as Captain Trey Maevers was recognized as the "Tribute to the Troops" honoree presented by Crown Royal during the Chiefs' Wild Card Round matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
A veteran of three combat deployments, Captain Maevers initially joined the Missouri Army National Guard back in 2011, but his desire to join our Armed Forces began long before that.
"When I was five years old, I remember there was a pretty significant flood in my hometown of Cape Girardeau in southeast Missouri, and there were Army National Guard engineers on-site helping with flood mitigation," Captain Maevers said. "From that day on, I had it in the back of my head that I'd like to do that."
Captain Maevers never let go of that possibility, and following a tornado that devastated the community of nearby Joplin, Missouri in 2011, Captain Maevers turned that lingering thought into a reality.
"To see people from all backgrounds of life come together and provide disaster relief for those in need really did it for me," Captain Maevers said. "That's when I decided that it was time to do this."
That decision, which took place more than a decade ago, went on to send Captain Maevers to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and the Horn of Africa over the years as he brought his skills as an engineer to combat zones.
"The primary purpose for a combat engineer is to make capabilities on the battlefield easier, and that can include a wide range of responsibilities," Captain Maevers said. "From construction to infrastructure, we're basically problem-solving across all entities."
In fact, just this past year, Captain Maevers led an effort that provided infrastructure, engineering and construction services for the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, completing over 60 engineering and construction projects within three countries and eight contingency locations in East Africa.
It's a critical responsibility that provides the foundation for our military's operations around the world, and as the Chiefs defeated the Dolphins earlier this month, the crowd at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium had an opportunity to show Captain Maevers their collective appreciation.
"I was almost at a loss for words," Captain Maevers said. "Everything about it was just phenomenal, and it was reflective of the Chiefs' culture as an organization. To feel that appreciation from the team was just the best."