Thanks to an advantageous partnership between Freedom Alliance and Monumental—the organization that operates the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards—we have been privileged to take combat vets to games where they are recognized for their service. This gives the fans a chance to say thank you while at the same time honoring the injured service member for their sacrifice.
Last month, we took Army Specialist Will to Clyde’s for a pre-event dinner, before arriving at game seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: the Capitals versus the New York Rangers.
Will, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a combat medic with the 10th Mountain Division. After being stationed at Fort Wainwright in Alaska, Will deployed to Afghanistan in late 2010. While on patrol, his team encountered an improvised explosive device—the blast hit Will, causing extensive injuries to his lower body. As a result, his left leg was amputated below the knee. Since last summer, he’s been recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Hearing Will’s story and seeing his photos on the Jumbotron, the stadium, full of Caps fans on their feet, cheered and applauded. The Capitals gave our Army specialist a fan gear bag and some time with the Ice Girls.
Regrettably, the Caps lost their bid for the Stanley Cup. But for this soldier and Freedom Alliance, the night was a real win.