It’s not hard to see the similarities between Canada’s official winter game and the military – strategy, discipline, commitment, camaraderie and trust all contribute to a winning team. Some believe the Canadian military was the birthplace for hockey; while this fact can’t be proven, it is well known that hockey and war have been connected in our country for more than a century. During battles, it was an escape from reality, and it has been recognized for strengthening the bonds of troops as they played on frozen lakes and ponds, throughout Europe and Korea, and on land at bases throughout the world.
The Elgin Middlesex Chiefs AAA Minor Midget hockey team recently stopped into Parkwood Institute to spend an evening with veterans. The team of 15-year-olds from various parts of the community had the chance to meet, share stories, play games and have snacks with men and women who have stood in Canada’s defense. In many ways, they have given the teens the freedom to play a game that is so deeply rooted in communities across the country.
Although many years stand between them, the generations found a common passion for our national pastime and a genuine interest in each other. As a result, the group decided to meet again. On Jan. 27, the veterans will be the team’s guests of honour for their home game in Komoka against the Lambton Junior Sting – an opponent they beat 3-2 the evening following their visit to Parkwood Institute.
In recognition of how these national treasures are intertwined, next time while watching a hockey game, take a minute to think about the service heroes who helped, and those who continue to help, ensure that Canadians can always play the game.
Submitted by St. Joseph’s Health Care London