The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club paid tribute to U.S. Veterans on Sunday night in honor of Veterans Day with a schedule of events taking place prior to and during the Avalanche game against the Minnesota Wild.
The festivities began with a pre-game check presentation where proceeds from the Burgundy and White Game, played in September, was presented to Home Front Cares, Inc., on behalf of the Air Force Academy and the Colorado Avalanche. Home Front Cares is a Colorado-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for Colorado’s military families of all services, including Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel.
Avalanche anthem singer Jake Schroeder was joined on ice by a color guard and rifle team from Evergreen American Legion Post 2001. In addition, uniformed veterans representing World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan theaters stood alongside the color guard during the playing of the National Anthem which was followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.
In conjunction with The Greatest Generations Foundation (tggf.us), a Denver-based non-profit organization dedicated to returning veterans to their battlefields, the Avalanche formally recognized a group of 70 veterans representing American military theaters of operation who will be in attendance. Additional veterans among the fans in attendance also received special recognition.
Fans entering Pepsi Center through the Grand Atrium will be greeted by veterans from The Greatest Generations Foundation and a fully restored vintage World War II jeep.
Veterans representing U.S. theaters of operation included:
- Bill Brunger (U.S. Army) from the 75th Infantry division representing WWII Veterans
- Max Brown (U.S. Marine Corp) from the 1st Marine Division representing Korean War Veterans
- Stan Kleibenstien (U.S. Army) from the 4th infantry, 1st battalion representing Vietnam Veterans
- PFC Vinny Veruchi (U.S. Marine Corps) from the 1st battalion 6th, Marines Civil Affairs unit & Max 23 representing veterans from Iraqi and Afghanistan theaters