Task Force 12 is the joint effort between the Seahawks and 12 local non-profit military organizations to create a support network for veterans, active duty military service members, and their families. These small organizations are all veteran-run, and offer an array of different services, such as Northwest Battle Buddies, which helps veterans combat post-traumatic stress disorder by partnering them with specifically matched service dogs, or Salmon for Soldiers, which offers veterans a sense of normalcy and relaxation through their love for fishing.
Located in Clayton, Wash., is Heroes Homestead, another Task Force 12 organization that offers a variety of services and "community connected care" to veterans, first responders and their families. Much of their work centers around mental health and its importance not just for veterans themselves, but among the entire family. "It's veterans talking to veterans, spouses talking to spouses, kids talking to kids," said Seahawks community engagement manager and Army veteran Nino Gray. "It's not just focused on the veteran, but the whole family dynamic."
"A lot of different organizations do a great job of working with the veterans. There's a few that work with the spouse," said Andrew Holstine, who co-founded Heroes Homestead with his wife and CEO of the organization, Danielle. "But we couldn't find any that worked with kids."
Earlier this month, Seahawks staff members and representatives from each Task Force 12 organization boarded an official team bus and headed to Clayton to help build a playground for the children of local military families affiliated with Heroes Homestead.
The two-day event was the first time since the pandemic that members of the Task Force 12 organizations were able to fraternize and spend time together. The groups stayed in cabins at Shore Acres Resort and participated in therapeutic activities meant to help alleviate the stress of the past year and give members a chance to unwind among others with shared experiences. Beyond the basic service project of building a playground, relationships and bonds were built as well.
"The solution for our veterans is holistic and broad," Danielle Holstine said. "And I think that's the beauty. The camaraderie that is here at the table is incredible."
Seahawks staff members and representatives from each Task Force 12 organization boarded an official team bus and headed to Clayton to help build a playground for the children of local military families affiliated with Heroes Homestead.