BECU is a proud sponsor of the Thunderbirds, and is excited for the many ways it can support this great team and its military fans. One way BECU is doing this is with the BECU Military Member of the Night. BECU military members can enter for a chance to win four tickets (a $128 value) to a future T-Birds game. The Military Member will be highlighted during a game in the 2022-23 season. For more information and to enter for a chance to win go to the BECU Thunderbirds page.
Below is a listing of the BECU Military Members of the Night honored at each game during the 2022-2023 season with a short bio.
Game 34 Seattle vs. Portland March 25, 2023- Washington Army National Guard Specialist Taylor Oldham
Taylor joined to be able to support his local community, he graduated top of his class and received an award from the governor while fighting wildfires in Chelan, WA. He has always gone out of his way to help others in the world and has also saved multiple lives in his line of duty.
Game 33 Seattle vs. Kamloops March 21, 2023- US Army Captain Michael Nichols
I joined the army, right out of high school, in 1973 as a private. In 1978 I attended Officer’s Candidate School became a commissioned officer. I had my training as a Medical Service Corp officer at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In 1989, I headed a medical team into the jungles of Costa Rica to provide humanitarian support to the indigenous people. I ended my career as the company commander of the 164th MASH hospital.
Game 32 Seattle vs. Portland March 17, 2023- US Army Staff Sergeant Nicholas Cacchione
Joined to serve my country when I saw the Iraq War start. Spent 9 years in 4 deployments. 2 in Iraq and 2 in Afghanistan
Game 31 Seattle vs. Everett March 11, 2023- US Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephan Litterski
Chief Warrant Officer 3, United State Marines, retired. Served 22 years, deployed all over the globe and sailed the 7 seas. My thanks to all of you for supporting me. Semper Fi and God bless.
Game 30 Seattle vs. Tri-City March 10, 2023- US Army Sergeant Joshua Foltz
Retired in 2019 after 20+ years in the Army as a Fire Support Specialist and Military Police Officer. I served with the 82nd Airborne Division parachuting from a number of helicopters and planes. Deployed numerous times to Iraq and awarded numerous medals, including the Army Commendation medal and the Army Achievement medal.
Game 29 Seattle vs. Kamloops March 7, 2023- US Navy Petty Officer First Class Christopher Ford
Served in both active duty and the reserves, I joined the Navy for a better life. Deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I have recently returned home from a deployment in the Navy reserves.
Game 28 Seattle vs. Tri-City March, 5, 2023- US Armed Forces First Sergeant David Carr
David retired from the Armed Forces in 2017 after serving 34 years. He served 4 years in the Marines, 4 years in the Army and 26 years in the Washington National Guard. David deployed to the Middle East for 3 time and experienced many National Guard call ups.
Game 27 Seattle vs. Portland February 25, 2023- US Air Force Senior Airman Anthony Davis
I enlisted in 2018 as an Air Transportation Specialist. I had one deployment to Jordan from 2019 – early 2020, during that time I aided in the evacuation of Al Asad. I spent the majority of my time in active duty supporting missions that helped people around the world affected by Covid-19 and received an achievement medal. I joined the Air National Guard in 2021 as a Cyber Systems Operator
Game 26 Seattle vs. Tri-City February 24, 2023- US Navy Petty Officer First Class Edgar Alvarez Jr.
I retired in 2016, after completing 20 years in our U.S. Submarine Force as a Navigation Electronics Technician; served on five fast-attack nuclear submarines; completing six overseas deployments, which included battle group operations in the Persian Gulf and under ice operations in the North Pole.
Game 25 Seattle vs. Victoria February 18, 2023- US Army First Sergeant Ryan Burke
Ryan is an active duty First Sergeant. He’s a Combat Engineer and has served 16 years and will continue until retirement. He’s served 4 deployments and has helped train soldiers from other countries. He joined the Army to help and serve our great nation.
Game 24 Seattle vs. Tri-City February 14, 2023- US Army Major Philip Demme
I started my career in the Army as a 17 year old after graduating high school in Lacey, WA. Over my 20 years of service I was deployed to five continents protecting America. My most memorable assignments was as an Infantry Squad Leader in Bosnia and Anti-Terrorism Officer for the 1st Cavalry Division in Afghanistan
Game 23 Seattle vs. Red Deer February 10, 2023- US Army and US Coast Guard Sergeant First Class Eugene Burns
Joined Army in 1983 and served until 1987. Re-joined Army in 1989. Deployed to Desert Storm from 1991 to 1992. Left Army for Coast Guard in 1995. Served in Coast Guard from 1995 to 2000. Re-joined Army in 2000. Deployed to Iraq 2008 to 2009. Retired from Army in 2013. Joined the military back in 1983 to save myself from my neighborhood and to learn a skill. Numerous Awards from both my Army and Coast Guard service to include a Combat Action Badge and Army Recruiting Badge. Although most would say surviving war(s) is a good thing, and I would not disagree, surviving two different basic trainings (Army basic training at age 18 and Coast Guard basic training at age 30) is something I am very proud to have achieved.”
