ARLINGTON, Va. -- When Brian Burke spoke of his favorite memory from the 2010 Winter Olympics, it wasn't watching the team he constructed beating Canada in the preliminary round or winning a silver medal.
His favorite memory is when members of the Wounded Warriors program spoke to the United States team. Members of the military who take part in the Wounded Warriors program were able to spend lots of time with the U.S. squad in the lead-up to the 2010 Games and in Vancouver, and it was a memorable part of the experience for players on the team as well.
"The last camp and Olympics they were around with us and it was really special," Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said. "It was great to hear their stories, and they would get us pretty jacked up before the games. When we think we're making sacrifices, it is not even close. It's not even the same stratosphere. We have a great deal of respect for them and what they do.
"It makes it personal. You get to hang out with them and ask so many questions, sit and eat with them, have them come to practice. We are just as interested in what they have done as they are in what we've done. It makes it really cool, and you can make legitimate friendships instead of just saying, 'Hey, thanks for the talk.' It is a great experience and a thrill that USA Hockey does it."