Hosting the Super Bowl champion Seahawks wasn’t the only item on President Barack Obama’s itinerary last week.
After the White House ceremony to honor the Seahawks on Wednesday, President Obama made a surprise trip to visit troops in Afghanistan on Memorial Day weekend and his speech at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul included a shout out not only to the team but the soldier/fan who announced their fourth-round selections in the NFL Draft this month – Sgt. Jeff Baker, a Wounded Warrior who was awarded the Purple Heart in 2012.
“Just the other day, I welcomed the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks,” Obama told the troops, a statement that was received by a mixture of applause and, well, not applause. “Listen, I’m a Bears’ fan, but the one thing I saw and I’ve seen in every sports team that comes to the White House is the work they do – visiting Walter Reed, Bethesda, doing work with military families.
“In fact, to help announce their draft picks this month, the Seattle Seahawks selected Jeff Baker, who’s a Seahawks fan but also a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and a proud sergeant in the U.S. Army, to make that draft pick. Because they wanted to send a signal that we love our sports and we love our football – that’s fun and games – but this is the competition that counts and these are the real heroes.”