The Blue Jackets picked up a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals last Thursday night at Nationwide Arena, a big bounce-back win for them. But the next morning, a far more inspiring group of hockey players took the ice for a great cause.
In partnership with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) group, the USA Warriors Ice Hockey program held a sled hockey clinic on Jan. 31 at the OhioHealth Ice Haus. Based out of Cincinnati, the DAV opened the clinic to all interested injured veterans who were thinking about taking up the sport.
The clinic, free of charge with no prior experience necessary, was a huge success. Thanks to a recent grant from the DAV, the USA Warriors program (based in Washington, D.C.) has been able to expand its reach and bring sled hockey to even more veterans during their rehabilitation.
The USA Warriors program was founded in 2008 to "educate, train, motivate, and encourage individuals who have physical disabilities incurred during service to the United States." Several of the players on the Warriors' roster have received the Purple Heart for their service to the country, and many are patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Here's an excerpt from the program mission statement...
"The USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program has been organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, for those wounded in defense of the United States in conjunction with the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Program. The Program’s mission is to organize and administer an ice hockey program that provides a recreational, therapeutic experience and education."