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Ducks Host Operation Homefront Families

Saturday, 11.8.2008 / 3:39 PM PT / News
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Ducks Host Operation Homefront Families
Video from the Event

It wasn’t a typical Saturday afternoon skate between home games for the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks practiced in front of more than 200 members of military families from the Southern California chapter of Operation Homefront, then spent the afternoon with them for a barbeque and games in the Honda Center parking lot. Members of the Ducks’ own families were also part of the day’s activities.

“This is so exciting to meet these military families, and it’s such an honor,” said Ducks winger Teemu Selanne. “Obviously it’s fun to have people watching our practices, and I hope it’s a fun experience for all of them too. I don’t think they see a hockey practice very often and to have all these activities here is so great.”

Photos from the Event
Operation Homefront is one of the country’s largest non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting military families, with more than 30 locations across the U.S. The agency focuses on a range of issues from home and auto repairs to urgent financial assistance and emotional support.

“I want to thank the Anaheim Ducks family for their spectacular efforts in making this such a special day for our troops,” said Rob Wolford, National Chairman of the Board of Operation Homefront. “It’s very humbling to be embraced by the entire organization, and I know our troops will leave today as lifelong Ducks fans.”

Even though they had just endured an hour-long practice, several Ducks players mixed it up with the kids on the street hockey court, in the hardest shot and accuracy challenges and in table hockey. George Parros and Ryan Getzlaf were even jumping around with kids in the giant bounce house.

“It’s an experience for us to interact with people who have done so much for our country,” Getzlaf said. “It’s a way to give back a little bit and just enjoy the day. It’s exciting to hear them talk and hear some of their stories as well.”

Parros, who has a cousin serving in the military, said he enjoyed the opportunity to learn about some of the soldiers’ lives. “They’re doing a great service for us,” Parros said. “I’ve got some family in the military, so it’s great to be able to talk to some of these soldiers and their families. There have been some trying times the last few years and it’s interesting to get more connected with these people.”

More on Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront was founded in 2002 in
San Diego and also operates CinC-House.com, the nation’s largest online community of military spouses and women in uniform.

Operation Homefront utilizes a network of volunteers working within the local chapters to provide critical support to our military families. Since its inception, Operation Homefront has come to the rescue of more than 45,000 clients nation-wide. Operation Homefront serves as a second family when service members are deployed and a family crisis occurs. They are the shoulder to lean on so that the service member can focus on the job at hand knowing that their family is well-cared for.

Operation Homefront works with military leadership to assist families who may not receive needed help otherwise. Over half of the clients are referred by local unit commanders, chaplains, military relief societies and military related non-profit support groups.

Fans interested in supporting military families through Operation Homefront can visit
www.operationhomefront.net/socal for more information.
One of those soldiers was Green Beret (Army Special Forces) Aaron Anderson, who had an ear-to-ear smile as he looked over the scene in the parking lot. “This is wonderful,” he said. “Just to be here with the players and the other families and for them to invite us out to have a good time like this and see the kids having so much fun, it’s a great opportunity.”

The weekend-long event was conceived during a breakfast meeting three months ago that involved Wolford, Ducks Executive Vice President/COO Tim Ryan and Executive Vice President and GM Brian Burke. “And the three of us crafted this vision in about 45 minutes,” Wolford says. “It was so refreshing. We said, “This is our vision and this is what the Ducks can do to help these families.’ And here we are today.”

Wolford noted how as professional hockey players, “the Ducks can relate to how traumatic it is for a family where Mom or Dad is disappearing for 8 or 12 months at a time under very stressful circumstances.” But, he said, seeing the way the players interacted with the families so sincerely was gratifying.

“I’m walking on air right now,” Wolford said. “I’m getting as much out of it as these kids. I’m looking around at these players having fun and we’re having fun. This is incredible.”

The Ducks will welcome back the group for tomorrow’s contest vs. Florida at 5:05 p.m. at Honda Center. The military families will be recognized both in-arena and on the television broadcast that evening.

“This is making a profound impact on lives of these children,” Wolford said. “This is a day they’ll talk about for the indefinite future.”




1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56


R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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