Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2014 (79) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 79

September 4, 2014 at 7:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Storm Large, 13 Miles of Bikeway, skate film, DJ Fir$t Lady ...

She’s tattooed; she doesn’t take any shit; and she’s, you know, Storm Large!

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4 2014 >>>

1. Storm Large is all about the performance. After 15 years of performing in clubs and theaters, Storm Large has developed a keen sense for the dynamics of the live setting. Her brand of music - nominally jazz, theatrical rock, cabaret and sultry folk-pop - is uniquely suited to captivating a live audience. Her voice is able to nimbly navigate the belting solos and the plaintive refrains. As a collaborator with Pink Martini, she further honed her already impressive stage presence. She engages with the crowds in a way that harkens back to entertainers of old, filling in breaks with bawdy banter and stories. In the weeks leading up to her new solo album, Le Bonheur, she's stopping in from Portland to do a show at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre on the Square. Don't miss it.

2. Get us a 40-ounce of Powerade, homie! The city of Tacoma will commemorate the completion of Tacoma's 13 Miles of Bikeway and Pedestrian Improvements Project with a gathering at Wright Park. Mayor Marilyn Strickland and former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks will start the celebration with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. at the Division and Yakima entrance near the statues. Then, what better way to celebrate the project than by seeing the improvements in person: Take a 1.5 mile walk with Mayor Strickland and Downtown on the Go; take a southern 3.5-mile bike ride along the project with City Councilmembers Lauren Walker and Marty Campbell to the Lincoln District; or go for a northeast 3-mile bike ride along the project with City Councilmembers David Boe and Robert Thoms through the Proctor District. Afterward, Green Drinks Tacoma will toast the new trails and the 3-mile accomplishments over beers and drinkies at the Harmon Hub beginning at 6 p.m.

3. Since 1972, the Brandywine Workshop has inspired artists of diverse backgrounds to produce innovative collaborations in printmaking. The University of Puget Sound Art Department, with the organization help of Tacoma artist Janet Marcavage, hosts six artists associated with the Workshop - Curlee Raven Holton, Letitia Huckaby, Samella Lewis, Allan Edmunds, Richard Whitman and Tomie Arai - for an exhibit at Collins Memorial Library through Nov. 13. From 5-7 p.m., the Library hosts an opening reception for the artists.

4. Northwest Snowboards presents latest skate film by Thomas Campbell, Cuatro Sueños Pequeños, andthe gorgeously hypnotic gods of surf, sun and neon-punk-jazz of our modern universe The Mattson 2 at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theater.

5. The Brotherhood Lounge hosts an end of the summer dance party with DJ Fir$t Lady spinning your favorite old school hip-hop, plus other eclectic and funky dance tunes, beginning ta 9 p.m. Twenty-five percent of the sales will go straight to the Thurston County Food Bank.

LINK: Thursday, Sept. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 4, 2014 at 9:15am

Cool Desk Job: 5-20th Infantry Regiment virtually prepares for anything at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

5-20th Infantry Regiment soldiers work the VBS2, an interactive simulated training software that uses video game graphics to simulate real world environments and training objectives. Photo credit: Sgt. James Bunn

"Enemy troops in the open, three o'clock," a soldier calls out. The gunner scans for the target and in less than a second identifies and engages the enemy combatants.

This was the scenario for soldiers with 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team as they conducted Virtual Battlespace 2 training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 28.

The unit organized the training to familiarize soldiers with different terrain, weapons and vehicle procedures before an upcoming live-fire exercise next month at Yakima Training Center.

"The soldiers are getting used to the equipment," said 2nd Lt. John Howell, a platoon leader with 5-20th Inf. Bn. "They're going over fire commands today and learning to work together."

The VBS2 is an interactive simulated training software that uses video game graphics to simulate real world environments and training objectives. Since its introduction in 2007, the system has helped better prepare soldiers and units for deployments and saved the Army millions of dollars according to Jeffery T. Du, a VBS2 facilitator.

This training saves the Army money by allowing units to go through scenarios based on the terrain they will experience at the upcoming exercise without stressing vehicles, equipment or using live ammunition, said Du. The soldiers will be more efficient when they go to the range because they have practiced multiple times in the simulator.

