The New York Islanders paid their respects to the military on Veteran's Day, but wanted to do something extra for the troops.
Led by Johnny Boychuk, the Islanders collected $26,500 to host military members and their families for Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, part of Military Appreciation Night.
The Islanders are personally treating 300 tickets for the troops, with the organization giving out an additional 750 for servicemen and women and their families.
"We tried to get as many military members as we can to come out to the game tonight," Boychuk said. "We make enough money here that we can donate some of our money to bring in military members and let them have a night off and forget what's going on everywhere."
Compared to the huge sacrifices these soldiers make protecting our freedoms on a daily basis, buying tickets is a small gesture, but any way to show their gratitude is an easy decision for the Islanders.
"The military is why we're playing the game of hockey, they give us that freedom," said head coach Jack Capuano, whose son is currently at the US Naval Academy. "What they do for us, the men and women of our country, I don't know if we're as grateful as we need to be. For me, being able to get them out to a game, to see them on the jumbotron and recognize them, not just the Islanders but throughout the whole National Hockey League, is a good thing."
In honor of military appreciation night, the Islanders will wear camouflage warmup jerseys, which are being auctioned off until Nov. 21. Fans can bid on the jerseys here.
The USO Show Troupe will perform the Star - Spangled Banner, while a Purple Heart recipient will drop the ceremonial first puck. United Heroes League and The Headstrong Project will have tables on the concourse, so fans can learn how to get involved and help support veterans.
Find tickets to come support Military Appreciation Night and watch the Islanders take on the Lightning.