• Two Airmen from an Air Force tactical unit repel from the roof of the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013, with the American Flag during the Colorado Avalanche's second annual Military Appreciation Night. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Rappelling with the Flag

    Two Airmen from an Air Force tactical unit repel from the roof of the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013, with the American Flag during the Colorado Avalanche's second annual Military Appreciation Night. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious...

  • Col. David Grosso, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson commander, conducts the ceremonial puck drop between the two teams' captains during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The ceremonial puck drop is similar to the first pitch in baseball. The Colorado Avalanche had five service members from each branch of the military stand on the red carpet to honor them during the pregame show. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Ceremonial Puck Drop

    Col. David Grosso, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson commander, conducts the ceremonial puck drop between the two teams' captains during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The ceremonial puck drop...

  • Col. David Grosso, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson commander, thanks Colorado Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog following the ceremonial puck drop between the two teams' captains during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The ceremonial puck drop is similar to the first pitch in baseball. The Colorado Avalanche had five service members from each branch of the military stand on the red carpet to honor them during the pregame show. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Thank you captain

    Col. David Grosso, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson commander, thanks Colorado Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog following the ceremonial puck drop between the two teams' captains during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in...

  • The Colorado Avalanche warm-up in their camouflage jerseys during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The jerseys were auctioned off to benefit Kroenke Sports Charities, which supports numerous agencies including the military. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Camo warm-up

    The Colorado Avalanche warm-up in their camouflage jerseys during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The jerseys were auctioned off to benefit Kroenke Sports Charities, which supports numerous...

  • The Colorado Avalanche come out onto the ice for their introduction during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The Colorado Avalanche had five service members from each branch of the military stand on the red carpet to honor them during the pregame show. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Intro

    The Colorado Avalanche come out onto the ice for their introduction during the second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, April 21, 2013. The Colorado Avalanche had five service members from each branch of the military...

  • Five service members from each branch of the military salute the flag during the national anthem at the Colorado Avalanche's second annual Military Appreciation Night, April 21, 2013, in Denver. Each of the service members were brought out onto the ice during the pregame show so that the Colorado Avalanche could show their appreciation to all of the armed forces. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Salute

    Five service members from each branch of the military salute the flag during the national anthem at the Colorado Avalanche's second annual Military Appreciation Night, April 21, 2013, in Denver. Each of the service members were brought out onto the ice...

  • Lt. Dan Jernigan, with 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, on the Jumbotron giving a shout-out to his family that was at the game. Jernigan was one of eight deployed Fort Carson, Colo., Soldier shout-out videos played during the Colorado Avalanche's second annual Military Appreciation Night in Denver, April 21, 2013. The Colorado Avalanche were victorious defeating the St. Louis Blues, with as score of 5-3.

    Shout-out

    Lt. Dan Jernigan, with 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, on the Jumbotron giving a shout-out to his family that was at the game. Jernigan was one of eight deployed Fort Carson, Colo., Soldier...

DENVER (April 21, 2013) -- The arena erupted with cheers as the Colorado Avalanche took the ice for the pregame warm-up donning special camouflage jerseys as a show of support for the men and women who serve the nation in uniform, here, April 21, 2013.

Service members and their families from throughout the "Front Range" were honored during the course of the Colorado Avalanche's second annual Military Appreciation Night at the Pepsi Center.

After warm-ups concluded, the crowd grew quiet as the red carpet was rolled onto the ice. Cheers erupted as each branch of the military was announced, as five members representing each service -- to include five Fort Carson Soldiers representing the Army -- took their positions at center ice. U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson Commander Col. David Grosso was then introduced as he walked to the center of the ice face-off circle to officiate the ceremonial puck drop between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues team captains.

The pregame festivities concluded with a joint service color guard presenting the colors as the on-ice participants, decked out in their respective service uniforms, sharply saluted at the beginning of the national anthem and two Air Force paratroopers rappelled from the rafters unfurling a giant American flag.

Throughout the game, the Jumbotron featured many "shout-out" videos from deployed service members to their families in attendance -- eight of them from Fort Carson Soldiers assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, currently serving at Camp Buehring in Kuwait.

"I felt that it was really awesome and heartwarming that they played those videos for us during the game," said Summer Campbell, spouse of Spc. Chris Campbell, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st ABCT, 4th Inf. Div. "It makes me proud to know that my husband, and my kids' father is serving. It is also really emotional because of the pain of missing somebody so much.

"It is unbelievable to go through what we, (military) wives go through on a daily basis," continued Campbell. "A lot of people take for granted the sacrifices that spouses and Soldiers make. [The Soldiers] miss the children growing up, anniversaries, and birthdays, but in the long run it is worth it because as military families we're built strong and can go through almost anything."

Spc. William Ocasio, horizontal construction engineer, Company A, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st ABCT, 4th Inf. Div., said he was honored to represent the Army during the pregame show.

"I feel honored and appreciated to be chosen to be able to represent the Army, and to be in this environment surrounded by everyone who is grateful for what we do," Ocasio said.

"When you're out there in the field and you're eating meals, ready-to-eat and covered in dirt, you forget about this side of being a Soldier," Ocasio said. "It is nice to put on the uniform and get all dressed up; get reminded that you are more than just a warrior, that you are that member of society that the public looks up to. It is a really good reminder and it feels good to be here."

The Avalanche defeated the Blues 5-3. The camouflage warm-up jerseys are being auctioned off April 28, with proceeds benefiting children and families in need.

Page last updated Tue April 23rd, 2013 at 00:00