Washington Capitals management, coaches, players and staff visited the Pentagon on April 6 for a behind-the-scenes tour, an opportunity to meet Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and a special briefing on happenings in Iraq and Afghanistan with Brigadier General (P) Jeffery Hammond and Colonel Christopher Hughes.
Capitals president and owner Dick Patrick, vice president and general manager George McPhee, head coach Glen Hanlon and Capitals players attended lunch with Secretary England in the Navy dining room. Olie Kolzig and captain Jeff Halpern
presented England with a personalized Capitals home jersey.
Following lunch, the Capitals were presented with a commemorative plaque for their work in support of the U.S. military as part of the Department of Defense’s "America Supports You" program. Accepting the award on behalf of the team were Kolzig, Halpern, Chris Clark, Ben Clymer, Brent Johnson and Alex Ovechkin
“It was interesting to see the behind scenes activities of the Pentagon,” said Halpern. “It gave us all some insight as to what goes on day to day and meet some of the leaders who defend our country. Being a D.C. native, days like today are always special.”
The Capitals were escorted by the Honor Guard on their tour of the Pentagon, which included a visit to the Hall of Heroes, where soldiers who were awarded The Medal of Honor for bravery during wartime are honored. The Medal of Honor is the highest decoration for military personnel.
The tour also passed through the reconstructed wing of the Pentagon that was damaged in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Capitals visited the current memorial dedicated to the victims of the attacks and paid tribute by signing the guestbook.