Game 22 Seattle vs. Spokane February 5, 2023- US Army Specialist Michael Johnson
Currently serving with a Military Occupational Specialty of Military Police. I enjoy serving my country. I would like to use my experience to pursue a future career in law enforcement.
Game 21 Seattle vs. Everett February 3, 2023 – US Air Force Staff Sergeant Wade McCoy
Wade McCoy served in the US Air Force from 1988 to 1998. His father, two uncles and three cousins worked for Boeing. Growing up 5 miles from the Boeing plant in Everett, it appeared inevitable that he would continue the family tradition. However, Wade chose a different way to work on Boeing aircraft. He enlisted in the USAF as a structural repair technician and fixed Boeing aircraft such as the B-52 and Kc-135 at many locations around the globe. After his service he returned to the Pacific Northwest where he continued repair work on Boeing’s airliner family of 727, 737, 757, and 767 aircraft.
Game 20 Seattle vs. Swift Current January 31, 2023- US Air Force Captain Tobey Clarkin
I joined the Air Force to follow in my dad’s footsteps. I was a Civil Engineering Officer and got to gain great experience in my field of engineering. I was based in Montana, South Korea, Germany, and Kuwait so I got to see a good chunk of the world. The pinnacle of my career was deploying to Kuwait in 2003 to support the buildup of Ali Al Salem Air Base for the invasion into Iraq. In 6 weeks, we built the base up from 80 aircraft and 2,000 troops to 300+ aircraft and 13,000 troops
Game 19 Seattle vs. Portland January 28, 2023- US Army Corporal Warren Goguen
Joined in 2004 prior to the birth of my daughter. Was a combat engineer and deployed to Iraq where I ran route clearance and detected/removed roadside bombs. During 1 mission I was critically injured by an explosion. I was air evacuated to Germany. I tried to get back on a helicopter to get back to my brothers but was caught. The injuries I sustained during the blast prevented me from returning to Iraq and I was later awarded a Purple Heart and medically discharged from the Army in 2010.
Game 18 Seattle vs. Everett January 21, 2023- US Army Specialist Fergus Mills
Served 5 years in the U.S. Army. Most of my time was spent hanging around Seoul, South Korea and JBLM, WA. There was a lot of give and take involved, but the lessons I learned in the military are invaluable. I am better person because of them. Hooah.
Game 17 Seattle vs. Lethbridge January 20, 2023- US Army Technical Sergeant Brian Winchester
Served from 1982 thru 2004 as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. I was one of the last to leave Clark Air Force base in the Philippines after the Eruption of Mt Pinatubo. I had the Honor of deploying to Vietnam in 2002 as part of a POW MIA recovery mission where remains of missing service members were repatriated. Awards received during service include 4 commendation medals, joint service commendation medal, and the achievement medal.
Game 16 Seattle vs. Kelowna December 31, 2022- US Army Sergeant First Class Timothy Ploe
2 tours in Iraq and 1 tour in Afghanistan awarded Bronze Star and Purple Heart for combat injures. Medically retired after 17 and 1/2 years. Blessed with my beautiful wife, 3 great kids, brothers and sisters in arm’s who keep me going every day and make it all worth it. Medically retired after 17 and 1/2 years
Game 15 Seattle vs. Spokane December 27, 2022- Washington Air National Guard Technical Sergeant Scott Davis
My father served 4 years during the Korean War and my older brother served 4 years in the Navy on the USS Independence. I served 4 years active duty in the USAF at Pruem Air station, Germany. 16 years Washington Air National Guard. I retired as a TSgt. Deployed to Iraq in 2003 for 6 months working with Security Forces in support of “Iraqi Freedom”.
Game 14 Seattle vs. Everett December 16, 2022- US Air Force Master Sergeant Gregory Adams
I served 4 years as an active duty soldier, in the US Army, then transitioned into the AF. I joined post 9/11 to serve and defend our great nation. I have had multiple assignments, multiple decorations from both branches, recently my family and I moved to Tacoma/JB Lewis-McChord from our home in Mississippi. In addition, I am hockey fan for sure. Thank you, for this program.
Game 13 Seattle vs. Prince George December 13, 2022 – US Coast Guard Petty Officer David Paice
It’s an honor to serve alongside all the great members of the US Coast Guard Active Duty and Reserve
Game 12 Seattle vs. Vancouver December 11, 2022- US Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Lindsie Rojas
I joined in 2000 out of high school and immediately finished school and was stationed in Bahrain during the 9/11 attacks. I then was stationed aboard USS The Sullivans and participated in several campaigns and war on terrorism.
