Edmonton Oilers Provide Soldier On Members with Hockey Experience
In March, the Edmonton Oilers and the Oilers Alumni Association welcomed Soldier On members and hosted them to a hockey camp! It was a truly unique experience, as participants got to partake in a match against Oilers alum on the ice of the Rogers Arena, tour the players and media facilities, meet current Head Coach Jay Woodcroft, and more! The strong friendship between the Edmonton Oilers and the 3rd Canadian Division military community was on clear display!
After the camp, a few Soldier On members offered up their thoughts on the experience:
I participated in the Soldier On event with the Edmonton Oilers Alumni and I have to say the Oilers organization and Soldier On set the bar very high for future events! Over two days we enjoyed a practice led by former NHL players, enjoyed a tour of Rogers Place, shared meals together, talked with NHL alumni, and played a friendly game with the alumni. We topped the weekend off with an incredible meal in the Summit Suite followed by an energy-filled Oilers game on military appreciation night.
All weekend we were treated like superstars by the Oilers organization and Soldier On, yet the highlight for me was being welcomed into the group without judgement by other veterans. I made new friends and got back on the ice for a practice and a game for the first time in many years. We laughed for two days as we joked back and forth as soldiers do and we also found time to share some of our personal stories to get to know each other on a deeper level. Some of the people in the group served for 30+ years, yet they accepted me as one of the team, and that meant the world to me.
-Pte (retired) Karl MacPhee
My Soldier On experience was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. First off, I was greeted with welcoming handshakes and friendly faces. I only knew one other person attending the event, so it was nice to feel welcomed by everyone. I'm also a very shy person until you get to know me, so this was definitely outside of my comfort zone, to say the least. The hospitality provided by both Soldier On and the Edmonton Oilers was what made the whole experience unforgettable, from the moment we walked into Rogers Place until the final horn sound at the end of the Oilers-Lightning game, there was never a dull moment and I still can't wipe the smile off my face.
During the event, I was able to meet a few of the other Soldier On members, we had some great laughs and share some personal stories about our experiences with the Canadian Forces. I am happy to say I left with some new friends. I'm so thankful to have been a part of this amazing experience and I'm very much looking forward to meeting more Soldier On members in the future. Thank you for everything, I'm forever grateful and will never forget it.
-Cpl Daniel Tetroe
It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will be forever grateful for, and being part of an excellent group of people. I absolutely enjoyed how it linked fitness with enjoyment. It showed how important teamwork and camaraderie are for both military and sports environments. As an avid Oilers fan, it was truly a memorable experience that I will always cherish.
-MWO (retired) Kendall Tobin
Soldier On thanks the Edmonton Oilers and the Oilers Alumni Association for providing its members with such a great experience. We look forward to more partnerships like this in the future!