Join Our Mailing List!
Latest News:
Nation’s Largest Hero Savings Program ‘Homes for ... -- "Inspired by the tragic events of 9/11, ‘Homes for Heroes’ was ..." -- 01 June 2019
At Circle Camps Girls Become Confident Young Women -- "Nestled in the beautiful hills and forests along Cheat Lake in Morgantown, WV, ..." -- 01 June 2019
Volunteers Needed to Deliver Meals in Donora and ... -- "The Donora senior center is in desperate need of volunteers for their home ..." -- 31 May 2019
Sonshine Tree Preschool Registration Open For ... -- "The Sonshine Tree Preschool is now registering for the 2019-20 school year." -- 31 May 2019
Peters Township Recreation Center Upcoming ... -- "The Peters Township Recreation Center, located at 700 Meredith Drive, Venetia, ..." -- 31 May 2019
Monongahela Valley Hospital Makes Annual Scouting ... -- "Monongahela Valley Hospital (MVH) and its affiliated companies collaborate each ..." -- 31 May 2019
Music on The Library Lawn in Pleasant Hills -- "The Pleasant Hills Public Library will be holding a night of “Music on ..." -- 31 May 2019
Dr. John Kent Folmar Contributes to Morgantown ... -- "The last edition of the Proceedings and Papers of the Monongalia Historical ..." -- 31 May 2019
‘Bigfoot’ Lecture to be Held in West Newton -- "The West Newton Library presents a lecture by Stan Gordon, ‘Strange ..." -- 31 May 2019
Greater Monessen Historical Society June News and ... -- "The Greater Monessen Historical Society will resume their oral history program ..." -- 31 May 2019

Sports

By Michael P. Mauer

When athletes get hurt while playing sports, trainers are often quick to put on the ice. For two Mon Valley veterans, their therapy involves getting on the ice.

VetsHockey
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin members David G. Jackel II, left, and Richard J. Betler proudly show their hockey team jerseys. The two local veterans lace on skates as part of the Pittsburgh Warriors Hockey program.

Air Force veteran Richard J. Betler and retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer David G. Jackel II both lace on skates as part of the Pittsburgh Warriors Hockey program. The two members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin also agree that hockey helps them decompress from the stress they experienced in the military.

“I really enjoy playing for this team because we are completely focused on brotherhood and healing from whatever physical and mental battles we may be facing,” said Jackel, a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism. “We aspire to be good ambassadors for the game of hockey, and the veterans in and around the city of Pittsburgh.”

“Hockey helps me experience some of the same unselfish teamwork I had in the Air Force,” said Betler, an Afghanistan campaign veteran. “On the ice, we all have to act quickly together to stay competitive. That type of adrenaline flow really helps me focus on other areas in my life.”

A nonprofit organization, the Pittsburgh Warriors Hockey Team is made up of honorably discharged, disabled veterans that use hockey to help fight the physical and mental scars of military service. The group’s mission also encourages team members to be more productive in their communities, and build relationships with fellow veterans.

To skate for the team, candidates are required to provide a Veterans Administration disability letter, as well as proper discharge documentation noted on a DD Form 214. The group is affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League through the Hockey Sticks Together Foundation, and wears that professional team’s logo on its sweaters. The Warriors team is the only nonprofit disabled veteran hockey squad authorized for this honor.

“I am extremely proud to wear the jersey and represent our area’s veterans when we travel throughout the country,” said Jackel, who plays right wing and is an alternate captain. “It is a great bridge for veterans,” he added. “It brings a warrior mentality into a team environment.”

The team’s next scheduled competition is slated for the middle of June at the American Hero Hockey Tournament in Toledo, OH. Last year, the Pittsburgh Warriors took a divisional runner-up slot during the USA Hockey Warrior Festival in Las Vegas, NV, and is hoping to do better at the event again this October.

In addition to wearing the Pittsburgh Penguins logo on their camouflage sweaters, Jackel and Betler also get to prepare at that NHL club’s UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, PA. The Warriors team usually practices three to four times each month.

Ice time, equipment, uniforms, travel and lodging are all funded by donations through Hockey Sticks Together, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, and various other businesses and individuals. Personal equipment is preferred, but not required.

Off the ice, both Mon Valley hockey players are active in veterans’ affairs and their communities. Jackel serves as a volunteer firefighter in West Mifflin, while Betler works for the Veterans Administration. As a member of VFW Post 914, Jackel has organized several community events, including Memorial Day Services at Mitchell Paige Park, West Mifflin. Betler has participated in veterans’ group fundraisers, including the Disabled American Veterans Colonel Samuel D. Foster Post 76 annual installation and dance.

               

For more information about VFW Post 914 and its activities, visit the group’s website at: http://traa.weebly.com/vfw-post-914.html, or contact Post Commander Jake Bradich at 412-464-9838.

(Michael P. Mauer is the Public Affairs Officer for VFW District 29. He served as an Army photojournalist during Operation Desert Storm, and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf for his actions during the war.)

RealEstate270x64

Pizza Station

PaVendors-web-ad

Mon Valley Hospital

  • Prev
  • Featured Advertisers
Scroll to top