Game 11 Seattle vs. Victoria, December 3, 2022- US Army First Sergeant Gabriel Frank
I served over 28 years in the active army as a chief intelligence Senior Sergeant. I have served over six years in five different countries for combat deployments. I have over five years of operational deployments in seven different countries. Multiple Deployments to Somalia, Bosnia, Hungary, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, Liberia, the Lake Chad Basin, Libya, and Syria. 12 combat tours total. Earned the silver star, bronze star, defense meritorious medals.
Game 10 Seattle vs. Portland, November 25, 2022- US Army Staff Sergeant Julie Vasquez
Joining the military was easy because serving my country and the people in it was important for me. Giving back so those yet to come would live as free as I got to do. During my active duty time I was afforded the opportunity to teach lifesaving skills to thousands of new military members seeking medical jobs. It was inspiring to see them develop these skills. Teaching a medically strong force saved lives! So great to be a part of that!
Game 9 Seattle vs. Kelowna, November 23, 2022- US Marine Corps Sergeant Eric Riise and US Army National Guard Sergeant Julie Riise
Eric Riise served 4 years in the Marine Corps. He first served at M.C.A.S. El Toro as an Aviation Munitions Man. He then served 3 years as an Embassy Guard in Rome, Italy protecting American interests overseas. He was selected to a special detachment protecting the United States Delegation to the UN Conference on the Law of Seas in Geneva, Switzerland. He later joined the Army National Guard serving 9 years. A majority of that time as an Intelligent Section Sergeant. He met his future wife, Sergeant Julie Riise, on a training exercise in June, 1990. Julie served as an Avionics Technician working primarily on Boeing CH-47 helicopters. Wanting to “Be all that you can be in the Army”, she accepted a temporary duty assignment on Howard Air Force Base, Panama. She served 8 years. Eric and Julie married in February 1991 at the beginning of Desert Storm. They have been married 31 years.
Game 8 Seattle vs. Everett, November 19, 2022- US Navy Torpedoman’s Mate 3rd Class Iris Saravia
Iris came to America at the age of 2 years old and become at citizen at age 13. She decide to service in the Navy as her way of honoring and thanking the nation for the opportunities given to her and her family. “It was honor to serve.” Iris also stated” It’s a legacy too, my son joined the Marine Corp in 2009. I am a Gold Star Mother since 2019 when my son became one of the “22 a day”.
Game 7 Seattle vs Calgary, November 12, 2022- US Air Force Master Sergeant Monica Matthews
I joined to get more life experience, college education, and medical experience. I look back on my 16 years and there’s nothing I’d change. I was given the opportunity to travel, train with some of the best people. The best thing I learned was that I can do and achieve anything if I put my mind to it. I have some great memories and made some lifelong friends.”
Game 6 Seattle vs Portland, November 5, 2022- US Air Force Staff Sergeant Chris Caughill
Staff Sergeant Chris Caughill joined the military to follow in his father footsteps, who served as a Green Beret in the Army during the Vietnam War. Throughout Staff Sergeant Caughill’s service, he supported some of the most important missions of our country such helping out at the Pentagon immediately after 9/11, proving assistance after Hurricane Katrina, and deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Staff Sergeant Caughill’s military career was cut short when he received an injury after an attack in Afghanistan.
Game 5 Seattle vs. Prince George, November 1, 2022- US Marine Corp Sergeant Edward Linge
SGT Edward Linge served 9 years in the United States Marine Corps. He was inspired to joined the Marines because he wanted to service and protect his country.
During his time in service SGT Linge deployed in both Operation Endearing Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Marine Corps Leadership award as voted upon by his peers during his deployment to Iraq.
Game 4 Seattle vs. Spokane, October 22, 2022 – Washington State National Guard Sergeant Kevin Probst
Kevin originally joined the Navy in 1994 and served until 1998. He then spent 10 years in the civilian world before deciding to join the Army to serve his country one again. Kevin completed 2 tours in Afghanistan before being medical discharge in 2014. Kevin continued his military career in 2014 by joining the WA State National Guard where he continues to serve today. Recently Kevin received the selfless service coin to recognize his achievements is responding to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
Game 3 Seattle vs. Edmonton, October 14, 2022- US Army Private First-Class Laci Welch
Laci is a veteran of the United States Army who first joined 11 years ago. She enlisted in the military because she was inspired by the 22-year career that her father had in the Air Force. Laci is thankful for the opportunities the military provided her, but most of all she is thankful for the amazing daughter she had during her time in service.
Game 2 Seattle vs. Medicine Hat, October 11, 2022- US Marine Sergeant Nickolas Milner
Nickolas joined the Marines because his brother was serving in the U.S Army, and he was inspired me to serve his country and defend our freedom. During his time in service Nickolas received the Afghanistan Campaign Metal x2, National Defense Metal, Global War on Terrorism Metal, Good Conduct Metal x2, Expeditionary Metal and the NATO Metal.
Game 1 Seattle vs. Vancouver, October 1, 2022- US Army Captain Brooke Weiler
Brooke joined the military to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather who served 16 years in the Marines. She served 8 years as a Military Police Officer before transitioning to be a Human Resources officer.
