When the Seahawks host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, they'll honor our nation's service members, veterans and their families in their annual Salute to Service game, a day that is just part of a much bigger effort to support the military community.
Starting last month and running through Veteran's Day, the Seahawks will support and honor service members and veterans in a number of ways with players, Seahawks Dancers, Blitz, and multiple partners, including USAA, the official Seahawks and NFL Salute to service partner, all taking part.
"As a veteran, I love that the NFL has dedicated the month of November to saluting my brothers and sisters who are serving and have served this great nation," said Seahawks community engagement manager Nino Gray, a U.S. Army veteran who was wounded in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. "As part of the staff here with the Seahawks family, I am blessed to be a part of an organization that carries such pride day in and day out to support our local military community."
For Sunday's game, U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Major Ed Hall will lead the team out of the tunnel carrying the U.S. Flag, and 150 service members representing each branch of service will unfurl a full-field flag during the National Anthem. A joint honor guard led by Staff Sergeant Chemika Duckett will present our nation's colors, then U.S. Navy Veteran Generald Wilson will sing the Anthem.
Prior to kickoff, Army Special Forces Veteran Ryan Hendrickson will raise the 12 Flag. Hendrickson, who was severely injured after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010, has been awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, five Bronze Star Medals and an Army Commendation Medal with Valor. Hendrickson will also be a guest at Saturday's walk-through practice.
Throughout November, the Seahawks will raise money for wear blue: run to remember, a national nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military. The Seahawks chose wear blue: run to remember, an organization that's services include a youth-mentorship program for children who have lost their parents in combat, as a nonprofit to support this year for Salute to Service. This mentorship program links a child who has lost a parent with an active-duty service member who provides a glimpse into the life of service defined by his or her fallen parent.
The Seahawks will raise money for wear blue: run to remember through an auction of game-worn items from Sunday's game at the Seahawks Auction Website, by donating 12 percent of sales of Salute to Service merchandise, and through donations collected at Seahawks Pro Shops throughout November. Lyft is also donating 12 percent of all rides to and from CenturyLink Field on Sunday to wear blue: run to remember.
The Seahawks recently hosted a dinner with Seahawks Legends to raise money for wear blue: run to remember, an event where Gold Star children were able to speak to Seahawks Legends and ask questions about adversity and perseverance.
Seahawks rookies, Blitz and Seahawks Dancers also recently took part in a Change of Command Ceremony at the 13th District of the United States Coast Guard base, presenting a 12 Flag to the unit.
Seahawks rookies, Blitz, and the Seahawks Dancers teamed up with USAA to honor members of the armed forces at Coast Guard Base Seattle on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 as part of the annual 'Change of Command' ceremony that presents a 12 Flag to the team's honored military unit for the season. The Seahawks welcomed in the Thirteenth Coast Guard District - USCG as their honored unit for 2019 through a 12 Flag hand-off with 62nd Airlift Wing - USAF, which held the honor last year. Pizza Hut and Coca-Cola donated food and beverage for the event.
The Seahawks Women's Association also hosted a trick or treating night for 300 local military service members and families at CenturyLink Field, and prior to Sunday's game the Seahawks hosted children and mentors from wear blue: run to remember at the team's Saturday walk-through practice.
Salute to Service will continue after Sunday's game as well. On November 5, Seahawks staff, CarMax Staff and the Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that empowers veterans to continue their service, will take part in refurbishing a local Veterans of Foreign War hall. On November 8, Blitz and Seahawks Dancers will be at a Tacoma Starbucks to recognize one of their military partner store managers. And on Veteran's Day, the Seahawks, Lyft, Delta, Starbucks and the USO will have a collaborative military care package event at CenturyLink Field.