As we honor our local heroes, we’re highlighting some organizations around town that treat every day like it’s Veterans Day. The Buffalo Sabres shared photos of military members sporting their Sabres gear and waving team flags while serving overseas in the arena and during the broadcast of their recent “Military Appreciation Night.” Recognizing our heroes isn’t limited to just one game a year, though. At every home game, the team and the fans pause to thank service men and women in attendance, as part of their ongoing “Tickets for Troops” campaign. This year, Mike Weber and Matt Moulson teamed up to sponsor military members for this crowd pleasing moment. Lauren Hall spoke to the players about what the program means to them.
“It’s something that’s in my family, in my blood,” Weber said. “My grandfather was a marine, fought in North Korea. My brother is in the air force reserve. My billet family, the Otts, when I played junior hockey in Canada, they both had 25 years in the Canadian Air Force. I was raised with the same routine and discipline, and structure. What all of our troops do for us, both here and in Canada, it’s pretty special for them. To be able to go and sacrifice so we can do what we do.”
Moulson was first inspired to get involved in military causes when he went to fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. He gives his tickets to a member of this program each game. “Some of them have been through some extremely difficult times,” Moulson said. “To put a smile on their face, after the game, come and see the locker room, get to talk to them, and see behind the scenes, it’s always a good feeling. If they’re having a good time. Ease their mind a bit. ”
To nominate a service member for Tickets for Troops, visit the Sabres website.