For the fourth year in a row, the Minnesota Warriors will honor all veterans by hosting a split-squad Veteran’s Weekend Hockey Game with the Minnesota NHL Alumni. This year’s game will be held at Richfield Ice Arena on Sunday, November 9th starting at 5:30 pm.
The event is designed to raise awareness for Veteran’s Day while providing current players a unique opportunity to play with some of their childhood heroes. Over the past four years, the event has also provided additional exposure to the Warriors hockey program, helping them grow from just a handful of players to over 70.
While that type of growth is meaningful for any hockey organization, it means much more to the Warriors because of the impact the game of hockey and its team environment can have on veterans such as Andrew Qualy.
“When they participate and they feel some success on the ice, it translates into success off the ice because they just have more confidence,” said former President Al Lindgren. “For others, it’s a good way to deal with a lot of the symptoms that go along with PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder]. A lot of guys with PTSD they tend to withdraw and isolate, and hockey will draw them out.”
As the program has grown, they have also gained the ability to capture a wider audience. This November they hope they can use that to cast a light on Veteran’s Day.
“It’s about carrying the torch,” said Lindgren. “Remembering all of the people that served before us. Keeping people conscious of what that day is about. It’s not just another holiday. It’s there for a reason.”
Since 1919, Veteran’s Day has stood as a reminder to all citizens that the rights and privileges we have today were won for us by the men and women that have served in our armed forces. 95 years later, it continues to serve as a celebration dedicated to honoring America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Local hockey fans and military supporters can show their support of veterans by attending this split-squad exhibition game and participating in its silent auction. All proceeds from the event will be given to the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program. The Warriors use the funds to provide new and current players additional hockey opportunities including practices, games and major tournaments such as the USA Disabled Hockey Festival.
For more information on the Minnesota Warriors or to buy tickets, visit www.mnwarriors.com.