Through an advanced program editing system, VBS2 instructors can tailor training to the needs of individual units based on mission requirements, create realistic battlefield situations and allow Soldiers to operate simulated land, sea, and air vehicles.

"This training allows for a diverse amount of situations that we can encounter with the Stryker," said Spc. Ryan Sweeney, a fire team leader with 5-20th Inf. Bn.

Soldiers focused on marksmanship with mounted weapons, calling for indirect fire, identifying targets and maneuvering through various fighting positions in a simulated Stryker combat vehicle.

The scalable VBS2 system is able to train small teams in urban tactics, entire combat teams in combined arms operations or even squad and platoon offensive, defensive, and patrolling operations.

Leaders can use VBS2 to assist them in developing the organizational skills required to execute successful missions. Soldiers can use the system to learn and validate the unit's tactics, techniques and procedures before any exercise.

 "We have a lot of new soldiers and this is an easy way for them to get a baseline of how to operate in a fire team and build good habits early," said Sweeney.

Although it's a simulation and not the real world, the VBS2 system provides diverse training opportunities for the soldiers of the 5-20th Inf. Bn. and the skills necessary as a modern fighting force said Du.

"I like that we are diversifying our training techniques to match all fronts," said Sweeney. "This system is a good way for us to build up our new training strategies to meet the battlefield of tomorrow." 

Sgt. James J. Bunn is with the 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

September 4, 2014 at 11:45am

Army Surgeon General suspends Brig. Gen. John M. Cho, commander of Western Regional Medical Command at JBLM

This just in from Sharon D. Ayala, director, Directorate of Communication and Executive Services, Western Regional Medical Command ...

Western Regional Medical Command, Fort Lewis, Wash.: Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho, The Army Surgeon General and U.S. Army Medical Command Commander, suspended Brig. Gen. John M. Cho, the Commanding General, Western Regional Medical Command (WRMC), located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., effective Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 pending the outcome of an inquiry centered on the command climate of the organization. Lt. Gen. Horoho will assign an interim commander of the WRMC for the duration of the suspension. The Army remains committed to ensuring we have the right leaders in place to lead our organizations which provide high quality medical care to our Soldiers, their Families, and our Retirees.

September 5, 2014 at 7:34am

Friday Morning Joe: Ukraine Russia cease fire, Allies vs ISIS, Omar Khalid Khorasani, asteroid on its way ...

Petty Officer 2nd Class Douglas Knapp, from Renton, Wash., tosses a training coffee pot during an Army Warrior training course. Original photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Wayman


Ukraine and pro-Russia separatists meeting in Minsk agreed today on a conditional cease-fire only hours after NATO approved plans Friday for a new rapid response force to counter future Russian aggression in the region.

The Obama administration accelerated efforts today to build an international coalition to combat the Islamic State, winning pledges of support from nine allies but leaving questions about the extent of possible expanded military force.

Britain has pledged to commit 1,000 troops to a new NATO spearhead force expected to be announced by alliance leaders on the second day of the summit, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Secretary of State John Kerry: ISIS a long, must-win fight.

Democratic lawmakers are beginning to describe the Obama administration strategy for fighting the Islamic State, a plan Republicans say is nonexistent.

Islamic State, fighting to redraw the map of the Middle East, has been coaching Egypt's most dangerous militant group, complicating efforts to stabilize the biggest Arab nation.

Drones and the context of the conflict with ISIS.

A founding member of the Pakistani Taliban, Omar Khalid Khorasani is an uncompromisingly brutal jihadist with a rapidly rising profile.

A Massachusetts man could be running social media for the ISIS, according to multiple reports.

The friendly fire incident that killed five American soldiers and one Afghan soldier in June was caused by failures from the "key members" of the ground team who called in an airstrike from a B-1B Lancer.

U.S. commandos who tried to save Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Americans during the 2012 Benghazi attack write in a new book that the CIA station chief held up the rescue attempt.

How does the warfighter launch a grenade at the enemy and ensure that it hits the target if the enemy is defiladed, or concealed, behind natural or artificial obstacles? Use Small Arms Grenade Munitions, or SAGM.

