COLLEGEVILLE, Pennsylvania -- "My son, Staff Sergeant Marc Small, was killed in Afghanistan on February 12 of 2009," said Mary MacFarland. "He had such a heart of gold and he was always trying to help the underdog."
Small, a devoted Eagles fan, was able to celebrate the Phillies' World Series victory in 2008. But beyond that, seeing the Birds go to the Super Bowl was on his bucket list.
His fianc, Amanda Charney-Berardi, couldn't let that list remain unchecked.
"He wants to go and see all the seven continents of the world. He wanted to do a marathon. And throughout the years I started to complete them," she said. "I went to Africa and started working in a child's orphanage. And I brought his ashes to India... I went all over Europe... And we've given almost $2 million since his passing to help kids and his name."
But even after celebrating the 2018 Eagles victory, Charney-Berardi hadn't found a way to fulfill Sergeant Small's Super Bowl dreams.
Fast forward to 2023 and the Eagles are playing in the Super Bowl on Small's killed-in-action anniversary.
"It's this date that is so tugging on my heart that it's so critical to have his name, for me, present on this field," said Charney-Berardi. "I sent a message to Mike Diaz and said, hey, the Green Legion, can you get down there? Can you fulfill this bucket list item for me?''
Diaz is the social media director of The Green Legion, a popular Eagles fan page that coordinates experiences at both home and away games.
"We do a lot of support for military families and, you know, maybe someone sees it and says, 'Oh, you know what, I can bring that picture,'" said Diaz.
More than just one person saw it. The social media posts received more than 1,000 shares and various comments of support from fans.
A handful of commenters expressed their intentions to bring either a digital or print copy of Small's photo into State Farm Stadium on Sunday. And more than a dozen submitted their photos to us after the big game.