Navy veteran happy the Eagles are flying high

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Disabled U.S. Navy veteran Steven Wagner, 53, had birds on his mind a week ago – not the kind that will be served on millions of dinner plates on Thanksgiving, but rather the players and coaches who thrill thousands of fans at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

It was Veterans Day and Wagner was waiting for a bus inside the River Valley Transit Trade and Transit building on West Third Street, wearing his beloved green, white and silver Philadelphia Eagles’ jacket.

Wagner said he moved to Lycoming County about 13 years ago but he grew up in Darby, a suburb of Philadelphia. He served during a time of relative peace in the Navy at a base at Little Creek, Va., in the years leading up to the first Gulf War against Iraq.

“My Eagles are looking good,” said Wagner, who said he was out on the cold afternoon to watch the movie “Last Vegas,” showing at the Cinema Center, and perhaps find a free meal served to veterans.

While he claimed the film was a disappointment, describing it as “not what I expected,” the Eagles’ climb back to respectability in the National Football Conference’s East Division was exciting to the football fanatic.

“The division is tight,” he said.

With a record of six wins and five losses, the Eagles have won three in a row, most recently winning away games against the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers and a home standoff Sunday against Washington.

Wagner credited Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles for leading them to the break-even point of the season.

Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly had a decision, Wagner said. He could either select to go back to starting quarterback Michael Vick or stay with Foles, or a combination of both as a strategy.

“I think he will do what’s right for the team,” Wagner said.