SEATTLE SARACENS VETERANS PROGRAM
“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 Head of the Seattle Saracens military
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:
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
OUR EXPERIENCE/RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MILITARY
HOW WE PLAN TO GROW THE PROGRAM
HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?
“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. Perhaps the first and foremost is the feeling of camaraderie. In the military the people in your unit are your family. They are your brothers and your sisters. You sweat for them, bleed for them, and would die for them. 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 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.