MILAN, Ohio (WJW) – An entire community gathered Friday evening to honor a hometown hero. 

The parents of 22-year old Maxton Soviak were presented with his #27 football jersey, which is now officially retired from Edison High School in Milan.

The ceremony took place right before the Chargers varsity game against Western Reserve.

“He was just that shifty player that could hit a hole and make a play that you just didn’t expect to happen. He played his heart out for us. This is probably the best honor we can give him right now and his family,” said Nick Wenzel, the school’s assistant principal and athletic director.

Soviak graduated from Edison in 2017, then began a career in the Navy. 

Soviak, a U.S. Navy Corpsman, was killed Aug. 26 of last year during an attack at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was among 13 United States service members who gave their lives helping evacuate Americans and Afghans out of the country.

“The work that he did as a hospital corpsman, everything was all about making sure he did the best he could for his guys, taking care of them and then in the end doing the best he could to get people out of Afghanistan,” said Wenzel.

“He always did everything, you know, 110%,” said former teammate Dalton Burns, who is now a coach for the team.

Burns says Soviak deserves the honor.

“The community is so tight-knit and we supported him and everything that happened over the past year, truly it touched all of our hearts,” he said.

The community showed their support, many wearing shirts with Max’s name on them.

He was a young man parents say their children can look to as a role model.

“Just the outpouring and the community getting together, it’s significant what this kid did growing up. They see what’s at stake as far as a young man and what he decided to do for his country,” said parent Brad Seekins.

Soviak will have a permanent place on the Edison High School field. A die cast metal version of his jersey was unveiled just inside the stadium entrance.

The athletic director says this is the first time a football jersey at the school has ever been retired.