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Vickers remembered by MIL

September 2, 2011 - Robert Collias
Kraig Vickers, the former Maui High football standout killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last month, will be remembered by all MIL football teams this season with helmet stickers that will be worn on the back of every helmet in the league. The stickers are a Saber blue helmet with Vickers' No. 54 on them.

I remember getting the call from a close friend and source of mine at a Na Koa Ikaika Maui baseball game almost a month ago that word was swirling on the Internet that Vickers had been on that ill-fated helicopter. I called my office and our newsroom staff moved quickly enough to get the story into the next morning's paper. It was a story that no one wanted to believe was true, but one that we at The Maui News knew our subscribers needed to be informed of.

Breaking Maui County news is something we take great pride in — and as anyone who pays attention knows — The Maui News breaks almost all of the news coming out of Maui County. Many other outlets then pick up stories, without giving much, if any, credit to us, but that won't stop us from being the unquestioned top news outlet that everyone in Maui County can count on.

I remember Vickers as a great linebacker under Maui High coach Curtis Lee on some of the best teams ever to play football in the MIL. Since then, he has obviously become much more of a great man, soldier, father and human being. This tribute by the league is clearly fitting.

That an anonymous Lahainaluna booster thought enough to pay for this gesture — the gentleman called me Thursday to let me know about it, but insisted that he remain unnamed to keep the focus on Vickers — and that every MIL coach jumped at the opportunity to put these stickers on their team's helmets, speaks volumes about what the Valley Isle and its people are all about.

For anyone at tonight's Baldwin-Lahainaluna game, or any MIL game the rest of the season, take a look at those stickers, take a moment to remember Kraig Vickers, his family and his legacy, and give thanks in your own way to a man who has helped us all realize that freedom isn't free.


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