Two questions - Saving model & Armature Modifier

Ok, so I’ve created a model and rigged it using v2.57. How do I clear my model from the screen but still be able to quickly bring him back in to animate in the scene. I thought I would just export the model and then import him back in but I couldn’t figure out how to export the model and have it keep its rigging (I guess that would be a third question)

Also I’m having trouble with my model pulling a Speedy Gonzales and running to god knows where when I preview in BGE. I thought it might be a conflict between the mesh and the armature because the modifier wasn’t applied. However, when I apply the modifier the armature ceases to deform the mesh. What’s the deal?

Thanks!

I did some more research and found the answer to my first question is one simple word: Append. Haha! I’m still unable to figure out how to apply my armature correctly or why my model disappears into the wild grey yonder when I preview him in the game.