By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Members of Team Schriever were visited by Denver Broncos players, alumni, cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot along with USAA representatives here Nov. 18 as part of their Salute to Service Campaign.
Schriever welcomed them with a tour of the base to demonstrate our space capabilities. At stops along the way, Broncos and NFL fans waited in line to get their autographs and speak with guests.
Steve Sarandos, 50th Force Support Squadron, worked diligently for nearly two years to make this event possible. Sarandos found out about the campaign by chance and teamed up with Amanda Hebert, Broncos manager of partnership activation and service, and Kent Fortune, vice-president and general manager of Colorado Springs Campus USAA, to make it happen.
“It was a long time coming,” said Sarandos. “But it was well worth it.”
Hebert and the Denver team representatives were pleasantly surprised with what they witnessed during their visit.
“We weren’t expecting the magnitude of what this base does,” said Hebert. “It was both enlightening and intimidating.”
Broncos wide receiver Isaiah Burse had never visited a military installation before and said the experience was eye opening.
“We learned so much today about the Air Force, satellites, GPS and what you guys do on a daily basis,” said Burse. “I’d love to come back to learn more because there is just so much more information.”
The Salute to Service Campaign according to Hebert and Fortune is a way to give back to military members and their family.
“We get to touch people’s lives and talk to the men and women who protect our country,” said Hebert. “We are so appreciative for all that you guys do.”
Fortune, who played a support role for USAA and the visit, said it’s a small way to say thanks.
“We want to recognize the men and women here for their service,” Fortune said. “As a former honorary commander here, I always enjoy any interaction with the base.”
This was the third year Fortune has worked with the Broncos for this particular event and wanted to ensure Schriever was included in the fun.
“We know sometimes people can forget about Schriever because you’re way out here,” he said. “We just wanted to make sure you guys knew you’re very much appreciated. What you guys do is essential.”
One of those essential members, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Paxson, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, waited in line for the Broncos at the dining facility.
“I came to get an autograph for my daughter Elizabeth,” he said. “We set her up with the Broncos to be her team because she was born here.
Paxson also has a special connection to the Broncos.
“They were the team playing at the first NFL game I went to and I was very excited to see them again,” he added.
As part of the Salute to Service campaign members of the base were invited to attend this weekend’s Denver Broncos Vs. Miami Dolphins game.
Sarandos said the event was a success and is looking forward to attending this Sunday’s game.
“Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces today was the highlight of this visit,” said Sarandos.