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Soldier Will Live His Dream Before Tour of Duty


Jonathan Martin, a private in the United States Army, was born an Oakland Raiders fan. When his family changed team allegiances, Martin stayed loyal to the Raiders and has remained a dedicated fan. Growing up in New Jersey and now living in Washington D.C., Martin has never attended a Raider game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Martin will deploy for a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan after the New Year. His dream is to attend a Raiders game with his girlfriend. That dream will come true on December 19th when the Raiders play host to the Denver Broncos.

Last year, as Martin was being driven to the Oakland Airport after a visit with his girlfriend and girlfriend's mother, he asked to stop at the Coliseum to stand on the steps. "I was excited just to be there, to be outside the Coliseum," said Martin. This year, Martin will have the opportunity to go inside the stadium and watch his favorite team play live and in person.

Martin is most excited to be a part of and experience the Raider Nation. "I've never been in the community of that many Raiders fans," said Martin. "I've known maybe one other Raider fan other than myself. So to be there, to be in the vicinity, to be even near the Black Hole, that's going to be an honor."

Martin described the Black Hole as the heart and soul of the Raider Nation. Even from across the country, Martin feels as though he is part of the global Raider experience. Although he has lived in rival territory, Martin has always donned the Silver and Black. "Once you put that jersey on, you're representing the whole team," Martin said. "You're not representing yourself. That comes second. The team comes first."

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