Members of the Seahawks gathered for the Change of Command ceremony at Century Link Field Tuesday.

The annual event allowed athletes to express their appreciation to local service men and women.

Seahawks Michael Bennett said his father was in the military, and he understands the sacrifice of our troops.

"What's better than giving back to the military? I mean they do so much for us," said Bennett.

For the past year, the Marine Security Forces Battalion-Bangor represented the Seahawks across the world by carrying the 12 flag.

Tuesday, the flag was transferred to this year's unit, Navy Region Northwest.

The unit plans to display the flag on carriers in the air and on submarines below the sea, taking it to 11 different states.

Nate Boyer, a former US Army Green Beret, spent some time with the Seahawks in 2015. He said the partnership is a symbol of unity, on the field and on battleships.

"It's the same kind of atmosphere. That team room and that support for one another and fighting for the man on your left and right, very synonymous, so I'm blessed to be here. You look at politics today, it's so divided, but everyone supports the troops," said Boyer.

Bennett said everyone should thank the troops, because their sacrifice makes freedom possible.

"Because of them, we can play football. They're the reason why we get to do everything we do in America," said Bennett.