KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two soldiers. Two teams. One lifelong bond.
Daniel Gilbert and Mike Burgess sat side by side in Arrowhead Stadium and cheered on their favorite teams Sunday. However, their road to get there started on a battlefield half a world away.
“We don’t need to get into all that. You’re gonna make me cry,” said Gilbert, a longtime Chiefs fan.
Burgess and Gilbert were roommates and medics with the First Battalion, 7th Infantry stationed in Germany in 1990. In 1991, they were deployed to “Desert Storm” with the 1st Armored Division.
Then, tragically, on March 1st, 1991, Burgess stepped on a landmine, and the detonation took his leg.
Gilbert ran toward Burgess and stayed with him until a helicopter arrived. In those moments of uncertainty, Gilbert was able to keep Burgess calm.
“When he got back to me and I was laying there, things were going through my mind. And to have him come back and be with me at that moment and load me on the helicopter was definitely something that helped me get through it,” Burgess said.
As Gilbert loaded Burgess onto the rescue helicopter, he thought he was saying his last goodbye.
“No, it was devastating. I mean it was absolutely. I knew at that moment that was probably the last time we were going to see him,” Gilbert said.
However, Burgess pulled through.
After their time in the military was over, Burgess, who is from Ohio, and Gilbert, who’s from Missouri, decided that every time the Chiefs and Browns face off, they would be there together.
“For him to live and for us to get to have these experiences together, man, it means the world,” Gilbert said.
Although they are brothers connected by an inseparable bond, when the Chiefs play the Browns, no one is safe from the trash talk.
“Oh yeah, it’ll be on,” Burgess said before the game.
“He got to listen to Red Kingdom on the way up,” Gilbert said.
They said no matter the score of the games because they’re together, they’ve already won.
“Just being here together and sharing this day, we’re going to win,” Gilbert said Sunday.