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Martin Welcomes WWII Vet

by Haley Sawyer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Paul Martin meets with WWII vet Frank Milko outside the Pens' locker room

Frank Milko, a World War II veteran, stood outside the Penguins locker room, beaming. And it’s not because his 90th birthday was right around the corner.

Before the Penguins’ game against the Detroit Red Wings, the vet was introduced to defenseman Paul Martin.

“I’m a little bit angry at my nephew for not telling me about this, but I’m thrilled to be here,” Milko said.

“They brought me in and didn’t tell me one thing at all about what was going to happen here,” he continued. “I thought I was just coming to a hockey game.”

Milko, of Munhall, served in the 17th Airborne Division, a group of paratroopers that played a role in the famous Battle of the Bulge that took place from Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 25, 1945.

Milko is one of three brothers to serve as paratroopers in the war.

When Martin heard about the significance of Milko’s service, he had to meet him.

“I’m still thrilled about meeting him. I feel real good that I met him,” Milko said.

Every game, Martin buys four seats at CONSOL Energy Center and donates them to United States veterans. Vets have been all ages; some serving in wars from World War II to the second Iraq War.

Although a Pens fan since the beginning, the game against Detroit was his first at CONSOL Energy Center. He’s seen games at Mellon Arena and even watched the Pittsburgh Hornets.

As for the outcome of the game, Milko was confident in the Penguins.

“Pittsburgh is definitely going to win tonight,” the veteran said. “Detroit’s got a good team, but they’re going to win tonight. I’d say 4-3.”

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