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St. Paul – Representative Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) last week helped military hockey families celebrate a day honoring their sacrifice, and a group that helps lighten their burden.
Minnesota soldiers dressed in military fatigues, and kids in hockey jerseys crowded the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday to hear Governor Mark Dayton proclaim February 1st, "Defending The Blue Line Day" in Minnesota. Prominent legislators including Erickson took part in the ceremony.
"For all the sacrifices that our troops and their families make, I wanted to make sure they know that I appreciate them,” Erickson said. “I was honored to take part.”
Through contributions from generous donors, the group provides top of the line hockey gear, help to offset the costs of the participation, and family nights at MN Wild games. Last summer, DTBL and its hockey partners put more than 200 children from military families through some of the best clinics and camps available in the state and around the region.
Defending The Blue Line is a non-profit charitable organization created by soldiers in 2009 to help military hockey families keep their kids in the game through the stresses of on-going training and deployments.
"The burden of deployment is heaviest on the ones we leave back home," said DTBL President, Shane Hudella, a Master Sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard. "We put DTBL together to help lighten the load for families in one small way because we believe no child should have to stop playing hockey because their mom or dad - and sometimes both - are deployed overseas in defense of our nation."
Anyone wishing to support Defending The Blue Line is encouraged to go to http://defendingtheblueline.com/ and hit the "Donate" button.
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