The Navy officially accepted delivery of the USS North Dakota, signalling the arrival of a new high-tech fast attack submarine equipped with improved missile tubes, computers, electronics and sonar technology.

Veterans: The new "in-state tuition" protection that Congress approved last month won't take effect for another year.

Close call: Keep your helmet nearby! A newly discovered asteroid will zip by Earth  on Sunday.

Ja Rule is getting his own TV show. Follow The Rules is a docu-comedy series on MTV that follows Ja and his large family - a "modern day reality rap star version of Bill Cosby's role from The Cosby Show."

NBC is developing a live comedy from Chris Moynihan, Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner. Hospitality will take place in a downtown hotel and air live every week with live commercials.

The creators of The Good Wife sold a pilot to CBS titled Brain Dead, which is described as "The Strain meets The West Wing." We have no idea what that could possibly mean.

Sneaky Rabbit: When the going gets tough, sometimes you gotta break the rules. Or something like that.

No, Human, No! Husky throws a tantrum when playtime is over.

Girls Gone Wild: Robert Downey Jr. went to South Korea. Then this happened.

Meet Chica the DogSpider

LINK: Original photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Wayman

September 5, 2014 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: China Davis, Puyallup Fair, "ETHNOBOTANY," Smart People ...

China Davis celebrates its just released "Arctic Days" CD at The Swiss tonight.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 5 2014 >>>

1. China Davis is a band that is firmly rooted in the foundation of Americana and singer/songwriter tropes with the ability to take in a larger conversation of rock and alternative elements. Along with singer and principal songwriter Ben Fuller, China Davis features the guitar work of Fuller's younger brother Ted Fuller and long time friend and bassist Eric Balcom. Drummer Andy Stockton, also of Clearly Beloved, rounds out the group on drums. Now, with their latest album, Arctic Days, the band is set to build on a foundation of good songs and seasoned workmanship. Read Timothy Grisham's full feature on China Davis in the Music & Culture section., then celebrate with the band at 9 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant and Pub.

2. It's that time of year again ... school is back in swing, the weather is cooling down and the Washington State Fair at the Puyallup fairgrounds opens today. From Fisher Scones, which have been around for a century, to the appropriately named Totally Fried, which even offers lemonade in a fried state, there's always another bite to grab at the Fair. Of course there's also burgers, pizza, barbecue and international cuisines, as well as a number of wine gardens, cantinas and bars for the older than 21 set. Click here for what's new. Click here for special activity days.

3. Plants were here before us, and they will survive us. Silent partners in our evolutionary endeavors, they may also make fruitful creative companions. Moss + Mineral gallery and store knows this, and will spread the green word through October 12 at the W.W. Seymour Conservatory in Wright Park. ETHNOBOTANY: An Artists' Study of Plants shines sunlight on 12 regional and national artists who venture into the world of ethnobotany through art installations made from a variety of organic and non-organic media. According to pre-show hype, "The scientific field of ethnobotany aims to ‘describe and explain complex relationships between cultures and (uses of) plants, focusing primarily on how plants are used, managed and perceived across human societies.' These uses include as food, clothing, currency, medicine, hallucinogenics, and shelter. The works in Ethnobotany: An Artists' Study of Plants make often surprising connections between botanical life, art, contemporary circumstances, and science." Two green thumbs up. An opening reception from 6-8 p.m. features the wonderful indie music of Alex Tapia.

4. Casey Neill and the Norway Rats are steeped in Portland's eclectic music scene. From dusty rockers to seafaring folk expeditions, the band comes across like the sort of people who gleefully dig through crates of forgotten troubadours from the '60s and '70s. Featuring the essential keys and accordion of Jenny Conlee (of the Decemberists and Black Prairie), the Norway Rats create incredibly textural indie rock that sounds like an elevated bar band playing as the terrible rays of morning light seep in through the windows and past the crowd of swaying insomniacs. Catch the band with Trees and Timber and June Madrona at 8 p.m. in Northern.

