Shaquill Griffin stood alongside several of his Seahawks teammates and stared at a long list of characters etched in white on a polished black granite wall. Each name included on the memorial in front of him at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, either in combat, training, or accidents.
“You see stuff like that, it makes you appreciate those guys even more,” Griffin said.
The 2017 third-round pick was on site at the Puget Sound-area base this week with other members of Seattle’s rookie class for the team’s annual “Change of Command” ceremony. Prior to JBLM’s 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) formally accepting the honor as the team’s military partner for this year, Griffin and fellow first-year players were shown around camp by Colonel Will Beaurpere, Commander, who made the memorial wall the players’ first stop.
“A lot of us have a lot of respect for those guys, they work so hard,” said offensive lineman Ethan Pocic. “We just play a game. It’s life and death for them.”