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McIlvain makes his yearly visit to Pens

by Nicole Jelinek / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins know the real heroes are those who risk their lives overseas to fight for the freedom and wellbeing of their countries. War veteran Pat McIlvian has become a personal hero for the Penguins.

For the last seven years, the Penguins have invited Mccllvian to attended practices and games, and on Friday morning he was back for morning skate to pay his yearly visit.

Mcllvain, who was wounded while fighting in Afghanistan, watched practice with family and friends before entering the locker room where he spent time with Marc-Andre Fleury and Sidney Crosby.

Once Fleury was off the ice, he entered the locker room with a smile as he noticed the visitors. Fleury was quick to say hello, telling Mcllvain how nice it was to see him and to make sure they come back again soon.

Crosby entered to give Mcllvain the hook-up with a new 50th anniversary hat and also expressed how great it was seeing him there.

McIlvian has always been quite the hockey fan, even playing club hockey with Cal U for a while before joining the army.

Mcllvain has been confined to a wheelchair and cannot see after being struck in the face with a bullet in the Afghanistan, but has not let that get in his way of loving hockey.

He and his family look forward to this opportunity with the Penguins each year because it lifts Mcllvain's spirit each time as he gets the chance to listens to the sounds of the games and practices.

For more on Mcllvian and his story please click here.

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