Game 34 Seattle vs. Everett, April 10, 2022- US Navy Construction Mechanic Third Class
I enlisted in the Navy during my senior year. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school and knew college wasn’t right for me at the time. I was stationed in Guam but had the opportunity to travel to Europe, Africa and throughout the United States.
Seabees are a small construction battalion unit within the Navy. As a Seabee we are responsible for building temporary and permanent infrastructures at U.S military locations around the world. The Seabee Motto is “Construimus Batuimus.” This means “We build, We fight.” I enjoyed the versatility this unit gave me. I was trained to be a construction mechanic.
After my service in the Navy, I continued in the transportation industry. I went back to school and received a degree and continue to serve others in my current position with Washington State Department of Transportation. The Navy has allowed me to utilize the skills I learned to better myself, provide for my family and serve others.
Game 33 Seattle vs. Spokane, April 9, 2022- US Navy Radioman Third Class Petty Officer Robert Peterson
A Desert Storm veteran
Game 32 Seattle vs. Tri-City, April 1, 2022- US Air Force Senior Airman Teri Hansen
I served in the USAF from 1974 – 1979. Tail end of the Vietnam Era. Both of my brother served two tours in Vietnam and my Dad was a B29-Crew Chief and my Mom a Rosie Riveter. Lots of Air Force people in my family.
I went into the Air Force because I love airplanes. Now I work for BECU and previous I was a flight attendant. It’s all about the “birds” for me.
Life Support Technician – My team invented the first form fit custom helmets for pilots, for that I was awarded a Peace Time Commendation Medal.
I made rank doing it the educational way, “below the zone promotions. Staff Sargent was my last rank which I declined because I wasn’t going to reenlist due to the end of Vietnam and getting out was the best decision at that time to make.
I did a 6 month tour of duty with the Thunderbirds and was also o the US Air Force ski team
Game 31 Seattle vs. Vancouver, March 26th, 2022- US Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Kim Van Vleet & US Air Force Master Sergeant Charlcee Davis
Kim retired after 26 years of service and his wife Charclee retired after 21 years of service, both were US Air Force Weather Forecasters.
After taking flying lessons in high school Kim became interested in weather so he joined the Air Force. While assigned to Nellis Air Force Base he met Charlcee. During assignment at Air Force Global Weather Center in Nebraska he forecasted severe weather for 497 locations in the US. He provided weather support on exercises in Australia, Korea, Greenland and Egypt. After 26 years, he retired from the US Air Force while stationed at JBLM in 2001 after obtaining the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
Charlcee began her Air Force weather career in Okinawa. Charlcee retired after 21 years of service after obtaining the rank of Master Sergeant. She had the distinct honor of receiving an immediate promotion to Master Sergeant while stationed at McClellan.
While Kim was stationed in Guam and Charlcee in Omaha, they traveled to Hawaii and were married in 1986, they recently celebrated 36 years of marriage.
Game 30 Seattle vs. Portland, March 19th, 2022- US Army Sergeant First Class Robert Price
Served for 26 years as a UH60 Blackhawk Crewchief and Mechanic. Deployed 8 times, have over 3000 flight hours with 1000 of those using night vision goggles. Loved everyday of my service.
Game 29 Seattle vs. Tri-City, March 15th, 2022- US Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade George Peterson
Active duty military member, currently serving on submarines. Serving on the USS Kentucky, blue crew. Following on the path of which my family put before me with both grandpas having served, one in the Korean War and the other in World War II. My dad also served 33 years in the Navy, older brother currently serving nine years, with my twin serving actively on submarines as well as on the East Coast. Spend the majority of the past two years at sea, love what I’m doing. Spent time in Charleston for training in nuclear power and in Groton, CT for submarine training. Serving onboard submarines is demanding, I have such an honor putting on my uniform everyday and serving with the guys I do. I plan on staying in and continuing my career, this is another chapter of my life, excited to see what the military provides over me and my family.
Game 28 Seattle vs. Everett, March 12th, 2022- US Marine Corps Sergeant Scott Derrick
Game 27 Seattle vs. Portland, March 11th, 2022- US Navy Nuclear Electricians Mate First Class Troy Montgomery
I joined at the age of 18 because I couldn’t afford college and didn’t want to be stuck working a dead end job.
Game 26 Seattle vs. Tri-City, March 6th, 2022- US Army Master Sergeant Luke Ayres
Luke Ayres enlisted in the Army and attended Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training as a 13M (MLRS Crewmember) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He served in the multiple positions throughout his career in the Field Artillery Branch: MLRS Driver, MLRS Gunner, MLRS Section Chief, MLRS Platoon Sergeant, HIMARS Platoon Sergeant, and Battery First Sergeant. His assignments include: Fort Sill , Strassburg Kaserne, Camp Casey, JBLM, WA. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I (2003), and Operation Enduring Freedom (2012-2013, 2014-2015). First Sergeant Ayres’s military education includes the Basic Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Senior Leaders Course, Master Leaders Course, FA Master Gunners Course, Basic Instructor course, Small Group Instructor Training Course, Unit Movement Officer Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Master Resiliency Course, Equal Opportunity Leaders Course. First Sergeant Ayres’s awards include Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), the Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (6rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal ( 3rd Star) Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (6th Award), Drivers Badge (wheel). Luke is married to Dr. Nichole Ayres of Spanaway Washington. They have one daughter, Finely.