5. Tonight's "Smart People" DJ dance party, organized by Tacoma's Mr. Melanin, celebrates the birthdays of several "regulars." Hosted by Gallery of Ambition's Neon Dion, this monthly dance night features Mr. Melanin, theMAYOR from The Breaklites and special guests spinning R&B, electronica, indie rock, house and disco in an improved setting of coolness. Dancing is awesome, but you'll catch yourself gazing at the turntable skills. It's OK. It really begins at 9:55 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, Sept. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 5, 2014 at 2:09pm

Getting Lucky with Nicky and Adam: Strip Club Edition

Adam and Nicky at Dream Girls at Fox's strip club in Tacoma

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY: Well, this didn't go as planned. As we stated at the beginning of this experiment, the column would come to an end when one of us got laid, or when the summer ended. Needless to say, the "getting lucky" aspect hasn't quite gone our way. This left us with two editions remaining before fall arrives. My bright idea for a surefire place to go to meet women? Dream Girls at Fox's! A strip club! This is the best idea I've ever had. Did you enjoy our trip to the strip club?

NICKY MARTIN: Oddly enough, yes. I was a bit worried at the beginning of the night because, contrary to popular belief, naked women whom I've never met before grinding on me is bloody terrifying. I attempted to get over this fear once in Portland. The nice lady giving me a lap dance told me it was OK to look. I guess that means I was doing it wrong. I figured the only way to face this article was head on, with a shit ton of whiskey and an Adderall. The great thing about this club was it also shared the building with a bar appropriately named Pole Position. It wasn't the dark, creepy dive one you would expect from a bar attached to a strip club that just happens to be located in Parkland. What was your first impression of the bar?

ADAM: I'm with you on being uncomfortable. The last strip club I went to was for my 18th birthday, and it was a shit show. To my surprise, the bar was pretty great. Not too busy, which I liked. (We would find out later that if we had gone a week later, we could've seen Pole Position's Grand Opening, featuring a twerking contest judged by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Just our luck.) After pre-gaming, we shrugged our shoulders and went over to Dreamgirls, and you know what? It was GREAT! Every stripper I spoke to was amazingly nice. Of course, they were all anticipating that I'd give them money, but I think we'd all be a little more personable if we thought there was a reasonable chance of strangers giving us money. Can you imagine how magical that world would be? Your thoughts?

NICKY: I'm with you, A-Dawg. Granted, I spent more time looking at the ceiling or into my bottomless Sprite beverage rather then the stage. The girls were really nice, even after I told them I wasn't the lap dancing type. Before we went out that night, I tried to read up on proper strip-club etiquette, written by a professional dancer. One of the things I read about was how most dancers have to pay a floor fee, and buying dances and drinks for them is how they cover that fee. I explained to the girls that came up that I didn't want them to waste their time since I wasn't planning on getting any dances. Most of them moved on after that, but gals sat and chatted with us about the article. We portrayed it as more of a "looking for love in all the wrong places" and less of a "dating article," which is the turn it's pretty much taken. That seemed to strike the right cord with them. "This is the perfect place for that kind of column!" one stated. For the record, I did give two women money and even complimented one girl's tattoos. Did you make some friends, Adam? I saw you chatted up plenty of ladies.

ADAM: Oddly enough, I did stay in contact with one of the dancers after that night. Granted, she's got a husband and kids, but this is by far the closest I've come to meeting somebody for this godforsaken column. Still, I was most fascinated by the culture of lap dances. I got two at Dreamgirls, but I still can't quite understand exactly what my role is in that situation. I mean, I know what did happen to me in those moments - which you can figure out for yourselves, you perverts - but there was still a feeling that I wasn't doing it right. But, I guess that old saying is right, that there's more than one way to have a stranger grind on you in public. Now that we've come out of the strip club unscathed (though still unsuccessful, technically), you and I have discussed the possibility of just transitioning this into a column about strippers. We'll see. What I do know is that the next column will be the last for Getting Lucky. Let's make it count.

