BostonBruins.com - In preparation for Military Appreciation Night this season, the Bruins were asked to do something a little different to help promote the night, and encourage fans to donate tickets to the military.
"Yeah, we've never done a photo shoot for Military Appreciation Night," said Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. "With the face paint and putting on the uniform. It's pretty impressive that they're able to do what they do with the amount of clothing that they have on - it's a pretty heavy uniform."
Krug and his teammates donated $2,500 worth of tickets to give to local military members and their families for the team's matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 10.
All of them took part in a special photo shoot to show their support. Along with Krug, Noel Acciari, David Backes, Jimmy Hayes, John-Michael Liles, Kevan Miller and Frank Vatrano also donated tickets.
But the Black & Gold's support for the Red, White & Blue, goes far beyond the donations and photos.
"I've never done something like that before, so it was really cool, especially to do it with all of the American guys," said Vatrano.
The photo shoot featured military uniforms, and the players faces were painted.
"This is some of the stuff that real military guys in the Army have worn, and around here, local guys, actually wear," said Miller, who has a deep respect for the military, and has many friends in the armed forces. "And it's some of the stuff they've worn overseas in deployment, so it's pretty cool."
"The more support we can have for our troops, especially for a good cause, is huge, so it goes a long way."
The Bruins did admit to being a little apprehensive going into it.
"I'll be honest, I definitely felt very awkward putting it on. These are people who go to fight for our country, and they're wearing this uniform every day," said Krug. "It's a symbol of pride and appreciation for our country and they're going to battle in the uniform. So it definitely feels a little awkward putting it on, but I'm sure they appreciate the pictures, and seeing some of the athletes around Boston wearing that stuff is pretty cool."
The end result was powerful, and created images that show just how much appreciation the players have for their service men and women.
"It's pretty cool how it came out," said Krug. "The face paint added a nice touch to it, and the uniforms looked great."
One player in particular wasn't too keen on the way he looked in the photo.
"I didn't look too good in the pictures, though - I just looked scared, and too small, in the back next to Backes, Jimmy, all those tall guys. I wish they did individual shots," Vatrano smiled.
Of course, Vatrano knows that the shoot wasn't about them.
"Obviously it was an honor to do that, and to donate tickets to the game," said Vatrano, who has been staying involved any way he can while he works his way back from injury. "I have huge support for the military and what they do for this country. It takes special guys to do what they do, and they do a lot for this country, so to show them support and support them, it's something that I love to do."
Deep down, that will always be true for Vatrano and the rest of the Bruins.
"It's important," said Krug. "I mean, we're lucky enough to have the pedestal where we can show our appreciation, as professional athletes, especially in such a great city where they're conscious of community service, military appreciation… so it's always important and I know guys in here appreciate that and being a part of it as well."
Video: Miller and Vatrano show their support for military