CLUB VETERANS

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“When I left the military, one of the biggest things I missed was the camaraderie and brotherhood. Rugby has been the only place I have found that.

 

I felt lost after leaving the service but now that I’m a player, helping behind the scenes for the Seattle Saracens, I’m right back being part of a team and family.

 

I believe that whether it is being a player, manager or supporter, we can provide vets with the opportunity to be part of something bigger than just ourselves and that we were part of once before. We can provide that brotherhood again “. 

Tim Brogdon, Navy veteran, Seattle Saracens player and Director of the Seattle Saracens Veterans Program. 

“What does rugby mean to me as a vet? Often, when a service member separates from their service, they struggle to find purpose or direction. I know I certainly did. Playing rugby fills a number of voids left in a veteran’s life in the wake of leaving the military. 

 

Playing rugby fills that void of wanting to belong to something, the desire of fraternity and the comfort of belonging and acceptance. You have the backs of your teammates and they have yours. The providing of purpose is another. In the military, you strive for a purpose greater than any one individual.

 

Rugby is no different as we toil for the betterment of ourselves, our teammates and our communities. In rugby, we are also constantly striving towards a goal as we did in the military. We leave everything on the pitch, keeping our hard bodies, determined minds and competitive spirits honed and sharp as we collectively strive towards the common goal of the team.”

Ben Gustafson, Army veteran and Seattle Saracens player.

Seattle Saracens Veterans Program

The Seattle Saracens is committed to helping provide opportunities and positive experiences for our veterans. We believe that these men and women can contribute enormously to the teams and the club and in turn provide a positive environment for these veterans to thrive in civilian life.

 

The Seattle Saracens has had many service men and women participate in its rugby program. Currently, there are players and managers who play for and assist the Seattle Saracens rugby program and our community outreach programs. Indeed, rugby shares many of the core values that the military promotes:

 

  • Honor/Pride

  • Respect

  • Hard work

  • Team work

  • Brother/sisterhood

  • Family

  • Responsibility

 

These same values form the core of the Seattle Saracens rugby club and of the international rugby community. We believe that veterans can help us promote those values within our own club programs and partnership programs, to new rugby players coming through to help them on the rugby field and in their day to day life.

 

Our rugby club wants to build relationships with military organizations and provide tools to help those veterans leaving the military. In turn, they will be able to be part of a team either as a player-manager or administrator to help strengthen those relationships and help the growth of rugby. More importantly to guide, assist and create independent young men and women within our community.

 

Our goal is to create a program that can be an example to other rugby clubs and sporting organizations around the country to help promote and see the value of having veterans involved in their sports programs.

 

HOW WE CAN HELP 

 

  • Potential help with employment. Through our contacts in our organization and partner organizations there are opportunities for employment with employers who share the values we do.

  • Provide a positive and productive environment for veterans to be productive and be part of a team and growing family.

  • Provide a place for veterans to either play for, manage or help administer our rugby club or one of our partner rugby clubs.

  • One of our partner clubs is the Seattle Slam Wheelchair rugby organization and we hope to be able to also provide avenues for injured veterans to be involved in sports also.

  • Provide an environment to build this program with the help of veterans and be an example for other sports teams to follow.

 

OUR EXPERIENCE/RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MILITARY 

 

  • Our President, Kevin Flynn, has coached numerous seasons for All Army Rugby, coached the Combined Services rugby team and has many contacts in all branches of the US military.

  • Geographically we are situated between Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard bases and thus have had many individuals progress through our program including service men and women from the Reserves and National Guard.

  • Connections at the VA hospital, (Seattle and American Lake), with whom we discuss the program about how we can help it grow and continually improve.

  • Currently have approx. 5 players who are veterans, one of whom will lead this program.

  • Seattle Saracens maintains a core belief that this program is positive both for the veteran, for the club and for the players/management who are involved.

 

HOW WE PLAN TO GROW THE PROGRAM 

 

  • Build closer relationships with the local military bases and promote this program and get active duty personnel involved with our rugby program.  

  • Promote rugby as a tool to assist re-entry into civilian life to such programs as the Wounded Warrior program, American legion and other veteran organizations.

  • Build closer links to the VA Medical Center, their CBOC’s, Wounded Warrior Program, American Legion and other veteran service organizations (VSOs), provide information for them to disseminate.

  • Along with the Seattle Slam Wheelchair rugby team, promote opportunities for sports and team management for injured veterans.

  • Promote the program through our relationship with our partner clubs.

  • Have regular special veteran events that promote this program.  

 

 

HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?

 

  • Become a member of the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club

  • Play for the team

  • Help manage the teams

  • Be part of our administration team

  • Donate to the club. Seattle Saracens is a nonprofit organization.

  • Come and be part of the family and support the teams on game day.

Contact us today! email us here

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