Seahawks' "Heroes of 12" tour stops at Camp Murray for a tailgate party

By Gary Lott on May 31, 2014

The Vince Lombardi Trophy has always signified a city's - and a community's - worldly accomplishment, but it doesn't always represent an entire state like it did May 29 when the trophy came to Camp Murray as part of the Seattle Seahawks' "Heroes of 12" trophy tour.

"This was a well put together event to help build the morale of our service members as well as to strengthen our community outreach efforts with the Seahawks organization," said Assistant Adjutant General for the Washington National Guard, Brig. Gen. Wallace Turner. "It was a pleasure not only seeing the trophy, but also seeing hundreds of servicemembers and their families connecting with one another throughout the day."

The Super Bowl 48-winning team's Vince Lombardi Trophy took a two-day "Heroes of 12"trip May 28 and 29, first visiting active duty servicemembers on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, followed by a trip across the I-5 highway the following day to the Washington National Guard Headquarters on Camp Murray.

>>> The Vince Lombard Trophy appearance at the Washington National Guard's Arsenal Museum brought in hundreds of servicemembers, including family members, to pose with the trophy. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Seagal Taylor adds her signature to the hundreds of other servicemember's signatures on the same 12th Man Flag that flew on the Camp Murray flagpole during the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl playoff run. Every servicemember that posed with the Vince Lombardi Trophy added their signature to the 12th Man Flag. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seahawks and the "12" community that so proudly supports it, whether here at home or in the camps in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq, have a big impact on the service members that serve Washington state.

Those unfamiliar with the National Guard may not be familiar with the fact that these citizen-soldiers are exactly that: soldiers and citizens of Washington state. Many were born here, raised here and will most likely, one day be buried here.

Encountering servicemembers who weren't Seahawks fans may have been a surprise to some, but those who truly know the family bonds that these citizen-soldiers hold wouldn't find a single reason why another city's fan, a different state's fan even, would be at an event where family members, friends and fellow servicemembers joined together as a community to have a good time.

>>> The Washington National Guard's Assistant Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Wallace Turner presents Seahawks Fan Development Assistant Director Armando Mejia and the Seahawks organization with a certificate of appreciation for their support of the Washington National Guard. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Camp Murray trophy event even managed to raise more than $1,100 for the Minuteman Emergency Assistance Fund, the Washington National Guard Arsenal Museum and National Guard Association of Washington Education Scholarship, which most frequently benefits the families of service members serving Washington state.

Along with more than 450 people at the JBLM event the day prior, more than 500 people showed up to the Camp Murray event.

But this event wasn't just about the trophy: Seagals Christian and Taylor accompanied the trophy, posed with servicemembers and took time to mingle while enjoying the "tailgating" event area set up by the Joint Services Support Directorate outside of the Arsenal Museum.

The "tailgating" event was comprised of various games - supervised by the Washington National Guard's Recruiting & Retention Battalion - a hot dog lunch and a National Guard Association and American Lake Credit Union-conducted raffle, with the main draw item a Richard Sherman-signed football.

>>> Spec. Samson Anderson (Washington National Guard Recruiting & Retention Battalion takes a selfie with Seagal Christian during the Camp Murray Vince Lombardi Trophy Tailgate event. The tailgate event was set up outside of the Arsenal Museum, where servicemembers could pose with the Seahawks Super Bowl trophy. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Lt. Col. Thomas Wargo, Deputy G3, Mobilization and Readiness, enjoys a game of Spike Ball with guard youth during the tailgating portion of the Camp Murray Vince Lombardi Trophy event at Camp Murray May 29. Photo credit: Gary Lott

"Today's ‘Heroes of 12' tour at Camp Murray provided another opportunity to rally soldiers, families and friends of the Washington National Guard team to celebrate the winning culture of the Seattle Seahawks championship team," said Joint Services Support Director Lt. Col. Don Brewer.

The Seahawks' winning culture is one that the Washington National Guard is continuously working hard to establish and maintain.

"The soldiers, airmen and families of the Washington National Guard benefit greatly from the generous contributions of our community partners, like the Seattle Seahawks," Brewer said. "The level of commitment and care that these partners hold for those who have served our State and Nation is something that will always astound me."


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