In honor of Veterans Day, the Detroit Red Wings and Coca-Cola hosted military veterans and active duty soldiers for a Military Appreciation Skate at Joe Louis Arena on Monday, November 12. Nearly 100 military members and their guests spent their federal holiday participating in the Military Appreciation Skate and enjoying an exclusive experience in Hockeytown mingling with former Red Wings players Kris Draper, Jiri Fischer, Kirk Maltby, and Chris Osgood. Executive Vice President & General Manager Ken Holland, Head Coach Mike Babcock, Assistant General Manager of Hockey Administration Ryan Martin, broadcaster Mickey Redmond, radio play-by-play announcer Ken Kal and VP of Finance Paul MacDonald also attended breakfast to give their thanks to the troops. Breakfast was available to all guests compliments of Coca-Cola.
"As an Active Duty US Army Soldier currently serving at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, we appreciate all that the Red Wings Organization does for the Detroit metropolitan area,” said MAJ Preston Hayward, US Army. “Thank you for allowing my daughter and I to have one of the great experiences of our life.”
Guests attending the Military Appreciation Skate enjoyed a skating party in the morning, where they were joined on the ice by Draper, Fischer, Maltby and Osgood. Guests also had the opportunity to play interactive hockey games and enjoy an exclusive Red Wings locker room tour. All guests in attendance received a Red Wings dog tag, 8x10 photo of Draper and Osgood and a Coke-Zero t-shirt.
Soldiers and guests signed banners donated by the USO for troops currently serving overseas. The banners, which were also signed by the Red Wings front office staff and Coca-Cola staff, will be sent overseas with care packages to active duty soldiers courtesy of Coca-Cola and the Red Wings’ partnership with the USO’s Operation USO Care Package program.
“We felt that this was an opportunity to give back to the military in a fun, unique way. Our staff is fortunate to experience the arena daily, but our military often misses these opportunities, so this is a chance to honor them and let them experience what Hockeytown has to offer,” said Red Wings VP of Finance Paul MacDonald.
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