Raiders pass Seahawks partnership
September 23, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division "Raiders" passed the Seattle Seahawks "12th Man" flag to the 446th Airlift Wing in a "change of partnership" celebration held at the Warrior Zone recreational facility on Lewis North, Sept. 10.
The Raiders were partnered with the Seattle Seahawks for the 2012 season as their "adopted" military unit, carrying the flag with them as they deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
"[The] '12' is a symbol of unity between our fans and the team. We appreciate you, we thank you, we support you, we salute you. The fans give us thundering support on game day and we try to return that favor with community programs across the Pacific Northwest," said Mike Flood, vice president of community relations with the Seahawks organization.
Many of those programs are targeted toward veterans, military personnel and their families, Flood continued, as he thanked USAA, an official military appreciation sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks, for their participation, partnership and leadership in these efforts and for presenting the event.
"We were honored for the past year to be the Seahawks' 12th Man. You may not know this, but a Stryker vehicle carries 11 soldiers. [The Seahawks] were our 12th man in our vehicles while we were deployed to Afghanistan," said Col. Michael Getchell, 4-2 SBCT commander, in his remarks during the ceremony.
The brigade's command team presented the Seahawks with a framed collection of photographs from their recent deployment, accepted by running back Christine Michael.
"We hope it finds a place of honor in your corporate headquarters and motivates you and your guys as you get ready for your battles as much as your 12th Man flag motivated us this past year," said Getchell.
The symbolic flag was passed from Getchell and 4-2 SBCT to Col. Bruce Bowers Jr., commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, assuming the "12" duties for the Seahawks and signifying the beginning of a partnership between that unit and the team.
"The pride, professionalism, [and] dedication of the Seahawks are traits that we look for, are traits that we want to be. You are winners, we want to be winners. We are the same," said Bowers in his remarks.
Seahawks players and Sea Gals cheerleaders signed autographs, posed for photographs and mingled with several hundred soldiers and airmen, members of the community, families, friends and fans after the ceremony.
There are 11 players on the field; the fans are the 12th Man.