Game 25 Seattle vs. Kelowna, March 1st, 2022- US Army Staff Sergeant James (Jimmy) Milstead.
I was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. I served 22 months in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and also was stationed in Korea for a year.
Game 24 Seattle vs. Kelowna, February 27th, 2022- US Army Sergeant Sean Crowder
I was in the Army for five years. Three of those were spent overseas. I now on the Board of Directors for a National non profit called The Warrior Connection. We provide a seven day residential retreat for veterans and their spouses suffering from PTSD and Military Sexual Trauma. It is free of charge to participate. 80% of our attendees are women.
Game 23 Seattle vs. Everett, February 26th, 2022- Retired US Army Major Daniel Carey
I served 22 years in the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. I joined the US Army Reserve in 1986 as a nineteen year old private. I served in a civil affairs unit and in 1991 I volunteered for Operation Desert Storm, where I was part of a civil affairs unit that took care of refugees. In 1993 was commissioned as a lieutenant on active duty as a Quartermaster (supply) officer. I served in Korea with the Second Infantry Division, and later in North Carolina and Virginia. I led soldiers and managed various types of supplies- food, fuel, repair parts and so on. In 2000 I left active duty and transferred to the Washington National Guard, serving in the 81st Brigade managing supplies. I later transferred to the Army Reserve, which sent me to Iraq in 2004 where I dealt with mortuary affairs and fuel. I retired in 2008 after 22 years at the rank of major.
Game 22 Seattle vs. Spokane, February 18th, 2022- US Army Sergeant Dorothy Delerme
I joined November 2016 at the age of 20. I am Signal Support Systems Team Chief. I wanted to make a difference in my life and most importantly my community back in Philadelphia, PA. I’ve been stationed in NY, Korea and currently WA. I have received a Army Accommodation Medal, 4 Army Achievement Medals and Army Good Conduct Medal.
Game 21 Seattle vs. Tri-City, February 15th, 2022- US Army Sergeant Don Webb (Vietnam Era Veteran)
My dad was a Proud WW2 Veteran, a diver with the full suit, went in the day after D Day.
My mom was one of the original Rosie the Riveters.
So at age 21, I volunteered for the draft, and worked in Security with a Cryptographic Clearance and Secret Security clearance where my job was so secret I didn’t even know what I was doing. I also worked in training and Admin at the Battalion Level.
Game 20 Seattle vs. Vancouver, February 5, 2022- Retired US Army Specialist Martha Genn
I chose to join the military in august of 2000 for my family, as I was awaiting my ship date our country was rocked to it’s foundations by the events of 9/11. I entered as a truck driver ( 88M – side mount post / or as civilians know it a semi driver ). I made rank of Enlisted 4 ( Specialist ). My unit shipped out to Iraq where we guarded the gates to ensure the safety and security of every one on post working with Iraq military forces. I served 1 tour with the Seattle National Guard and when my unit was returning home I was transferred to the Hawaii National Guard for a further tour doing the same. I was transferred to a Cav unit to be returned to the states. I was a 88M, and trained Combat life savior. During my tours I was required to provide security, check id’s, check for contraband and weapons’, facilitate the safe arrival and departure of military convoys, Civilian contractors, and civilians entering the post for emergency and / or continued medical care.
Game 19 Seattle vs. Prince George, February 4, 2022- Former US Coast Guard Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Brian Pinger
Game 18 Seattle vs. Portland, January 29, 2022- Former US Air Force Staff Sergeant Craig Tackett
I joined in 1989. I was stationed in Europe for nearly 8 years. I was stationed in Germany, Italy, England, and Holland where I learned to fly, sky dive, scuba, ski and backpacked across Scandinavia and competed in triathlons.
Game 17 Seattle vs. Spokane, January 25, 2022- Former US Navy Petty Officer Third Class Jason Denney
I served in the Navy from 1999-2003 and was stationed in Carrier Airwing-11, which was assigned to the U.S.S. Carl Vinson and then U.S.S. Nimitz. While serving in CVW-11, I received Captain and Admiral letters of accommodation as well as a Navy Achievement medal.
For CVW-11, I worked in flight deck control as kind of a “ground traffic control” position. Any movement to do with the aircraft when physically on the deck or in the hanger bay came through flight deck control. I aided a small team and making sure the aircraft got the necessary maintenance needed as well as making sure they are fueled, armed and in position to be launched for the next operation.
