The Devils sent out news via their official website today outlining what they will be doing for their annual “Military Appreciation Night” and announcing a new initiative along with forward Kyle Palmieri.
The initiative with Palmieri will be called “Squad21” and will “offer active or veteran service members the chance to attend a Devils home game during the 2016-17 regular season.” “Squad21” launches on November 12 for Devils Military Appreciation Night when the team hosts the Buffalo Sabres.
According to the press release, “all active or veteran service members from the Tri-State Region can register to be considered at NewJerseyDevils.com/Squad21.” They just need a valid military ID in order to be considered. The site also says that 21 people will be chosen at random for 21 “Squad21” games. Those chosen will be able to bring a guest with them.
The service people will sit in Section 21 of the Prudential Center and will be given “an exclusive meet-and-greet with Palmieri following each game.” Twenty-one is, of course, Palmieri’s jersey number.
On Twitter, fans can use the hashtag #Squad21 to support the program.
Palmieri, who hails from Montvale, New Jersey, says in the press release that his sister and brother-in-law currently serve in the military and that “I’ve always held people who do that in very high regard for the sacrifices they make.”
The press release also mentions what the Devils will be doing for their annual Military Appreciation Night.
The team will be wearing their camo warm-up jerseys again. These will then “be signed and auctioned off to benefit United Service Organizations (USO).” The jerseys will be up for bidding on the Devils’ website starting Saturday. The team “will also host and recognize more than 300 service personnel at the game, including crew members from the USS Iwo Jima, who will hold the American flag during the National Anthem.”
Among other events for the night, US Coast Guard veteran Kristine Rommel will sing the “Star Spangled Banner,” the Honor Guard from McGuire Air Force Base will present the colors, the Hero of the Game will be retired US Marine Christian Benedetto, whiskey maker Jack Daniel’s and the Devils will bring 100 military families to the game as a part of the Jack Daniel’s Operation Ride Home initiative, the Group of the Game will be the United Heroes League (formerly Defending The Blue Line) and finally, “in-game video features will include American-born Devils players thanking those who have served our country.”
This is another great way for the Devils to reach out to the community. Tying in to Veteran’s Day gives them the chance to create new fans and honor those who have and do serve our nation.