Saturday, September 13, 2008
By Spenser Ayres
The Raiderettes were recognized Thursday by First Sergeant Chris Underwood of the 129th Maintenance Squadron with the presentation of an American flag that was flown aboard a United States Air Force aircraft during missions in the Middle East, a Coin of the First Sergeant and a framed Letter of Appreciation. Raiderette Director Karen Kovac accepted on behalf of the Raiderettes at the Raiders facility in Alameda, Calif.
An 18-year military veteran and Bay Area resident since 1995, Underwood wanted to show his appreciation for the work that the Raiderettes do in the community.
“This is a token of my appreciation. You think about the things back home that are important. I know that (the Raiderettes) do a lot in the community and I just wanted to show my appreciation for your organization,” Underwood explained to Kovac while bestowing to her the flag and certificate.
Honored by the gesture, Kovac demonstrated her appreciation and support for our Nation’s armed forces. “Wow,” she said. “This is very special. When (the Raiderettes) get a request from a soldier, I’m right on it. We do anything we can to help.”
“This Coin,” the letter reads, “accompanied me on my journey back home from the Middle East, where I had been serving in response to Our Nation’s Call to support Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
These gifts from Sergeant Underwood are a commendation of the impact that the Raiderettes have on the Bay Area community. As Sergeant Underwood put it, “I always see the Raiderettes at the malls or doing stuff with kids. I thought they did a lot in the community and I’m all about community involvement, and the betterment of kids and mankind in general. When I see people out there taking time from their busy schedules just to go out and meet and greet to put a smile on a face, it really means something to me.”
While Sergeant Underwood took the time to honor Football’s Fabulous Females on September 11, the real tribute should be paid to him and all the men and women of the United States."