By Spc. Jacquelyn SlaughterOctober 15, 2012
LANDOVER, Md. -- A loving father smiled as he brushed a speck of lint from the top of his daughter's shoulder. He took another look at her Army Service Uniform before nodding his approval.
Army Reserve Spc. Casey E. Work, a native of Walkersville, Md., smiled back at her father, Frank Work, before she took a deep breath and walked out under the bright lights of the FedEx Field, home to the National Football League's Washington Redskins, during a military appreciation night on Aug. 29.
The Washington Redskins and USAA are partnering throughout the year to honor service members through their "Salute to Service Moments" initiative.
Work, a military policeman assigned to 443rd Military Police Company, based in nearby Owings Mills, Md., was nominated by her leadership to be selected to represent the Army during the on-field celebration.
"It was a really cool opportunity and I really appreciated it," said Work, who joined the Army Reserve in 2009. "It was humbling to see the appreciation people had."
Work grew up watching the Redskins play on television with her father and has only been to one other Redskins game.
Her toughest choice came when she had to pick between her father and brother -- both equally dedicated Redskins fans.
She chose her father, Frank, to escort at the game, and said she had chosen him because he was a former Marine and better understands the military lifestyle.
She was excited that he could not only escort her, but also watch the game with her from seats just behind the field goal.
As his daughter walked onto the field, with cameras flashing and the in-house cameras blasting her image onto the jumbo screen inside the stadium, thousands of fans stood up and cheered to show support not only for Work, but all those who wear a uniform.
"It was pretty awe-inspiring," he said after the game. "I was pretty humbled myself to see my daughter out there on the field. It brought tears to my eyes."
As she reached her spot on the field, she raised her hand to wave as she looked up at the thousands of fans cheering for her in the stands.
"When I stood out on the field, I was not only representing the Army Reserve, but my father too," she said. "I am very proud of him and he deserves this recognition too."
Work said she joined the military to serve her country as wells as pursue her interest in the field of criminal justice.
While not wearing her Army Combat Uniform, Work volunteers her time with the American Cancer Society as well as the Walkersville Girls Basketball Camp.
"It's important to me to give back to my community that has given so much to me," she said. "The Army Reserve has given me this great opportunity to represent our service and be a role model for my community."
Last December, Work returned from a year-long deployment with the 443rd MP Company to Afghanistan where she spent approximately six months working at a detention facility as part of a guard force for a special housing unit.
She spent the rest of the deployment working as part of a face-to-face meet team. This entailed escorting the family members of detainees to the detention facility for visitation.
She spent much of her time speaking with and searching women and children due to strict cultural differences that strongly discourage men from speaking with the women.
"It was kinda life changing cause I'm so young, so it was different to see different parts of the world," said Work. "I'm definitely glad that I got the opportunity to go over there."
As Work changed out of her Army Service Uniform and into her typical football attire, she quietly made her way back to her seat -- nearly unnoticed.
It's the way she likes it, a quiet professional.
"It's great to see the Redskins honor the military every year," she said. "We have been fighting wars for more than 10 years, and the American people are still just as patriotic and continue to show their support for the military."