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Introducing: Sgt. Pile of the 12th Army
That’s the name Ryan Willmaser and his group of tailgating friends – dubbed the “12th Army”, gave to their recently renovated Chevrolet van-turned-tailgating-tool.
“It has always been a goal of ours to create a great tailgating vehicle for Sundays,” Willmaser said. “This is our first season with Sgt. Pile.”
The van is owned by Willmaser and his friend, Luke Summers. The pair found the van white and rusted on Craigslist in June and quickly got to work. After more than 90 hours of labor with a few other “12th Army” members – Jake Herigstad, Shaun Messerli, and his fiancé Janna Ott, the van went from white and rusted to Seahawks-themed blue and green, complete with a new Seahawks logo, lettering, “12th Army” insignia, 12th Man feathering, and Seattle skyline fashioned on the side panels.
“It was game ready,” Willmaser said. “There is still a lot of work left to do, but it will get us through the season.”
While the outside is indeed appealing, it’s the inside that Willmaser is most proud of.
And the green artificial turf that lines the bed of the van? That’s not your ordinary AstroTurf from your local hardware store.
“I like the turf as well,” Willmaser added. “It was the old stadium turf from Monroe High School, where Jake and I are assistant football coaches.”
Willmaser, who has been a Seahawks season ticket holder since 2005, and the “12th Army” arrive every Sunday at about 7:30 a.m., toss their favorite gameday snacks in the crockpot, and enjoy some pregame beverages while watching the morning games on TV.
Keep an eye out for “Sgt. Pile” and the “12th Army” this Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Here’s a look at another submission from our Seahawks automobiles photo gallery:
Brandon DuBois – "Tailgating Machine"
Fan since? The 3rd grade when I moved here from California. I’ve been to every game at the new stadium except for one.
What inspired your truck’s paint job? I’m just a fan addict. I’ve had the truck the past three seasons.
Favorite all-time Seahawk? Walter Jones, because of how dominant he was at his position.
Favorite current Seahawk? Red Bryant.