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Monday, November 14, 2005
Terrific Results at Operation Soldier Event

Our buddy John at Operation Soldier sent us this recap of the Fresno Falcons Operation Soldier event this weekend:

The Fresno Falcons, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL San Jose Sharks and Operation Soldier, partnered for a “Salute to the Troops” tribute, for games played on Friday, November 11th and Saturday, November 12th. The event was a resounding success for all involved.

On hand during the Falcon’s game on Friday the 11th, vs. the Utah Grizzlies, was the 45 member, 509th Military Band, which played a very touching rendition of the National Anthem. Several people in attendance contacted Operation Soldier, and said that it was the most moving and inspirational playing of the National Anthem, they had ever heard.

On Saturday the 12th, the large crowd was brought to their feet, when the veterans gathered at center ice for the first puck drop. The patriotic crowd showed their praise and appreciation for the veterans with a standing ovation.

When Fresno Police Officer and Army Staff Sergeant Michael Toews, who was recently wounded in combat in near Baghdad, Iraq on October 1st, 2005 dropped the ceremonial first puck chants of “USA, USA” could be heard from the crowd. It was truly a moment that made everybody appreciative of what America’s Armed Forces are all about.

Following the game on Saturday the 12th, vs. the San Diego Gulls, in which the Falcons won, in a thrilling Sudden Death Overtime Shootout, 4-3, a Jersey Auction of the special jerseys that the Falcon players wore during both games was held. Jersey picture here.

Approximately 500 fans remained at the Save Mart Center, after the game was over. Players from the Falcons met on the ice as bidding for the jerseys was fast and fierce. Several jerseys collected over $1500 dollars apiece, with a grand tentative grand total over $23,000 dollars. Partial proceeds from the jersey auction will go to Operation Soldier, to help continue the funding of its Patriot Down Foundation.

Operation Soldier would like to extend a huge heartfelt thank you to the Fresno Falcon’s organization, and its players. Several players personally thanked the veterans for their service and it was a great sight to see the players, saluting the veterans and showing their thanks. The Fresno Falcons are a class organization from top to bottom and are a wonderful organization to work with. Thank You!

Operation Soldier would also like to personally thank all that attended both games and made the weekends festivities a resounding success. A special sincere thank you goes to all that stayed after Saturday’s game and participated in the jersey auction.

Stay tuned for more Operation Soldier updates, as we anticipate more exciting news in the coming days! For more information about Operation Soldier, please visit us on the web at:

Terrific job by John and all the folks at Operation Soldier!
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