|Posted by roamingtherinks on March 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM||comments ()|
I am fortunate enough to have season tickets for the ECHL's Elmira Jackals, a team who makes it a point to honor local veterans, thanks to the help of the city's Ziff Law Firm. Each game a veteran is honored and given free tickets, and introduced to the crowd during the second period, always to a standing ovation. This is routine in Elmira, but a welcome part of the Jackals experience. As a hockey fan who has attended hundreds of games, and travelled to over a hundred arenas to do so there are always those rare occurrences that you may see or experience, but are considered unlikely. You know, things like a goalie fight, a 4 goal performance by a player, or a 15 round shootout. Sometimes I've even been able to experience the joy of other fans who get a rare treat, such as the lady in Kalamazoo who took a zamboni ride on her 80th birthday. When you get to experience one of these special events it makes for a memorable night.
Last night a Jackals loss was offset by being able to experience (in person) one of the coolest, and most emotional events which can happen at a sporting event. The Veteran of the Game presentation actually took place on the ice at intermission, and started off with an "interview" of Army wife Brittany Daghita, who was supposed to speak about "something" as the microphone was just a ploy to get her on the ice so her husband, Army specialist Joey Daghita, could surprise her as he is home on leave from his third tour of duty in Kuwait. Needless to say the reunion was emotional, and the crowd loved it. This is one of those events you see on Youtube, or the news, but don't expect to experience in person. Regardless of the score it was a great night at First Arena last evening. Thank you for your service Mr. Daghita, and thanks to all of our veterans. Thank you also to the Elmira Jackals and Ziff Law Firm, who allowed the fans in attendance to have a memorable night.