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Military Sea Hawkers Booster Club entering golden era

Are you ready for some football?

Leon Washington shakes hands with military members on the field before the Seattle Seahawks 20-13 win over the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field, Dec. 30, 2012. Photo credit: Brandan Schulze, Military Sea Hawkers

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On Jan. 13, the young and talented Seattle Seahawks team flew down to Atlanta to take on the intimidating 13-3 Falcons. Master Sgt. Traci Williams was there, tailgating with other Servicemembers. Ten years ago, she founded the Military Sea Hawkers booster club, which has grown to more than 1,000 members.

The "young" aspect of the Seahawks was painfully obvious in the first half of the Atlanta game, when a Marshawn Lynch fumble kicked off a 20-0 blitz by the Falcons. In NFL history, there had been 57 playoff teams in which a team took a lead of 20-plus. They'd gone on to win 56 of them. You don't come from three touchdowns back in the NFL. 

But the "talented" aspect showed up in the second half, as the Seahawks crawled out of the coffin to score the go-ahead touchdown with 25 seconds left in the game. The impossible run to the Super Bowl would go on.

Even more impossibly, however, the Seahawks threw away the lead in only 25 seconds and went home. The Military Sea Hawkers' pain was amplified the next week, when the rival 49ers beat Atlanta to go to the Super Bowl.  

This winter, the Seahawks and 49ers have been locked in the NFL's version of a nuclear arms race. Seattle signed the two best pass-rushing ends on the winter market; San Francisco racked up one of the best drafts in the NFL. Seattle traded for dynamic star receiver Percy Harvin; the 49ers responded with a deal for star wideout Anquan Boldin.

There has never been a better time to be a Seahawks fan, and the Military Sea Hawkers booster club is entering a golden era.

"My take this year is that our team is stacking up such great players, you have to think that this year is THE year," Williams smiled. "It seems like we're getting players that will push us over that hump we almost crested last year in the playoffs, to get us to the Super Bowl."  

ESPN has her back on that one: It has the Seahawks number one in its preseason power rankings, with the 49ers number two.  

"The Seahawks and 49ers have become must-see TV," the sports network recently raved.  

Retired Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brandan Schulze is editor of the Military Sea Hawker website

"Probably the biggest club news is that we're now over 1,000 members," he said. "The club started with a small group in 2003, grew to about 150 by 2007, and since then - through the help of social media, the Seahawks, and your paper's publicity as well - we've been adding Servicemembers from all over the world."

The club's website is one of the finest sports sites in the Northwest, and it is a great place for Servicemembers interested in the booster club to start. Schulze is a former Naval photographer, and his writing absolutely sparkles. Currently on the site are feature pieces about the big offseason deals and the new speed-rushing defensive line.

"I always want to emphasize that one of the reasons this club was formed was to inform those who are deployed overseas," Schulze said. "In addition to recapping each of the games during the season, we email our members to let them know if they need to look for the game on AFN or Direct-to-Sailor television and what time it will show. I've gotten emails from several devoted Servicemembers who wake up at 0130 Monday morning to catch the Seahawks play live."

Two major road events coming up include a rematch with the Falcons, in Atlanta Nov.10, which will probably be the NFL's Military Appreciation Day. 

"The other big game is the annual Ambush at the Arch in St. Louis. Seahawks fans have always shown up big for this rivalry game," Schulze said.

Fans have until June 5 to get payment to the Midwest Sea Hawkers chapter. For information, email

Club benefits include weekly newsletters, special events and the ability to organize game-day parties. Interested Servicemembers can contact Schulze through the Military Sea Hawkers website at

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