FORT BRAGG, N.C. – While visiting Fort Bragg, North Carolina, last week, Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller and former Bruins Hal Gill and Andrew Raycroft were able to meet with many of our service men and women, something Miller considered a great honor.
“I think it’s something that I hold near and dear to my heart, that these people sacrifice their lives and much more to serve our country and allow me to do my job,” said Miller.
In addition to meeting and speaking with a number of soldiers and their families, Miller toured the base and saw firsthand how the soldiers live and train.
“It’s been unbelievable,” said Miller. “It’s been eye-opening. Just to get a chance to see what goes on here on a daily basis and be able to see and hang out with some of the men and women has been pretty special.
“The service and the sacrifice that these people volunteer to do…it’s really unbelievable. I think sometimes we get away from that and it’s not as recognized. Just to be able to share that with these people down here has been awesome.”
During the first day of the trip, while visiting the 11th QM Parachute Packing Platoon, Miller had a special meeting with Bruins fan and Pepperell, Mass., native Lt. Col. Jeremy St. Laurent.
St. Laurent is a 1998 graduate of the University of Vermont, where Miller played from 2007-11.
“It was pretty cool,” said Miller. “There are a lot of people from the Northeast down here, a lot of Bruins fans. He graduated from UVM in ’98 and just to be able to share that connection was pretty cool.”
Miller and St. Laurent posed for photos and swapped stories about their time in Burlington. Miller also signed St. Laurent’s UVM baseball cap.
“When Kevan first started playing with the Bruins, I was excited that another UVM grad [was] playing professional hockey,” said St. Laurent. “But the fact that he was one in the group that was down here was awesome. There’s not a lot of New Englanders down in the South and there’s not a whole lot of UVM grads in the world, so when you hear about it, just that is kind of exciting.”
Miller also pointed out his visit to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) to work out with the Green Berets as one of the highlights of the trip. Miller, Gill, and Raycroft joined the group for an intense session early Wednesday morning.
“We got to go see some of the Army Special Operations guys do a workout and hang out with them for a bit,” said Miller. “Just to interact and be around them and see the stories that they’ve been through and share that with us…It’s been great.”