Filed under: Sex, Tacoma,

September 6, 2014 at 10:17am

5 Things To Do Today: "Gayla," Proctor Farmers Market, Crafts from the Past, Electrisad ...

Vicci Martinez performs tonight at the Pizza Klatch "Gayla" in the Washington Center.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 5 2014 >>>

1. Vicci Martinez, Tacoma native and finalist on NBC's The Voice will perform at the Pizza Klatch Gayla: A Slice of the Good Life tonight. Also on tap will be the outrageously funny singing group The Righteous Mothers. There will be a silent auction with items ranging from a wine tasting for 15 people; a night at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; a Seattle Storm fan pack and more. Featured speakers include Congressman Denny Heck, Sen. Karen Fraser, Rep. Laurie Jinkins and Marissa Rathbone of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Other events at the Gayla include a youth art show, specialty wine and beers, advice booth run by teenagers, and a Panowicz Balloon Pop with a chance to win jewelry worth up to $1,500, all beginning at 7 p.m. in the Washington Center.

2. "Plastics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" will be the theme of the 4th annual Green Day at the Proctor Farmer's Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Expect a cluster of booths at the market, each focusing on different aspects of plastics in our lives, including volunteer programs you can join, children's activities, and drawings every half hour for prizes related to both the market, and going plastic-free.  And, of course, a marimba band. 

3. Meet national best-selling mystery writer Laurie King at a talk and book signing at 10 a.m. in the Lakewood Playhouse. Nine of King's books will be available for purchase and signing, including The Game and Locked Rooms - popular titles in the series about Mary Russell who partners with the retired Sherlock Holmes to solve cases. A former Pierce County resident, King graduated from Franklin Pierce High School in 1970. As a child, she lived in Dash Point in a house overlooking Puget Sound. She now lives on California's central coast.

4. The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's Crafts of the Past program features milliner Dana Repp as this weekend's artist-in-residence from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program - which will be ending this month - allows visitors to see the "creativity of daily life" in crafts of the 1800s (other crafts for September include tin whistles and cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print). Repp makes period replicas of bonnets based upon examples in museum collections, period illustrations and photographs. Examples of various 19th century bonnets will be on display, and Repp will demonstrate bonnet construction methods.

5. The Phoenix, Arizona, band Electrisad makes music that's perfect for swooning young lovers. Simple synths and gentle melodies weave in and around the cooing vocals. When things rise above a tender whisper, the energy is offset by a lingering sense of melancholy. Cheap synthesizers lend everything the feeling of a heartbroken teenage girl shutting herself away in her bedroom and setting her journal entries to music and endlessly writing the name of her love in her notebook. Catch the band with Seth Boyer at 8 p.m. in Metronome Coffee.

LINK: Saturday, Sept. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 6, 2014 at 12:13pm

7th Infantry Division names new headquarters in honor of Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison during ceremony

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison gives a speech at the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Inf. Div.'s new headquarters named in his honor. Harrison is known not only for his military exploits, but his role in the community. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

Friday marked the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Harrison Hall is named after retired Lt. Gen. William Harrison. Harrison is well known in both the military and local communities. After leaving the service he became an influential community leader and politician, being elected the first mayor of Lakewood after its incorporation.

"We honor his contributions not only for the military but for the community," said Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, the commander of the 7th Infantry Division as he addressed the audience.

Harrison was born in Pembroke, Kentucky on July 2 1933. He joined the Army in 1954 and was a career officer. His career took him around the world. He served in West Germany, Iran and Vietnam. While in Korea he led two companies of the 7th Infantry Division, and would later be the divisions' commanding general. In the U.S. he served in several staff positions at installations around the country, including I Corps at Fort Lewis. He retired from the Army in 1991.

>>> Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, speaks during the dedication of the Division's new headquarters, Harrison Hall. Harrison Hall is named for Lt. Gen. (ret) William Harrison, who was the ceremony's guest of honor. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After leaving the military, he had several posts in government and the private sector, serving as an advisor to the governor of California. He eventually co-chaired the Lakewood incorporation effort and was elected to the city's first city council in September 1995. He was elected the city's first mayor one month later.

Since then, he's been an instructor at Pierce College and currently sits on the Pierce College Foundation board. He also serves on the boards of the Lakewood YMCA, USO Puget Sound Area, the Pierce County Mental Health Oversight Board and countless other organizations.

>>> Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general of I Corps, speaks at the dedication of the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general of I Corps, thanked him for his service and ongoing support of the military, mentioning to the audience that Harrison has attended nearly every ceremony they've had.

