ROSEMONT, Ill. - Sgt. 1st Class Moises Garcia, assigned to the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, was honored as the Hometown Hero during a Chicago Wolves hockey military appreciation game versus the Milwaukee Admirals on Armed Forces Day, May 21, 2022, at All-State Arena.
Armed Forces Day pays tribute to service members currently serving in the military and those who have served and sacrificed to defend the United States. It was created August 31, 1949, by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force days.
Hockey fans cheered as Garcia, a Chicago native, walked onto the ice with Wayne Messmer, Senior Executive Vice President, Chicago Wolves, who sang the National Anthem.
“It’s a great moment. It’s a moment when everything stops to pay honor to the men and women who go above and beyond,” said Messmer, explaining the significance of Armed Forces Day. Messmer’s father served in the Coast Guard during World War II.
As Garcia returned to his seat, many fans reached out to express their appreciation and gratitude of military service.
“I appreciate everything the military does and their sacrifice,” said Bolingbrook resident John Holcumb who attended the game with his daughter J. “My wife has a lot of people in her family who served in the military.”
The kind gestures made a big impact on Garcia, a veteran Soldier with 27 years of service.
“It was very humbling to see so many people showing their appreciation for a service member. I was honored to thank them for their support,” said Garcia, who served on five overseas deployments and currently serves in the mobilization cell at the 85th USARSC’s headquarters.
“Armed Forces Day is important because we have brothers and sisters serving in all of the Armed Forces. It’s a way to show our appreciation,” Garcia said.
Some of Garcia’s awards include the Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, and the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star. Throughout his deployments, he has served in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait and Djibouti.
The Wolves beat the Admirals 6-2 in game one of the central division finals.