RENTON, Wash. - The Seahawks announced today various military and veteran honors as part of the team's annual Salute to Service game, presented by USAA, the Official Seahawks and NFL Salute to Service Partner. Salute to Service is a year-round NFL initiative to honor, empower, and support the nation's service members, veterans, and their families. The Seahawks' official Salute to Service game will be November 19 vs. the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.
While participating in on-field activities is on hold this season, the team will continue to recognize military, veterans and their families throughout the month of November in various ways, including virtual engagement on gameday. Honors include:
The 12 Flag was raised on November 10 at Camp Murray in Tacoma by four members of the Washington National Guard's COVID-19 Response Task Force: OC Julius Brooks, SPC Tyler Pierson, A1C Nick Adrales, A1C Ian Storm. Team mascot Blitz will raise the flag at the stadium on gameday on their behalf. Since late February, the Washington National Guard has supported various COVID-19 response efforts throughout the state, packaging over 60 million pounds of food for delivery to 47 food banks, and assembling over 1.5 million COVID-19 test kits. Additionally, the Washington National Guard was called upon to support several wildfire efforts throughout the state in the late summer months, including the Mima Fire in Thurston County and the Sumner Grade Fire that threatened homes and businesses in Sumner and Bonney Lake.
Members of the Washington National Guard have also been invited to join the team's virtual pregame experience for the November 19 game, The Pregame Huddle Powered by Microsoft Teams. This program brings community heroes to gameday in the absence of fans being allowed on the field this season, allowing them to virtually view pregame warm-ups and interact with players and coaches.
Prior to kickoff, the Seahawks will present a special military challenge coin, designed and created by USAA, for use in the official coin toss. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are given by one member of the military to another to reward or encourage excellence, boost morale, or to recognize a fellow brother- or sister-in-arms.
The National Anthem will be sung virtually by United States Air Force Veteran Keisha Gwin. As an American ambassador and Air Force musician, Gwin deployed three times to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. She also served aboard the US Naval Hospital Ship "Comfort" on a joint Humanitarian deployment to Central and South America. She retired from the Air Force in August 2017 after 20 years of active duty service.
Providing gameday music will be DJ Supa Sam, the official DJ of the Seahawks, who is also a military veteran. Before entertaining Seahawks fans, Specialist Samuels was a member of the US Army 2nd Infantry Division - 3rd Brigade.
Throughout the month of November, the Seahawks will be raising funds for Minority Veterans of America, a local non-profit organization focused on creating belonging and advance equity for minority military veterans. The Seahawks Pro Shop will donate 12% of Seahawks Salute to Service merchandise sales from Seahawks Pro Shop locations to Minority Veterans of America. The Seahawks Pro Shops will also take donations at checkout throughout November.
Earlier this month, the Seahawks surprised patients at Madigan Army Hospital and Bremerton Naval Hospital with surprise visits from Blitz and Seahawks Dancers. The team also announced a new program titled "Task Force 12," where the Seahawks will team up with 12 local veteran non-profit organizations to assist in supporting the local military community through service-focused events throughout the year. Later this month, the team will partner with Minority Veterans of America and FOB Hope, a non-profit supporting homeless veterans, for Operation Turley Drop, where they will deliver frozen turkeys and cold weather gear to veterans in need.
The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to nearly 13million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable - and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.