By Trish Muntean, Fort Wainwright Public AffairsApril 26, 2012
More than 100 Fort Wainwright Soldiers and Family members took advantage of the opportunity to skate with member of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Nanook hockey team when they visited Saturday.
"We wanted to do something for the community and show appreciation for all that they do," said Coach Dallas Ferguson.
Delynn Fairchild, the wife of civilian employee and retired Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Fairchild brought seven of her children, whose ages ranged from four to 18 out to skate.
"They enjoy hockey. I know they are going to have a good time and enjoy getting the autographs and such," she said.
Nanook Steve Thompson seemed to spend more time signing autographs and posing for pictures than skating. He was raised in the military and appreciated the opportunity to interact with the community.
Jennifer and Capt. Patrick Gargan, Alaska Army National Guard brought their son Kieran, 3 out to skate wearing his Nanook jersey. Kiernan had a great time skating with his dad and even posed for pictures with player Trevor Campbell.
The hockey team's support of the Fort Wainwright community began during the deployment with a conversation between Col. Ronald M. Johnson, garrison commander and Ferguson.
Ferguson asked if there was anything he could do to support the Fort Wainwright community. Johnson told him there were lots of hockey fans deployed who would appreciate tapes of the games. Ferguson then offered pucks, hats, t-shirts, posters, etc which were sent with visiting dignitaries to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
"It was a huge hit," Johnson said about the generous gifts to Wainwright's wounded warriors.
Johnson said that he looks forward to seeing more events like this in the future now that Fort Wainwright and the athletic department at UAF have started to develop a relationship.