When it was his turn to speak, Harrison was helped to the podium by his son, Lanza and Ferrell. The old soldier spoke softly into the microphone as he reflected on his service in uniform, and beyond. He specifically addressed those soldiers who were preparing to leave the service. "There truly is life after the Army," he told the crowd.

>>> Canadian Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne shakes hands with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison after the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters named in his honor. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After the ceremony, attendees came up to shake hands and chat with Harrison. One of them was Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne, the Canadian army officer serving as the deputy commander of I Corps.

"It's an honor to be part of this team," he told The Ranger after chatting with Harrison.

Turenne said Harrison's career and his contributions to the military and his community sets an example to soldiers everywhere. "You want to emulate a guy like Lt. Gen. Harrison," Turenne said.

September 6, 2014 at 1:30pm

Armed Forces help Seattle Seahawks kick off the 2014-15 NFL Season

Washington National Guard receives high-fives before unveiling the Seattle Seahawks' new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl banner. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seattle Seahawks are World Champions, and now, in part with the military's help, have the banners up in CenturyLink Field to prove it.

The team made the military an integral part of its NFL Kickoff celebration Thursday as members from each branch took part in the National Anthem and the Super Bowl banner presentation as well as reenlistment and promotion ceremonies.

"The Seahawks and our fans recognize the essential role and amazing service provided by America's military personnel," said Seattle Seahawks Community Relations Vice President Mike Flood. "We're proud to feature service members from all branches as we display the World Championship banner and begin the 2014 NFL season."

The amount of inquiries for support has increased significantly with the Seahawks' super success. However, the organization continues to involve the military throughout the year - even in one of the most popular games of the entire NFL season. In fact, support is increasing.

"That effort will continue every year because it's our opportunity and duty to give back," Flood said. "Our coaches, players and staff have a year-round dedication to partnering (with) service members and supportive causes."

>>> U.S. Navy member LCDR Jay Hyler shows off the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Championship Ring before his on-field promotion ceremony before the NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ballesteros is all smiles during his re-enlistment ceremony on the field of the Seattle Seahawks during their military pre-game celebration Thursday. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Flood and Seahawks Fan Development Assistant Director Armando Mejia lead the critical relationship between the Seahawks organization and the military. They work with bases throughout the Pacific Northwest to create new ideas every year, such as the 80-feet high Super Bowl banner, which was held by members of the Washington National Guard during the Seahawks NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4.

"It was really neat to see them unfold the Super Bowl banner in rehearsal, and it sent the message that we finally did it," said Spc. Josh Medford, JFHQ, 2-146 Artillery, Washington National Guard, prior to the game. "I've got a pretty critical role in the presentation, as I'm the one who grabs the flag by the top and walks it all the way down to the bottom."

>>> Fireworks burst into the sky as 50 members of the Washington National Guard hold a brand new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy banner during the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl celebration. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>>Pop sensation Ariana Grande joins members of every service branch to sing the National Anthem before the Seattle Seahawks took on the Green Bay Packers. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Along with an on-the-field presence of the military this season, the Seahawks are also implementing a #SeahawksSalute campaign, which will feature photos of deployed service members demonstrating their "12th Man" spirit.

>>> Various members of military branches hold up a camouflage "12s" Flag during various military pre-game ceremonies. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seahawks organization is using the popularity of social media to enhance its connection between "12s" and the team, to include the military.

"One of our most recent programs is the Seahawks adopted military unit," Flood explained. "The Army was our first, in 2012, then the Air Force was last year, and now the Coast Guard will carry the football and "12 Flag" for 2014."

The selected unit participates in special team events and carries the "12 Flag" to locales worldwide throughout the season.

During the summer, the Seahawks made it a priority to bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the "Heroes of 12 Tour" to bases across Washington state, to include last year's adopted unit at the 446thAirlift Wing.

"We made it a point to begin the Lombardi Trophy tour at military bases to demonstrate our appreciation for the selfless service they give to America," Flood said. "It was a pleasure for us to see the smiles of thousands of service members at every base on the trophy visit."

A large part of the #SeahawksSalute program success relies on servicemembers.

