Special Forces Receives Warm Welcome From Seattle Seahawks and Richard Sherman

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Richard Sherman

The Seahawks didn’t invite just one or two special guests to help break down their huddle following practice Wednesday but about 100 — all members of U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Group, Airborne based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

But first, the Special Forces Group also got a few words of gratitude from coach Pete Carroll and cornerback Richard Sherman.

“He thanked us for our services,’’ said Chris Harper, a Public Affairs officer and spokesman for the group of Sherman’s message. “He said what we do is very important and allows them to do what they do. And that meant a lot.’’

It’s a message that might seem to take on even more meaning in light of recent events, including NFL players such as Seattle’s Michael Bennett sitting for the national anthem in preseason games. Bennett made clear his action Sunday at Carson, Calif., was not aimed at the military, noting his father served in the Navy. Bennett said his aim was solely to bring attention to social injustice and other similar issues.

But some inevitably have taken such stances as also serving as slights at the military.

Harper, though, said he didn’t perceive it that way.

“Me personally, we have signed up to defend our country so that we have those rights,’’ he said. “And I have no animosity towards it. Personally, I am going to stand. But I do that for my own personal reasons and how that person chooses to protest in their own personal way is a luxury that we have here that is not available in other parts of the planet.’’

Harper said he doubted few, if any, of the Special Forces Group members attending Wednesday had that on their mind much, if at all.

The Special Forces group attended the practice as part of an annual USAA NFL Boot Camp event. The 100 or so attendees were picked up at JBLM in what Harper said were “VIP buses.’’ They got to watch practice and then after being introduced at the end of practice got to meet coaches and players. Then 10 teams of five each took part in an NFL Combine style competition with winners receiving tickets to a Seahawks game this season.

Harper said one thing that made the event unique is that most of the members of the group have lived in the Seattle area for a significant period in contrast to how other branches of the military — which have taken part in similar events in the past — require moving often.

“A lot of them are real Seahawks fans and they really got a chance to come out and be fans today,’’ Harper said.

And if the group hoped for a warm welcome, Harper said it was even greater than expected.

“After practice there was a meet and greet with the players and I was just shocked at how many players shook every single hand and signed every single autograph and really went out of their way to say thank you,’’ Harper said. “It meant a lot to these guys because so many of them are Seahawks fans.’’


Source: Seattle Times | Bob Condota | August 16, 2017

Be sure to show off your American pride on game day with this Richard Sherman Patriotic Hoodie.