News Center

Military Appreciation: Why We Do It

by Community Manager

‎01-31-2014 02:54 PM

 Wynn Hoke

     SFC Wynn Hoke

By SFC Wynn Hoke,
U.S. Army Training with Industry Participant


I came to USAA six months ago as part of the Army’s Training with Industry program, a one-year work-experience program with the aim of exposing officers and noncommissioned officers to managerial techniques in corporate America.


Through my placement, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many military appreciation events. At several of these events, I had experiences I’ll never forget.


In August, I was in Seattle for a military appreciation event hosted by USAA. We brought 100 Navy sailors to watch a Seattle Seahawks preseason practice and meet the players.  


During the practice, you could hear the chatter between the sailors talking about their favorite players. With every crazy catch and diving pass, the crowd of Navy personnel would ooh and aah.


 usaa_news_NFL-mil_chargers-practice (2).jpg

Military members watch the Seattle Seahawks practice.

That day, one sailor came up to me and looked me in the eyes as he shook my hand and said, “This was the best day of my life. Thank you.”


At another event, USAA hosted about 200 military members and their families for the Denver Broncos Summer Scrimmage. A little girl named Ema, about 8 years old, was attending the event with her dad, an Army sergeant.


Ema, as little as she was, weaved her way up to Peyton Manning. With outstretched hands holding a Broncos cap, she asked for his autograph. Ema operated that way for the next few hours, getting signature after signature from players and cheerleaders.


After she was done and the event was coming to a close, Ema came up to me with a piece of paper. On the paper was written: “To Mr. Wynn, you are the best. From Ema.”


That is why we do it.



           Card stunt at the 2013 Salute to Service Game

                                   in San Diego.

Whether it’s an adult in uniform or a child of a service member, USAA gives military personnel and their families once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. There’s no price you can put on an event where we show appreciation for our military and their families.


During my time at USAA, I have come to appreciate what this group of companies has done and continues to do for our military at these events. I look forward to my return to the Army life, but I will always remember the important role USAA plays in recognizing service members and their families. 


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by Paul Go Navy ‎02-04-2014 07:37 AM

Great story. Thank you for your service and being a USAA employee at the same time. Best wishes.