Medford said the Seahawks Salute is both important and fun. Thursday's game was Medford's first Seahawks event, but he's done similar salute ceremonies for both the Sounders and Mariners.

A variety of military involved events took place throughout the NFL Kickoff game.

"During our break ... we actually got a chance to watch Pharrell during his rehearsal," said Medford.  "He actually came right over and gave us high-fives and posed in several pictures for us."

Entertainment wasn't the only thing taking place on the field before the big game, however.

Now Navy Lt. Comdr. Jay Hyler was promoted directly on the field before the game and even had the honor of having his daughter pin on his new rank.

"It was such an honor to have my daughter alongside of me while I get promoted," Hyler said. "It's her first game ever, and she even got to try on a Super Bowl Ring.  How amazing is that?"

Along with Hyler's promotion, Army Capt. Paul Ballesteros re-enlisted during the pregame ceremonies.

"This is my home state, so it means a lot to me to re-enlist indefinitely," said Ballesteros, who has been a Seahawks fan since wearing a Steve Largent jersey when he was only 5 years old.

"I feel great about this event," he added. "This shows me that the Seahawks work well with the Army by providing amazing opportunities for a homegrown soldier such as myself to do something like this."

It's hard to forget one's first-ever NFL game.  It will be especially hard for Tech Sgt. Matt McKenna, who's stationed on the McChord side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

It was his first Seahawks game, and he found himself standing only a few feet from pop sensation Ariana Grande while she performed the National Anthem.

McKenna recently received a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his ground combat heroics in Afghanistan in 2012.

"It's incredibly humbling to receive this honor," he said of being awarded the medals. "It's really recognition of the team's work and combined efforts with the Army on one pretty tough day."

Stories such as McKenna's show the importance of supporting, showcasing and allowing the military to be a part of every Seattle Seahawks home game.

"We may not be able to touch everyone through Seahawks programs, but we will do our best to honor those who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy," Flood said.  "We remain committed to dozens of programs that strive to help military personnel, veterans and their families."

September 7, 2014 at 8:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Rafael Tranquilino, XPLORE Adventure Race, Dayclub, 10 String Symphony ...

Rafael Tranquilino rocks Milton tonight.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 7 2014 >>>

1. In the same way that sharks must keep swimming to keep breathing, it seems guitarist Rafael Tranquilino must fuse genres across various musical projects in order to stay afloat. His arrangements incorporate blues, funk, rock, funk, ska, metal, reggae, Latin and jazz-fusion. As accomplished as he is varied, Tranquilino will enter Dave's of Milton's science lab and experiment with bassist Farko Dosumov, drummer Ivan Gunderson and B3 organist Brooke Lizoette at 8 p.m.

2. The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's Crafts of the Past program features milliner Dana Repp as this weekend's artist-in-residence from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program - which will be ending this month - allows visitors to see the "creativity of daily life" in crafts of the 1800s (other crafts for September include tin whistles and cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print). Repp makes period replicas of bonnets based upon examples in museum collections, period illustrations and photographs. Examples of various 19th century bonnets will be on display, and Repp will demonstrate bonnet construction methods.

3. The XPLORE Adventure Race(s) is new this year at the Washington State Fair. There will be an all-ages race at noon and then a 6 p.m. race for those 21 years and older. The fun runs will allow teams of 2-5 people to compete throughout the fairgrounds by solving clues, completing challenges and turning in proof. Space is limited, so early team registration is recommended.

4. OK, OK, yes we told you The Social Bar and Grill's patio would a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and dig resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music last Sunday. We apologize. Who knew the DJs preferred the Fussy Cloud Puppet Jam at Bumbershoot? Anyway, the triple threat of delicious booze, sun and hip tunes known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party "Dayclub." is back on today from 2-6 p.m.

5. Nashville's 10 String Symphony blends aggressive, almost discordant, Celtic and punky string-chording experimentations. Vocally, Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer lock in seamlessly, and their vocal duets often take center stage despite the fact that they are self-described fiddle players. Check the duo out with the Tattletale Saints at 7 p.m. in Tacoma's Immanuel Presbyterian Church.

LINK: Sunday, Sept. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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