The Washington Capitals will host their 15th annual Salute to the Military Night on Thursday, March 2, during the game against the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center at 7 p.m. Salute to the Military Night is an evening dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served the country in the armed forces.
More than 500 service members will be in attendance at Thursday's game. With the support of corporate sponsors the Capitals have provided thousands of complimentary tickets to military personnel and their dependents the past 15 seasons.
The Capitals will pay tribute to the military throughout the evening through in-game and intermission activities. During pregame warm-ups the Capitals will wear camouflage jerseys, which will be signed and auctioned off by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation. The auction opens at noon on Monday, Feb. 27, on Handbid and will conclude at the end of the second intermission during the Caps game against the Devils on March 2. Additional auction items include autographed pucks with camouflage Caps logos and camouflage hats. All proceeds will benefit Our Military Kids and United Heroes League.
Retired U.S. Army Captain Florent "Flo" Groberg will participate in a pre-game ceremonial puck drop. A native of Poissy, France, and graduate of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md., Groberg entered the Army in 2008. In 2015 he became the 10th living service member to be recognized with the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
Military District of Washington's U.S. Army Band Quartet, featuring M. Sgt. Caleb Green (Ret.) and Sgt. Major Bob McDonald (Ret.) will perform the national anthem, while the U.S. Army Honor Guard will present the flags. The Capitals youth hockey flag tunnel and mites on ice will be comprised of players from Navy Youth Hockey.
The second intermission will feature the USA Warriors hockey team in a skills exhibition. During the game the Capitals also will play a tribute video and honor a service member from each branch of the military.
In addition, the Capitals will air a video of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation's Courage Caps check presentation. The Capitals sold team-issued Courage-branded hats and T-shirts to benefit Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) for the sixth-consecutive season. Capitals players John Carlson and T.J. Oshie and Telos Corporation CEO John Wood recently presented Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of TAPS, with a check in the amount of $147,000. Courage Caps, presented by Telos, has raised nearly $785,000 for TAPS in the past six years.
Salute to the Military Night is made possible by the support of partners including Boeing, Lockheed, Baker Donelson, Textron, Anser, CGI, United Associates, Tanium, JMA, Honeywell and Palantir.
Our Military Kids
Our Military Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports children, ages 5-12th grade, of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and children of wounded warriors from all service branches. Grants pay for participation in activities that help children cope with stress and anxiety while their parents are recovering or absent.
United Heroes League
United Heroes League actively works to ensure that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in sports. The organization has provided more than $3 million worth of free sports equipment, game tickets, cash grants and summer camps to military families across the US & Canada. United Heroes League wants to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports and has inspired more than 90 professional athletes and over 30 sports franchises to lend their name and support to United Heroes League.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America's fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, healing seminars and retreats for adults, camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and the 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline at 800.959.TAPS (8277) available for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call TAPS at 202.588.TAPS (8277).