Justin Jefferson and Sleep Number surprise military family with new bed
“Sleep Number is a purpose-driven company and we are focused on improving the health and well-being of society through better quality sleep. And no one needs quality sleep anymore. than our military,” Elepano said. “We’ve worked with Blue Star Families for nine years and have donated hundreds of beds to deserving service members across the country because, again, they need sleep as much and more than anyone. And when they’re transitioning , they really need their health and well-being, their emotional, physical and mental stability, and sleep will help them achieve this, so we are honored to do so.”
Thompson and Nordine met in 2013 while both serving with the Minnesota Army National Guard. Nordine is currently a staff sergeant, while Thompson completed his service in 2017 as an E-4 specialist.
Both Thompson and Nordine have military backgrounds. They each have grandparents who served, and Thompson’s father, Ryan, served four years in the Air Force.
When Thompson and Nordine found out they were going to visit the museum, they immediately knew who they were taking.
Nordine said it was special to have the chance to share the experience with her father, Kyle.
“My dad and I always grew up going to sporting events, it was always our thing together,” Nordine said. “I share my time with three older brothers… [so] It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”
After Jefferson introduced the bed to the family, he got another surprise. Jefferson took the family on a personal tour of the Vikings practice facility at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Thompson said it was nice to see their sacrifices recognized in this way.
“It’s worth spending time away from family,” he said.
Since 2011, the NFL has implemented the Salute to Service campaign to honor active military and veterans during the month of November. This year, the Vikings will face the Dallas Cowboys in their Salute to Service home game on Nov. 20 at US Bank Stadium.
“I think it’s something really cool to see. I love the Salute to Service campaign. I think it’s really important to really show what’s important and give back the support,” Nordine said. “I think it was 2016 that we were able to come and be standard bearers on the pitch and it was a really fun experience.”
Jefferson added that it was extremely difficult to be able to make this sacrifice to serve, and he wanted to give back to these families.
“I can’t imagine what they’re going through, through the times when they have to go away for months [and] just going to war and not knowing if they’re going to come back to their family or not,” Jefferson said. “It’s really a hard life to live, that’s why every chance I get , I would like to give back for them.”
Jefferson enjoyed his partnership with Sleep Number which began last season.
“The whole time I was with them, we did surprises like this and just gave back to people across the country,” Jefferson said. “He’s a great partner. [You’ve] must always be [getting] quality sleep, get the best sleep of your life.”
Elepano added that Jefferson takes his sleep seriously in order to help lead the Vikings offense on game days.
“He’s amazing. One of the things we really like about him is that he takes his sleep seriously, that’s why we wanted to partner with him, and obviously you see the effects in his game.” , said Elepano. “He’s a great guy, a wonderful prospect for Minnesota State, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.”
As for Thompson and Nordine, they will relish the day a dream came true.
“We are continually watching the Vikings and hope they continue to do well, and we really appreciate Justin’s time. It’s been a really cool experience that we’ve been able to have.”