Game 16 Seattle vs. Spokane, January 21, 2022- Retired US Army Sergeant Yorgo Toles
Yorgo Toles completed a four-year enlistment in the United States Army. He served as an interrogator in the Military Intelligence Detachment of the 1st Special Forces Group – AIRBORNE, where he achieved the rank of sergeant.
Yorgo attended the game with his wife, Penny, and 2 daughters Mia and Nina.
Game 15 Seattle vs. Everett, January 15, 2022- Former US Army Specialist, Military Police Officer Mathew Dahl
The Thunderbirds current Zamboni Driver!
I joined the Army out of high school at the age of 18 from Minnesota in 2008. After completing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA (now JBLM) as a Military Police Officer with 170th MP CO, 504th MP BN. In 2010 I deployed to the outskirts of Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While on a walking patrol on March 7 of 2011 in Arghandab Valley, conducting surveillance for a mission, I was injured in combat and was awarded the Purple Heart. After my deployment to Afghanistan, I came back for medical treatments and once cleared, served the rest of my enlistment in Seoul, South Korea working with 8th Army.
Game 14 Seattle vs. Portland, January 14, 2022- Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Mary Condeluci
I was a nurse in the Army Nurse Corp, I joined in 1992 at the age of 35 as an operating room nurse. I spent the next 28 years serving this great country. I joined the Army to provide healthcare to our service members. I deployed twice to Iraq on combat tours and never once did I regret the choice to join the military. I am honored to be a member of the brothers and sisters in arms, the military, and am proud to say “I served!”
I love my country, sports snd the Seattle Thunderbirds!
Game 13 Seattle vs. Spokane, December 28, 2021- Retired US Navy Petty Officer First Class William Russell Hayes
William Russell Hayes goes by his middle name Russell. He spent 20 years in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician/Radioman. He spent his career supporting the Submarines Service in both SSBN and SSN submarines including Plank Owner of USS Scranton. His most notable award is the pride he has for serving our country and our way of life.
Game 12 Seattle vs. Everett, December 17, 2021- Retired US Army Sergeant Michael Hargraves
Retired US Army Sergeant Hargraves dressed the part for our last game before winter break. He served in the US Army for 6 years and was a part of Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Game 11 Seattle vs. Kelowna, December 7, 2021- US Air Force Technical Sergeant Paul Gonzalez
Technical Sergeant Paul Gonzalez was promoted in October to the rank of Technical Sergeant. His current role is a Phoenix Raven Team Leader in which he leads security teams in securing aircrafts, assets and personnel wherever the Air Force aircraft transits. He joined the Air Force to serve his country, help others and travel the world. Paul has been with the Air Force for 11 years and counting, currently in the reserves.
Game 10 Seattle vs. Victoria, December 3, 2021- US Navy Lieutenant Commander Frank Huebel
“I enlisted in the Navy in 1994 and fixed electronics on missile systems for six years, including on the USS Nimitz in Bremerton. After being selected for officer training I became a P-3C Orion pilot, serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and various locations during Operation Enduring Freedom. I retired in 2018.”
The photo included is a picture from my time in Patrol Squadron Eight, around 2008
Game 9 Seattle vs. Prince George, November 30, 2021- US Army Sergeant First Class Florian Leuser
“After immigrating to the United States I wanted to give back and help support the country I now call home.”
Florian has been in the US Army for 16 years and is active duty.
Game 8 Seattle vs. Tri-City, November 27, 2021- US Army Specialist 4th Class and Sentry Dog Handle Dale Roberts
Dale spent 3 years in the US Army and spent his time in Korea as a sentry dog handler patrolling a middle sight. To this day he misses his dog, Mac. Best and toughest dog he had.
Game 7 Seattle vs. Kamloops, November 24, 2021- US Army Major John Farrell
US Army Major John Farrell retired after 23 years of service and has been awarded three Army Commendation Medals and two Meritorious Service Medals.
He is pictured (left) with his wife of 35 years and their first (recent) granddaughter.
Game 6 Seattle vs. Kamloops, November 20, 2021- US Army Specialist Bruce McDonald
Bruce was drafted in 1964 and spent a year in Vietnam where he worked as the electronics man, sending messages in the bunker. Bruce served 6 years in the US Army.
Game 5 Seattle vs. Portland, November 12, 2021- US Air Force Staff Sergeant D’Andre Rogers and US Navy Lieutenant Commander Kara Perez
Staff Sergeant D’Andre Rogers served 7 years in the US Air Force and in the US Security Forces, with 1 deployment during his time in service
“I was raised and Army brat and joined the Navy out of high school. I served 10 years as a Hospital Corpsmen and 10 years as a Navy Medical Service Corps Officer. I completed a 20 year career and retired in 2013 with a rank Lieutenant Commander after serving from 1993-2013. 2008 Deployment to Afghanistan as part of a PRT/ reconstruction team. 2011-2012 deployment on The USS John C Stennis CVN 74 In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, 2012-2013 deployment on The USS John C Stennis CVN 74 in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom
Game 4 Seattle vs. Tri-City, November 6, 2021- US Air Force Staff Sergeant Dwight Ware and US Air Force and Air National Guard Senior Airman Marshall Maurer
US Air Force Staff Sergeant Dwight Ware (left) “I was in linguists. I attended and graduated from the Defense Language Institute in 2008 where I learned Persion Dari (1 of the 2 official languages spoken in Afghanistan). I served on 4 deployments, helping to locate, identify and eliminate enemy combatants as well as providing force protection to US and coalition forces. Among others, I received the Air Force Commendation medal, the Air Force Achievement medal, the NATO medal and 6 Air Medals. After 8 years I was honorably discharged.”
