The Penguins had a special guest of honor in attendance at Friday night’s pre-season game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And that special guest, Staff Sergeant Anthony Napolitano of the United States Air Force, had a special gift for the Penguins: A Pittsburgh Penguins flag that he proudly flew in combat while serving in Iraq.
“When they won the Stanley Cup that’s the thing I thought I could do to show my appreciation to them for being such a great team,” Napolitano said. “It was an honor to do.”
Napolitano said that he has been a Penguins fan for decades and watched the playoffs while he was overseas.
“I sat there while I was in the desert watching them win,” Napolitano said. “It was definitely an honor to do, to fly a flag over in a combat mission.”
The framed flag was presented by Napolitano to Penguins President David Morehouse. In return, Morehouse gave the soldier an autographed Sidney Crosby
jersey as well as tickets so he and his family could attend Friday’s game.
“I was speechless,” Napolitano said. “Crosby is my favorite player. I was speechless (Thursday) when (Morehouse) presented me with that jersey.”
Napolitano has been on leave recently, but he will return to duty overseas in a few days.