Suzanne Newman interviews Mike Flood, Seattle Seahawks Vice President of Community Outreach, about Salute to Service Month. The Seahawks will be raising money for The Mission Continues through sales of military-themed Seahawks merchandise.
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The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show. And welcome everyone to answers for elders radio. And we are here with a very special guest, Mr Mike Flood, the vice president of community outreach for the seahawks. Mike, Welcome to answers for elders radio. Thanks, Susan. It’s nice to see you again. It’s always good to see you and I always love working with you guys when we do twelve days of goodness and but this weekend, upcoming weekend, is a very, very special week for the seahawks. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on for our veterans. Well, the whole month is our salute to service month and we’re going to focus on many different groups. Primarily in the month we’re going to be raising money for a group called the mission continues. And the mission continues, and by the way, we’ll raise that money by merchandise that we sell at the team store that’s military themed. And the mission continues enables men and women who have gotten out of the service to get together and do community projects together. So important it is because there’s a sense of Camaraderian mission that you miss when you when you get out of the service. And I know I haven’t had to deal with that because when I got out of the Coast Guard after twenty years, I immediately joined the seahawks and have gotten to be part of community outreach for twenty years now. So I have that sense of of shared mission and our Madamihea, who works with us US Army, works with the seahawks. He and I know what that feels like. And so we have decided, and the team is decided that we’re going to support the mission continues this month, but with both the money we raise and through some other special events were going to do with those guys well. And you know, when you’re talking about having a sense of purpose, it’s so it’s so important that you guys have had such a sense of purpose outside of football for so many different things, and I know that the month of November, you know, I I as a fan, first thing I think of when I think of veterans. It’s like I go to the seahawks and I think a lot of the things that you’re so much a part of, because you have a military background obviously, and you’ve just brought that heart into the team and I want to personally thank you for that might because I know that’s a big part of who you are. Yeah, I appreciate that. My father served in World War II and Korea as a Marine and our owner, Paul Allen, who just passed away, and so sadly for for us and for me, who I’ve known him since he was nineteen years old. But he had a special appreciation for military service to through his father and just through what he saw in the world, and so he created handbooks for people who are getting families who are getting deployed. He has wanted to honor people in various ways and yeah, a you know, and of course he created the flying heritage and Combat Armor Museum up and at pain field that has tons of operable airplasing. Yeah, and you know, I’m so lucky because I live about two miles from ol pain field and so I see these wonderful planes flying overhead and I think to myself, why am I ever blessed to be able to have that experience? Yeah, they’re really it’s really special to see them fly and we one of the things we do during the course of the years during training camp, we have. We adopt a service every year and this year we adopted the air force. Last year was for Special Forces Group from Fort Lewis and they take a twelve flag all over the world and we have a big ceremony where we change the flag at the end of the year from one service to another. But during the summer we had one hundred air force personnel at training camp and five World War Two aircraft flew down the lake ride over training. Oh my gosh, really see that is very cool, very cool and and to really I can only imagine the impact on the actual players themselves to have that kind of connection. Yeah, it’s people realize that there’s a connection between football and and in the military, but we fully admit that going and being in the military and serving is a much tougher role. But nonetheless military members appreciate football players and vice versa. So it’s really cool when they get together and they share stories and and just that comraderie of doing something where you you really have to give it you’re all well and not only that, relying on your teammate. Yep, that is that’s a big part of ampler. Is that correct? Correct? I’m just to s yeah, you’re right. So obviously you guys are doing a lot for salute to service and this is a special veterans day program so if we’re going to talk to the twelves a little bit about what is it that you know? What is this should you know? What are they the main messages that the seahawks would like to provide provide to the twelves? We consider our job and our opportunity to salute people who are serving now and who have served long ago. For example, this year at halftime we’re going to salute a half a dozen men who fought with General Macarthur in the Philippines, Philippine Americans who receive the Congressional Gold Medal for their service both during the combat and what they had to endure during things like the baton death march. So we’ve got those guys coming. They’ll be they’ll be on with us during the game and at halftime the fans will get a chance to salute them. Oh my gosh, that’s we got a World War Two veteran who will be a peace seventeen veteran who’s going to raise as going to raise a twelve nine flag. I’m not going to give you his name yet, but it and we’ve got during team run out, we’ve got a military member who will lead the team out of the tunnel with the US flag. Oh so cool, so cool. And then obviously having that ability to really connect at the game and see that is to think about the military that are around in everyone’s lives that you know, you may have a father or grandfather or something like that. I always tell people you know somehow learn their stories. Sometimes they don’t want to talk