The Bruins will honor local military members, veterans and their families at Military Appreciation Night
on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM, when the Black & Gold take on the Devils at the TD Garden.
But on Tuesday, as a prequel to next week's festivities, two Bruins lent a hand to local veterans as forward Nathan Horton
and defensemen Johnny Boychuk
paid a visit to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans to help serve food to residents.
The president and CEO of the center, Andy McCawley, explained that the facility services a broad spectrum of veterans.
“We have folks in their eighties that are World War II vets and we have folks in their twenties who are veterans of the current conflicts,” said McCawley.
Despite their different stories, each veteran -- including one New Jersey Devils fan -- was welcomed warmly by the Bruins as special guests.
“I’m really happy that the Bruins are honoring the veterans that served the country,” beamed Navy veteran "JJ" as he waited for the players to arrive.
“It’s a great cause for people that are down and out,” added Johnny, a Vietnam vet.
“I look forward to watching them play and I saw last year when they won… I really like them a lot,” said Anthony, a veteran of Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
Boychuk said he enjoyed meeting a very important segment of the Black & Gold fandom.
"Absolutely," said the blueliner who added he was pleased to see "how much it means to everybody, especially after winning Stanley cup."
As excited as the veterans were to see the Cup champions, Horton declared that they were equally eager for the chance to give back to Clark and his comrades.
“It’s nice for us to be able to come help out and make them happy,” said the winger wearing his trademark smile.
After he and Boychuk served everyone pasta, vegetables, rolls and a salad, the Bruins met with the veterans to sign photos and swap stories. But autographs and photos were not the most important thing that the B's visit gave the veterans.
That most important gift was time.
“It’s nice to know that people do care,” said Edward Turk, director of food services at the center. “It picks up the moral of the soldiers here, so it’s a very nice thing that [the Bruins] are doing.”
If you'd like to help the New England Center for Homeless Veterans click here
. To get involved with the Boston Bruins Military Appreciation Night click here