JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Ahead of the matchup Sunday between the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons, several players from both teams visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a military engagement event.
Current players Stone Forsythe, Cody Thompson, Carson Tinker and Seahawks legends Jermaine Kearse, Hillary Butler, Paul Johns and Ronnie Harris attended.
"We are here to show love and support for the men and women in our country," said Nino Gray Jr., community engagement manager for the Seahawks.
Gray Jr. is also a purple heart recipient. He is a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant. During his time in Afghanistan, his platoon was hit by a 400-pound IED. Gray Jr. was severely hurt.
“It’s pretty surreal if I'm being honest," Gray Jr. said. "Last time I was here I was in a recovery unit, and for two years of that I was in a wheelchair and to be back here and bring players and legends and Seahawks dancers and it’s full circle. It’s awesome to be a part of."
The visit started at the Air Force hangar where players entered a C-17 for an enlistment ceremony for recruits joining the Air Force and Army.
The players then held a meet and greet with current servicemembers and military personnel.
After signing autographs and taking pictures, the players then boarded Stryker vehicles to a training experience.
"It’s a blessing. They are looking up to me. I’m looking up to them. They are protecting our country. It’s cool," said Forsythe. "It was cool to get out here and hang out with these guys. For them it’s work but for us it’s fun."