US Air Force and Air National Guard Senior Airman Marshall Maurer (right) “I joined the Air Force in 2007 and deployed for 13 months overseas, having flown 100+ combat missions over Afghanistan as an airborne crypto-linguist. I earned the Good Conduct Medal and 5 Air Medals.”
Dwight and Marshall individually won the BECU Military contest but they wanted to be honored together.
Game 3 Seattle vs. Spokane, October 19, 2021- US Army Sergeant First Class Brent Workman
Sergeant First Class Workman is currently serving as Brigade Master Gunner for the 210 Fires Brigade, Camp Casey, South Korea. He has served 18 years in the US Army and joined at the time of 9/11 to defend our countries freedoms.
Sergeant First Class Workman could not be attendance but his family was in the stands as we played a video of him from his base in South Korea. Click on the link here to watch the video.
Game 2 Seattle vs. Everett, October 15, 2021- United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Steven Hunt
Lieutenant Commander Hunt pictured with his family at his homecoming from a Westpac deployment in 2017 has been in the US Navy for 14 years. 10 years on active duty and 4 years in the reserves.
During his active duty, he spent deployments aboard two submarines in the Pacific and while in the reserves he was deployed to Bahrain for 10 months.
Game 1 Seattle vs. Portland, October 9, 2021- United States Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Nalley
The events of the 9/11 terror attacks are what initially inspired me to join. I have since decided to keep serving for my county and home state. I have done two deployments to the Arab Gulf region and one in regions part of South America. I want to have the honor to retire as a member of the greatest navy in the world. Been a member of the United States Navy for 14 years and remain active duty.
Game 11 Seattle vs. Spokane, May 9, 2021 – Former United States Army Sergeant David Johnson
I knew I was going to be in the military when I was growing up because my grandpa served as an engineer and helicopter pilot in the Army during Vietnam. My dad was a Navy corpsman attached to one of the Navy Seal units that was in Mogadishu for the Blackhawk down mission. When the 9/11 tragedy occurred, I was in my freshman year of high school and decided that I would graduate early so I could join the Army. When I graduated in 2003, I was offered a chance to play for a college baseball scholarship at UTSA (University of Texas San Antonio). I turned down the offer to play baseball so I could join the Army sooner and hope to make a difference in the world. As far as awards I was awarded the Army Accommodation medal with Valor (Arcom with Valor) 3 times. I went to Airborne and Sniper school as well. I served in Bravo Company 5-20 Infantry battalion, 3rd Brigade.
Game 10 Seattle vs. Everett, May 8, 2021 – Former United States Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Jens Hansen
I spent 15 years as a special operations helicopter Gunner on the MH-53 Pavelow helicopter and 8 years as a KC-10 in-flight refueler Boom Operator. I had 10 deployments that included Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somali. I was awarded 3 meritorious service medals, 7 Air medals, 6 aerial achievement and the combat service medals. After being medically retired from the Air Force in 2015, I attended and graduated from the Northwest Wine Academy in Winemaking production and opened Uva Furem winery in Maple Valley.
Game 9 Seattle vs. Portland, May 2, 2021 – United States Army Captain Parker Reynolds
Not only third generation military, but third generation female soldier. I joined the Army to continue the tradition of strong women in my family. I received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal, but my most interesting job was as the night legal battle captain during Task Force Quarantine at Fort Bliss, Texas at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Game 8 Seattle vs. Everett, April 16, 20201 – United States Army Master Sergeant James Rogers
I have spent the last 20 years serving in portions ranging from wheeled vehicle mechanic to First sergeant. Awards I have received are the Defense Meritorious Award, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Award and various other awards. I have also received the Presidential Service Badge.
Game 7 Seattle vs. Tri-City, April 13, 2021 – Former United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Greg Eskesen
I joined the USAF to become a pilot. During my career from 1973-1993, I flew several types of aircraft including the C-141 Starlifter carrying cargo and personnel. I received several awards including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal for participating in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I retired out of McChord Field.
Game 6 Seattle vs. Everett, April 9, 20201 – Former United State Army Private First Class Christine Wisdom
Growing up, the one thing I always knew I wanted to do was be in the Army. I wanted to serve my country, experience the comradery in such a tight knit group of people, get money for college and go to Germany. I joined the Army when I was 20 as a 31F, (Network switchboard operator/ maintainer). I gained experience working in the office of the Commander and First Sergeant. I served in the Army for about 2 years as an E-3, (PFC), but left the Army to become a mom. If I hadn’t joined and gained the experiences I did, I know it would have been something I regretted for the rest of my life.
