I'm the current President of the Armed Services Group and I want to take the time to let you all know a little bit about this project that my predecessor started and that I have the pleasure to continue with and tell you about . This has become something that is near and dear to me as well as something that has become more of a personal mission.
The Armed Services Group a Sub Group the Emerald City Supporters developed a partnership with the Warrior Transition Battalion and the Seattle Sounders Front Office during the 2010 season, creating a first of it's kind partnership within the MLS. It was through this partnership the ASG was able to provide soldiers of the WTB to what was later referred to as the "ECS Match Day Experience". Each group of four soldiers was taken from the WTB located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord prior to kick off up to Seattle where they each were introduced to the ECS faithful at their home pub "Fuel" in Downtown Seattle, from there they were asked to come along side the ECS in the March to the Match down to Qwest Field once inside the Front Office provided the seats in the General Admission section where they were further encouraged by ECS members to chant and sing alongside the ECS during the match itself. This routine happened over and over at four separate matches last season.
We did this project out of the love of the game and to see that same love we have start to spark in others who might not have ever got the opportunity otherwise. We did it out of the respect we each have as fellow veterans to show these soldiers that we still care. We did it because no one else was and we decided to step up to the challenge and do something. We didn't do it for the notoriety or for popularity. And we were taken aback when it happened, we didn't realise that there were others outside of our group who felt the same as we did, that wanted to do something but didn't know where to start or where to turn and there we were. So once the word was out so to speak and the idea was known, the project took off a bit others outside of the ASG got involved and wanted to help where they could by donating tickets to matches they themselves could not attend. It was thanks to those donations from fellow ECS members and from others outside of the ECS, that the ASG was able to provide that same experience after the allotted tickets from the FO ran out last season.
This year marks the second season that the ASG, WTB, FO Partnership will be hosting these same soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Seattle Sounder FC home matches through out the 2011 season.This season however the Front Office has seen fit to expand on the generosity they showed last season by allowing the ASG leadership to pick nine matches this season where they would be able to once again bring soldiers up from JBLM to Qwest Field for home matches. The ASG leadership was offered these nine matches and hand picked matches so there would be a group of soldiers up each month during the regular season. The ASG and the Front Office hope that others in Seattle community will have the same response as last season and fill in where they have left off by donating tickets where they can, to matches they can not attend themselves. these can be matches to any game and do not have to be limited to just the GA sections. We had soldiers and their families sitting all over the stadium last season and I bet that some of you got the opportunity to meet them and may have never known it. As a soldier myself I can tell you that was probably the best gift you could have given a soldier by just allowing them to be one of the many once again.
The ASG has already had donations given to the project by several members in the ECS and look forward to others in the coming months. We would like to also thank each and everyone who donated last season and want to thank all of those who support their fellow service members.
Thank You for Your Time
Matthew Goecks ASG President