Vice President Mike Pence picked up two wounded war veterans at Andrews Air Force Base on his way to Houston for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Marine Staff Sgt. Anthony Mannino, Jr. and Army Staff Sgt. Frederick Manning flew aboard Air Force Two on the way to the game. Mannino was wounded while serving in Iraq in 2008 and Manning was hurt in Afghanistan last year, according to The Hill.
Mannino brought along his wife Diane and Manning brought his nurse from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Army Sgt. First Class Charles Stanley. Mannino was pulling for the Patriots to win their fifth Super Bowl, while Manning was hoping the Falcons would win their first.
“We’ve got Falcons fans. We’ve got Patriot fans,” Pence said. “There’ll be a winner on this plane on the way back.”
Mannino told the Indy Star on Sunday that he thought the initial call was a mistake. Manning added that he didn’t get any sleep Saturday before the game.
“I was like, `This is the White House? Are you sure you’ve got the right person?’” Mannino said.
After the group landed in Houston, the conclave went to Pappas BBQ in Houston for a pulled pork sandwich and some BBQ sauce.
Pence gave Pappas BBQ two thumbs up as he left to go to NRG Stadium.
"It was just great," he said, rubbing his stomach. "That's some Texas BBQ.”