about it or they would love to talk about it but nobody really asked them and I think that’s something that you know, this kind of opportunity will hopefully spur some conversations with families around. That’s a great thoughts. WHO’s in, because we really do need to give people a chance to tell us what they would like to express from the things that they’ve done. So we are talking to Mr Mike Flood. He’s a vice president of community outreach for the Seattle seahawks. Go Hawks, and Mike tell us a little bit more about Thursday night football. What’s going to happen at Thursday night football? Thursday night football, or slut to service game, will be held on November. Fifteen will be playing the Green Bay packers and that’s the game where we really highlight throughout the year. Every game we highlight military personnel m but in this game we go a little bit above and beyond that and we’ll of a hundred fifty service members who will on Ferul giant US flag. We’ve got a great air force staff sergeant who’s going to sing the national anthem. One of the things that’s going to happen before the game is that we’ve got players who picked the service that they want to honor and we’ll have military members from all five branches out there are in the locker room with them here in the next week or so putting decals on the on helmets, and the player and the in the service member will do that together and it gives the the players a chance to talk to the military members and vice versa, right in the heart of the Seahawks Lock I love that. I love that inner again, it brings that connection together that we were talking about early because, yeah, so tell us a little bit about more what the seahawks are up to here. Well, throughout the year we do things for like I said, we honor one service throughout the year and we put special emphasis on them, but in more private ways we try and salute, recognize and embrace Goldstar families and the family members who have those and this this includes not just the organization itself, the franchise, but the players. The players are into this and they want to make a special effort to know that they care about these folks. So throughout the year we might have people come to practice or just come on a tour of our headquarters. We also have those people come to games and military members are honored every game in the south end zone. It’s our military zone, and the players, when they come out to warm up, will come by and high five, hug and acknowledge the folks out there. And the folks, the people in the stands there, know that every game we do a re enlistment and so they, the fans, will stand and and honor that moment where someone real listened the service before every game. That’s awesome. Half an hour before kickoff. That’s awesome and you know, you guys have been so amazing with our military seniors and I have a personal thank you for what you’ve done for us, you know, just for the veterans that are in our program specifically I know you’ve been down to patriots landing down at Dupont a couple of times and connected with so many of the veterans there in that amazing place that they’re at. Tell us a little about about you know what, what’s been your experience with our seniors, visiting seniors in a center like Patriots landing? Tomorrow I’ll be at Heron Heron’s key, Wonderful Ki Harbor, Uh Huh. But for us and for the players to visit folks there and be able to really just sit down and listen and and tell them how much we appreciate and it really the stories are so awesome. I’m think reusing Patriots lanning. You and I met Al Jones. Yes, we flew for the RAF before the US got into World War Two and then flew for the for the to us one hundred years old here soon, these men and women. Last year we had Colonel Barbara Nichols raised a twelve man flag before our slut to service game. She had been, I think, a Rosie, the riveter for Boeing and then became a nurse. I go and serve in World War two, Korea and Vietnam. She was ninety five she raised the flag before the fancies love that, seeing her story and seeing her up there raising the flag. That’s incredible. So meeting these people and having that chance to say thanks is a big deal for us, absolutely and understanding to the connections that you make with the community to get their stories out. I know that you know one of the things that that the seahawks have really been good about is, you know, bringing those stories up to the surface and doing events like it, Jablm and different types of of you know, fan gatherings down there and things like that that you’ve done has been incredible. So you know what have been, I guess, the biggest, biggest takeaways from working with our our military veterans. What is the most important part of it about it to the biggest takeaway is that, for us, is to know that we have the special opportunity to make a difference for them, for men and women families who have served or are serving, to know how much they appreciate that. It’s a really special place to be and so we don’t want to miss the opportunity to salute these folks right and so to tell the twelves today before we close, is what is the most important thing that they can do to honor their loved ones. Well, I love the the idea that people say thank you for your service when people are walking through an airport, things like that. But also just to be cognizant of of the effort that it takes and even though you may see other things in the media, just know that these these guys are out there a minimum or out there fighting Isis and driving them in no much smaller realm on they used to be. These are things that we get to find out from working with people in the service and and just show your appreciation from them anyway you can absolutely and I think to you know, just remembering the stories. I think one of the things that that we can do as a community is to just connect with our loved ones. So, Mike, Thank you so much for being on the show today. Thanks for the chance to explain what we do. Well, we’re excited to have you on. Thank you. Thanks for Sir Answers for elders radio show with these and Newman hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. 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Originally published November 10, 2018