Military families getting chance to attend Colts playoff game

Master Sgt. Michelle Ring and her family are among those going to Saturday's game.
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Hundreds of military members are getting tickets to Saturday's Indianapolis Colts playoff game thanks to a grocery store chain.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted Friday morning, "Meijer's a superstar in our community. Bought 1200 tix and giving to local military families. Game on WTHR. BLUE OUT, not black out."

The Colts had until 4:30 p.m. today to sell about 3,000 tickets to Saturday's playoff game against Kansas City and avoid their first local television blackout since 2001.

"We're huge fans. We bleed blue here," said Indiana National Guard Master Sgt. Michelle Ring.

For 18 years, nearly her entire adult life, Ring has worn a uniform, first in the Army, now in the National Guard. Friday, she found out she is one of 1,200 servicemen and women and their families going to the Colts' playoff game.

"This opportunity is amazing," Ring said. "For me, personally, I'm so grateful."

Together with her husband, they have been to two Colts games this season. But she's most excited about sharing the fun of the playoffs with her six-year-old son.

"When I tell him tonight that not only does he get to go to a Colts game, but he can take his best friend with him, it will be like Christmas all over again," Ring said.

Being in the stadium to watch the team she loves is a gift for this career veteran. But the thought behind it is even more appreciated and unexpected.

"I'm so thankful to be able to do what I do and serve our country, but then to get acknowledgement from people we serve is very rewarding," Ring said. "I think it says a tremendous 'thank you' to service members who may have felt forgotten."

Ring says they had a family commitment and that's why they didn't buy tickets, but now they think their family will understand.

Along with Meijer, the Colts say other businesses and individuals scooped up blocks of tickets to make sure the game was a sellout.