ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La.-- Before the Pearl River High Rebels kickoff on Friday night, the parents of Marine Sgt. Michael Guillory will flip the coin. They'll also be presented with tokens of thanks, including a montage of Michael's time at the school, in honor of his sacrifice and the service of all local military members.
"It's awesome to be able to pay it back and to be able to give something back to someone who gave his life to our country," said Tracie Martensson with the Pearl River Quarterback Club.
We have a lot of kids in this area that end up going into some branch of service. And also if you do a poll of our community, we have a lot of former military personnel, so we try to reach out to them, show them we support what they do," Head coach Chris Thomas said.
Guillory was killed in an ATV accident in Afghanistan in December while preparing for a supplies drop to his special operations unit. Guillory's mother is in awe of the gesture almost a year later.
"It's home. It’s where Michael played soccer on the fields. He played in the band for the football team," said Gina Guillory.
Friday night’s dedication for Sgt. Guillory is only the latest show of support, from the community, for the Guillory family.
A tree was planted in Guillory's honor at Slidell's Heritage Park and a Memorial Day swim competition was started in his name. Guillory's mother was also given a statue of a soldier for her yard.
"It's like I haven't really had a chance to grieve because it's just blessing after blessing and so many wonderful people being so supportive," Gina Guillory said.
And she is proud to know it will continue.
Just to see the people that support our military, that are remembering our veterans as well as our troops, it’s not just about Michael, and that's how he would want it. It's about all of them," she said.
Guillory's family plans to inter his remains in the new veterans' cemetery being built in Slidell. That's expected to be complete at the end of this year, or beginning of 2014.