TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored John McDaniel as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight's game against the Washington Capitals. McDaniel, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will contribute the money to his charity of choice, the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation.
Upon his retirement from active duty in the United States Army, McDaniel founded the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation in 2007 to provide access to world-class sporting events for our nation's heroes injured in combat, specifically Purple Heart Medal recipients. McDaniel, equally passionate about both sports and serving members of the military, donated his own money to launch the initiative while stationed with Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. In just a few short years, the program has helped McDaniel provide several hundreds of wounded soldiers with Lightning season tickets and admission into various suite events.
Along with his selfless dedication to service, McDaniel is considered a visionary by other members of the community for creating a foundation which is the first of its kind. A former youth hockey coach, he integrated his love for hockey and heroes by supporting the Lightning and their charities, which resonates throughout the entire Bay Area as an example for others to follow.