The crowd came for the hockey, but make no mistake, the night was all about honoring the troops.
The Dallas Stars hosted the San Jose Sharks Monday on Military Appreciation Night. Fans walked through the arena doors and were handed military hats, and the Stars wore camouflage jerseys in warm-ups. The team’s goalie even wore a custom-designed military mask, which was going to be donated to Wounded Warriors.
Those were all nice touches, but the gesture of the night came when a K-9 service dog named Patty rappelled from the rafters with a former Navy Seal. The dog was being presented to Cary Flatt, a US Army Special Forces Green Beret by Rebuild Warriors, which gives service K-9s to honorably discharged military veterans.
Flatt deployed several times for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Phillippines in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He suffered a severe gunshot wound to the head while serving in Afghanistan, and was forced to retire in 2015. Patty, the German Shepard, will help Flatt cope with some of his physical and emotional trauma.
Here’s a look at the ceremony:
DOWN FROM THE RAFTERS! 🐶🐶🐶 pic.twitter.com/n9Rde9stR6
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 21, 2017
What a night.