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Thread: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Smile Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the Leafs, it was a chance to put a face on the war in Iraq.

    A visit to a nationally renowned hospital for the war injured here yesterday instantly grounded the players in the horrors of the overseas war, and the undying spirit of the young people who are fighting it.

    "It was definitely a reality check. ... What strikes you the most is that there were a lot of young people, 18- to 25-year-olds," Leafs captain Mats Sundin said following the club's two-plus hour visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Mologne House residences.

    Every player was captivated from the moment they entered the rehabilitation wing of the famous hospital, which serves American troops and civilians with serious injuries suffered in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    The millionaire athletes, among the most physically gifted people in the world, met battle-ravaged teens and young adults, many of whom had lost limbs or eyes.

    "They go out and put their life on the line to protect their country and us as Canadians as well," Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe said.

    "They've been injured, they're in wheelchairs, some have lost limbs ... but they all want to go back over (to Iraq) just as soon as they can. The ones who can rehab want to go back and be with their friends, kind of like their teammates."

    The medical centre, which also facilitates family visits for the recovering troops through the Mologne House residences, represents the leading facility of its kind in the U.S.

    Both Canadian cameraman Doug Vogt and American journalist Dan Woodruff, who suffered serious head injuries in a roadside attack in Iraq were flown to the facility from Germany on Thursday.

    The Leaf visit grew out of a casual meeting between team owner Larry Tanenbaum and an American general. The pair met during the Leafs-Coyotes game two weeks ago in Toronto and hatched the idea of an NHL team spending an afternoon with U.S. troops.

    "Sometimes as players, all you are concerned about is your life and making sure you are the best you can be, but they (troops) have been through different battles," Sundin said.

    "Their attitudes I'll never forget, just the spirit in all of them. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to be there."

    Leaf coach Pat Quinn and his assistants Rick Ley and Keith Acton also took part in the afternoon, which featured a visit to the rehab wing, then an informal meet and greet session at Mologne House.

    Coaches and players alike signed autographs and personalized photos of themselves. The team also handed out T-shirts and other Leaf memorabilia.

    "Everyone was in great spirits, and most of them didn't know much about the Toronto Maple Leafs," Sundin said.

    "We (Leafs players) visit hospitals and schools back home, and you look forward to that experience," McCabe added.

    McCabe said that while most of the troops had little experience with hockey, there was "an old goalie from Minnesota," who knew a thing or two about the game.

    "He was pretty cool," McCabe said. "A lot of them didn't grow up with hockey, but they might check it out now."

    Fortunately for the troops, the Leafs visit wasn't their only meeting with stars from the sports and entertainment world.

    "Some of them said they feel like rock stars themselves," McCabe said. "They've had Aerosmith there for a visit, Aerosmith bought them all iPods. And Fleetwood Mac visited them. It makes them feel special, and they deserve that."
    I'm sure an Ipod will make up for the legs and arms blown off for a useless war based on lies.

    Still, nice of Aerosmith.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    Maybe the Leafs can score a few points there. They're not much good on the ice theses days.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    Zing!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Default Re: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    Go Flames, eh?
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
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    Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

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    Gold Member ohmygoodness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    No! Canucks! They haven't been doing all that well lately, but they're kicking the Flames' ass right now. (3 - 1 for the 'nucks as I type this).

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygoodness
    No! Canucks! They haven't been doing all that well lately, but they're kicking the Flames' ass right now. (3 - 1 for the 'nucks as I type this).
    Yea Canucks Go!! Make us proud!!!

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Gold Member ohmygoodness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team visit wounded US troops

    Quote Originally Posted by moomies
    Yea Canucks Go!! Make us proud!!!
    Well, they did that time. Lost 3-1 to the Oilers the night before last. Well, ya win some ya lose some.

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