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Pence picks up wounded service members for Super Bowl

Vice President Pence arrived at Andrews Air Force Base on Sunday afternoon to escort two wounded soldiers and their guests to the Super Bowl in Houston.

Pence landed at the base shortly after noon to meet up with Marine Staff Sgt. Anthony Mannino, Jr., who was wounded in Iraq in 2008, and Army Staff Sgt. Frederick Manning, who was injured in Afghanistan last year, to fly them to the game aboard Air Force Two.

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Mannino invited his wife Diane as his guest and Manning brought along his nurse from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Army Sgt. First Class Charles Stanley.

Mannino is rooting for the New England Patriots, while Manning is pulling for their opponent, the Atlanta Falcons.

“We’ve got Falcons fans. We’ve got Patriot fans,” Pence said, shaking their hands upon meeting them, according to the pool report.

“There’ll be a winner on this plane on the way back,” he said.

Pence said as an Indianapolis Colts fan, he will be on “neutral soil.”

“What do you think? Decent ride?” he said, pointing to the Boeing-built C-32, a modified version of the civilian Boeing 757.

He told Mannino and Manning that the VIP trip was a “small token of the gratitude of the people of this country.”

“We’re honored you’re with us,” he said, shortly before the plane departed for Texas.