SEATTLE (NNS) — Pacific Northwest active-duty, Reserve, retired and former service members received honors at CenturyLink Field during the Seattle Seahawks “Salute to Service” Annual Military Appreciation Day game against the New York Jets, Nov. 11.
Members from all service branches participated in several pre-game festivities including interacting with players during pre-game warm-ups, a mass re-enlistment on the field and singing of the national anthem by Navy Musician 3rd Class Sarah Reasner of Navy Band Northwest with the Military Sea Hawkers Honor Guard presenting the colors.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s definitely an honor to be able to share it with all of the veterans here and the fans, I know that they love and support the military here,” said Reasner.
A C-17 Globemaster III performed a flyover, courtesy of the 446th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve) from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, stirring thousands in attendance before kickoff.
The crowd roared as retired U.S. Army Sgt. and Wounded Warrior Erin Schaefer charged out of the tunnel hoisting the American flag leading the Seahawks onto the field.
“It’s exhilarating to have so many people cheer for you. On the field during pre-game people were thanking us. It’s just an awesome feeling,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class William Collins, assigned to Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion, Bangor (MCSFBn).
Active-duty and Reservists said they were proud to be representatives of military service past and present.
“It’s great to be honored as service members, and I’m extremely proud of those veterans who have gone before us and fought for our country’s freedom, as well as the many service members out there today fighting abroad to keep this country safe,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Clarence Judd, MCSFBn.
Retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Wayne Lawson, a survivor of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War and member of the ‘Chosen Few’ veterans group expressed his patriotism.
“I carry the same motto as my fellow infantrymen; Once a Marine, once a Soldier, once a Sailor, always a Sailor, a Soldier, and a Marine,” said Lawson.
Lawson was honored during a special recognition ceremony highlighting veterans of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The fans gave us all a joyous welcome and that gives me a great sense of pride,” said Lawson.
The evening concluded with a 28-7 Seahawks victory over the New York Jets.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visitwww.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.