Local NFL player honors Bernalillo County first responders lost in helicopter crash

KRQE News 13
KRQE News 13

(KRQE) — Former Eldorado Eagle and current Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Zach Gentry is honoring local first responders as part of the NFL’s “ My Cleats My Cause .”

Crossing guards across Albuquerque collecting canned foods for families in need

In Sunday’s game, Gentry wore cleats honoring Fred Beers, Larry Koren, Michael Levison, and Matthew King. Those men were the four Bernalillo County first responders who died in the Metro 2 helicopter crash in July while helping fight the wildfire in Las Vegas.

According to the Steelers’ website, Gentry was in New Mexico when the fatal crash happened and said it hit close to home, so he wanted to do something to honor them.

Story continues below:

It was close to home. That tragedy happened when I was back home between OTAs and training camp. I was home, and the wildfires were a big problem in the Southwest. It’s something that really affected the community. When you were driving around you would see people hanging American flags everywhere on highways and stuff. When they brought them into town, it was a little bit out of Albuquerque, they brought them back in the ambulances and it was touching to see the way the community came together and honored them. I want to do something like that too. It was really close to home and I want to do something to honor their memory.

Zach Gentry on

After wearing the cleats, NFL players have the option to auction off the shoes with proceeds going to the cause of their choice.

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