By Carley Kalina
The Idaho Steelheads represent more than just hockey in Boise. They represent more than 660,000 people who call the Treasure Valley home. The Idaho Steelheads represent the entire State of Idaho.
But tonight the Steelheads will honor members of the US Military, the men and women who both represent and protect not only all Idahoans but Americans around the globe.
Assistant Coach Gord Baldwin recognizes similarities between the young men on his team and the brave soldiers who serve this country.
“We are both teams who have to rely heavily on each other in order for us to be successful. Each of us has to have a lot of trust. We need to believe in each other, and obviously they do on an even greater scale,” said Baldwin.
The Steelheads that flow through the white tipped rapids of the Snake River, Salmon River, and Columbia River symbolize the connection of faraway towns across Idaho and unite this state as whole. Similarly, the different branches of the United States Military and Armed Forces hold their posts all around this country to defend and unify our nation. Honor, community, leadership, unity, and teamwork are all values that the US Military and the Idaho Steelheads practice on a daily basis.
This weekend the Idaho Steelheads are honoring those who have dedicated their lives to protecting this country.
Military Appreciation jerseys sponsored by St. Luke’s are up for auction to raise money for St. Luke’s Rehabilitation, creating wellness opportunities for veterans in Idaho. This weekend’s jerseys were inspired by the five branches of the US Armed Services and will pay homage to the local service members in the Air Combat Command at Mountain Home Airforce Base and Air National Guard at Gowen Field. Five patches on the back signify the Army, Navy, Airforce, Army, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and the sleeves have designs for the local services.
Local artist and designer Whitney Asbury, who created the jerseys, said her inspiration for the custom look was to create something all Americans can relate to.
“I wanted this jersey to represent all branches of the Military, as well as our local bases,” said Asbury.
“It gives us a chance to honor our armed forces and everything they do for this country. It’s a very small token of our appreciation and shows truly how much they do mean to the Steelheads and our community. To be able to honor them is special and I know it is special for the guys in the room to honor those who have served. It’s a nice way to recognize their efforts,” said Head Coach Neil Graham.
Military Appreciation Weekend is more than just a chance to wave our countries red, white, and blue flag. With Veterans Day coming up next week, it is time to reflect and thank all the members of the military, past and present, who serve at Gowen Field, Mountain Home, and around the country. These men and women have a duty to serve and protect their country and the Idaho Steelheads have a duty to give back to their community and help veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. So come out, shake the hand of a soldier, and cheer on the Steelheads!
Prior to the start of Saturday’s game, a joint honor guard consisting of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and Air Force from Gowen Field and Mountain Home Air Force Base will conduct honors in remembrance of all military members who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country
“All the members of the military, past and present, are such an important part of this community.” said Eric Trapp, President of the Steelheads. “It is important for our organization that we recognize the outstanding men and women at both Gowen Field and Mountain Home, plus, are able to give back to the veterans by partnering with St. Luke’s.”