Named honorary soldier this weekend by distinguished U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Hussey
By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Chester — High school football seasons are usually filled with ups and downs, drama, adversity and challenges.
During difficult times at Chester, former star two-way lineman Dan Wittekind, often thought about the team water boy. Danny Mulvey, battling a rare form of cancer called chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, was an inspiration to the Hambletonians.
He was part of the team, always will be.
“Danny is a great kid,” said Wittekind, a starting sophomore offensive lineman at Marist College. “No matter what we were going through, we know Danny was going through more. I know that pushed a lot of us. Danny was way more tougher than any of us and we all loved having him as part of the team.”
After a 16-year battle with cancer, Mulvey is now in hospice care, and the Chester community continues to rally around him. U.S. Army Brig. Gen John Hussey swore Mulvey in as an honorary solider at a touching ceremony on Saturday at Chester’s Walton Engine and Hose Co. Several dignitaries, including Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, attended the event.
General Hussey and Mulvey’s dad, Dan, grew up together in the Bronx. The general has become one of Danny’s biggest supporters.
Danny Mulvey, 20, became a devout supporter of the military and first responder after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has used the men and women of the military, particularly those who have suffered injuries, to gain the strength and inspiration to deal with his condition.
“I’m glad that everyone knows about Danny’s patriotism,” said Mulvey’s best friend, former star Chester wide receiver Brandon Sadlier. “I’m glad he’s getting this kind of exposure. The military and soldiers mean so much to him. Any time he sees soldiers, he pulls them aside to shake their hands.”
When he was just seven-years-old, doctors told Mulvey’s parents that he had just two to six months to live, but he underwent a bone marrow transplant that saved him. Mulvey has undergone several surgeries to remove benign and malignant tumors. His latest tumors are extremely painful, causing him to be paralyzed in his right foot. Through it all, Mulvey has never complained, keeping a positive attitude and strong faith.
“Danny has a strong faith and belief in God,” Sadlier said. “He is strong and going to fight as long as he can. Danny is the strongest kid that I know and he has always lived his life the best way that he could.”
As team manager/water boy, became a Chester football fixture. Proudly wearing his No. 5 jersey, Mulvey attended practices and games. His highlight came in 2014 when, dressed in full gear, Chester surprised him and allowed him to score a touchdown before a game.
“Danny was part of the football team, he lived with us,” Chester football coach Ron Stover said. “He is a great kid. Danny has been a total inspiration for our town. It’s impossible to explain. He has taught adults more about life than any kid should have to. Danny is incredible, he’s a wonderful kid.”