The NFL’s Salute to Service initiative is a collaborative effort with USAA to annually recognize, empower and educate about the nation’s armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Space Force). And for their Salute to Service game, the Seahawks will honor Vietnam War veteran, inventor and para-athlete Jim Martinson, who will serve as the 12 Flag Raiser prior to kickoff of Sunday's matchup against the Washington Commanders.
Last November, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider was nominated for the 2022 Salute to Service Award for his continued efforts to recognize the nation's armed forces. Now, Schneider and the franchise are providing an American hero and longtime 12 the opportunity to represent the country he served and his favorite team.
In 1968, Martinson was serving in Vietnam, when a tripped explosive device caused him to lose both of his legs. That year, Martinson received the coveted Purple Heart honor from the U.S. Military, reserved for soldiers wounded at war. The longtime athlete was inspired by his children to stay motivated and active, thus sparking the creation of his company, Magic In Motion in 1981. Martinson became an inventor of special equipment for disabled athletes to compete, including himself.
After picking up wheelchair racing in 1976, Martin took home First Place in the 1981 Boston Marathon. In 1985, he created the ShadowMono-ski, a device that allowed the disabled to participate in the winter sport of skiing. It wasn't long before Martinson began to dominate both summer and winter paralympic events, excelling in track, basketball and eventually skiing. In 1990, Martinson joined the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, earning Gold at the 1992 Winter Paralympics in Albertville, France.
In 2003, Martinson was inducted into the National Disabled Ski Hall of Fame, before becoming the oldest competitor in the 2009 X-Games as a mono-skier. In 2010, Martinson became an ambassador for the Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
In 2011, Martinson starred in The Movement, a documentary about adaptive skier and director Kurt Miller. The Sumner, Washington native and lifelong Seahawks fan didn't allow an unfortunate injury to steal his competitive edge. Now, Martinson gets to raise the 12 Flag before watching his team take on the Washington Commanders. In honoring the league's efforts to salute service members, Martinson's inspiring tale will be a source of motivation for the Seahawks on Sunday.
The Seahawks and Commanders face off on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Commanders.