The Philadelphia Flyers are set to host Military Appreciation Night presented by Toyota this Saturday night as the team takes on the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. With the help of Toyota, more than 300 active military and veterans will be in attendance and will take part in live recognitions and special honors.
Earlier this month as a lead up to this special night, the Flyers and Toyota surprised more than 100 members of the military and their families with a player visit and tickets to Saturday's game at the team's training complex in Voorhees. After watching a team practice, the group got the chance to chat, take photos with Gritty and get autographs from Flyers players Brian Elliott, Claude Giroux, and members of the team's coaching staff.
Additionally, the Philadelphia Flyers Warriors, the organization's official wounded and disabled veteran hockey team in affiliation with USA Hockey's Warriors Hockey, took part in the Haverford Hawks 45th Anniversary Jamboree ahead of Veteran's Day on November 11. The team led youth players in drills, skills competitions, and scrimmages alongside Flyers Alumni Bob Kelly and Brad Marsh.
On Saturday night, 23 of the Flyers Warriors will be in attendance and take part in a special jersey presentation. Following team warmups, each Flyers player will step off the ice, remove their special military jersey and present it to a Flyers Warrior player. In return, each Flyers player will be gifted a Flyers Warriors baseball hat.
The evening will feature a ceremonial military-themed puck drop with United States Army First Lieutenant and U.S. Paralympic Medalist, Melissa Stockwell and US Army Staff Sgt., Medal of Honor recipient, Ryan Pitts. The pair will guest read the Flyers opening lineups inside the team's dressing room, as well. Following the puck drop, the Delran Veterans Association of Foreign Wars will present the Nation's colors during the performance of the National Anthem.
Additionally, Toyota will play host to a special Philadelphia military family during the game. The Thomas family has a combined 57 years of service to the United States of America in the Army and Military Special Operations. Brothers Army Major Michael Thomas and Army Captain Tony Thomas Jr. have both served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their father, Tony Thomas Sr., is a recently-retired Four Star General who boasts 39 years of service with tours of duty in some of our nation's most important military missions. General Thomas is decorated with five Bronze Star Medals and a Purple Heart, having retired as the Commander of all U.S. Military Special Operations.
During the game, the team will host Havertown, Pa. native, Alyssa Conklin, for a re-enlistment ceremony into active service with the United States Air Force including a reading of the Oath of Enlistment for Military Service. Additionally, the Liberty USO is set to be recognized as the Philadelphia Flyers' Community Assistant Partner. A portion of the game's 50/50 proceeds will benefit the nonprofit on behalf of Flyers Charities.
Tickets for Military Appreciation Night presented by Toyota start at $25 and are available HERE.