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Clover Park honors MXG Airmen during Warrior Night

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Nearly three dozen Clover Park High School Warrior football players' ages 13 through 17 lined their football field on a cool Friday night along with the three 62nd Airlift Wing Airmen they invited to be honored during team's first ever Warrior Night Oct. 16 in Lakewood, Wash.

The team hopes Warrior Night becomes an annual event to honor people in the community for their selfless service. It's named after the team.
The Warriors wanted to recognize service members who work jobs that are not typically the most glamorous or notable.

"The Airmen behind the scenes make the mission happen. They are like the linemen, nobody can recognize them except their mom, but they are vital," said Jorge Mendez, Clover Park High School assistant football coach. "The linemen are the pillars of the team."

The team honored Lt. Col. John Knack, 62nd Maintenance Group deputy commander, Senior Airman Dean Mathies, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron passenger service representative, and Airman 1st Class Zachary Schroeder, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication navigation mission system journeyman, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, with green football helmet plaques.

The football team coordinated with Robert Daly, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron, to reach out to the units on base. Daly's sons previously served on the team and he and his wife are still part of the team's booster club.

"It's important to teach kids to recognize the people who've come before them and to continue a code of ethics," Daly said. The team said they want this to be a yearly event where they honor military members, first responders and other people in the community for their selfless sacrifice.

"We want to show gratitude to anyone who epitomizes the word warrior," said Mendez. "We want the players to understand when you serve a higher calling you will be making a difference in somebody's life and the world."

Mendez said the team's players are not a reflection of their wins.

"Our record doesn't show, but those kids have a lot of heart," he added. "They were very excited when they saw the plaques. It's a way to say thank you."

Mathies who was recognized at the event said he was honored.

"I'm very grateful to be a part of this," he said.