Game 5 – Seattle vs. Everett, March 31, 2021 – United States Navy Petty Officer First Class Dustin Haugh
I joined the Navy straight out of high school in Florida following my Dad and Grandfather’s footsteps. At the time I really didn’t want to continue my education and wanted to see some more of the world so I figured why not go directly into the workforce. Not to mention my Dad had the most amazing sea stories from his time in so why not make my own. After taking the ASVAB I learned I was qualified to a be nuclear electrician’s mate which I currently serve as onboard the USS Jacksonville. Just this year I achieved the rank of First Class Petty Officer (E-6) surpassing both my father and grandpa’s old ranks. In my time in the Navy, I have lived all across the country, including Hawaii, and I am glad to currently call Washington home. Last year I completed the construction of my forever home. The best experience I have had in the Navy is by far meeting my wife Reiko here in Washington. As for my awards, I have quite a few. Three Navy-Marine Core Achievement Medals and two Admiral letters. The Achievement medals are for supporting the crew through MWR and Command functions to promote good crew morale as well as for actions above and beyond the call of duty during precise evolutions. The Admiral letters are for exemplary devotion to duty for services onboard the USS Jacksonville during her final deployment and receiving Junior Sailor of the Quarter 4th quarter of 2020. The medals in my picture include National Defense Ribbon, Navy Good Conduct, Global War on Terrorism, Expeditionary War on Terrorism, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal 2nd Star, Navy Expeditionary, Expert Rifle, and Expert Pistol. I also have my Dolphins, also known as submarine qualifications, as well as 3 ribbons including Navy Unit Accommodation, Navy “E” Ribbon, and Sea Service Deployment. All of these awards and accommodations would not have been possible without the stellar crew aboard the USS Jacksonville over the last 5 years of service.
Game 4 – Seattle vs. Portland, March 28, 2021 – United States Army Major Bruce Davis
I joined up as an E-1 in 1986 immediately following my 18th birthday, with the goal of becoming a commissioned officer. I decided I would keep serving as long as I felt I was needed and could contribute — and I’m still serving. Have been on regular active duty, drilling reserve duty, and mobilized active duty, in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and throughout the U.S. during 29 years of service to date. 16 years enlisted service (Armor/19E&19K and Infantry/11B&11M) and 13 years as an officer (JAG/27A). Have deployed three times in support of the GWOT, in both Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF). Have been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal and many service and campaign ribbons.
Game 3 – Seattle vs. Portland, March 27, 2021 – United States Coast Guard Chief Operations Specialist Aaron Bolton
I joined the Coast Guard in December of 2005 at the age of 19. I have been stationed on USCGC MORGENTHAU (WHEC-722) based of out Alameda, CA, Sector Miami Command Center, Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound, USCGC MELLON (WHEC-717) based out of Seattle, The Sector Puget Sound Joint Harbor Operations Center, and currently serving on USCGC DOUGLAS MUNRO (WHEC-724) based out of Kodiak, AK. Current rate/rank is Chief Operations Specialist/E-7. I have received 4 Coast Guard Achievement medals for various accomplishments throughout my career as well as a myriad of team and unit awards. I joined the Coast Guard initially because honorable reputation this branch carries in the communities it serves as well as the opportunities it provides to someone fresh out of high school. The camaraderie and professional development opportunities are what have kept me in for 15 years now. I am passionate about the search and rescue side of the Coast Guard’s missions and couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
Game 2 – Seattle vs. Portland, March 20, 2021 – U.S Air Force Second Lieutenant Micah Slifer
Second Lieutenant Slifer: “I am a Second Lieutenant in the Washington Air National Guard and have served since 2019. I work in Air Defense and my unit recently received an AF Outstanding Unit Ribbon. I joined the Air Force for several reasons. One, because both of my grandfathers served in the Army during World War II. Two, because it has always been a dream of mine to be an Officer in the Air Force and this journey started back in 2011. Finally, and maybe most importantly, I love this country and actively would do anything touphold the constitution and freedoms for all Americans.”
Game 1 – Seattle vs. Spokane, March 19, 2021 – U.S. Navy Master At Arms Third Class Paul Contario
Master At Arms Contarino: “I’ve been in the U.S. Navy for about three years now and it has its ups and downs to it but it’s definitely made me a better person in the long run. I’ve met some of the coolest most genuine people I’ve ever met. My journey started in Great Lakes Illinois where I did two months of basic training and then two more months of security training in San Antonio Texas, following that I made my way to Washington where I am now, and will be for another year or so. My job consists of providing security for the base and other law enforcement-type things for the base. I joined the military to be a part of something bigger in my life and to start a good foundation for my future.”