Minnesota Warriors to participate in Hockey Day Minnesota
All the Minnesota Warrior teams across the state are comprised of injured or disabled U.S. military veterans
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Minnesota Warriors sounds like your typical team, but they are not.
It’s an organization that has hockey teams in cities like St. Cloud, Duluth, the Twin Cities, and, now, in Mankato.
The various teams across the state aren’t comprised of average players.
“Sitting in the locker room talking. People can open up and it is a lot easier to open up with people who actually understand where you are coming from. Rather than talking to somebody else,” team captain Matt Aiken said.
The players are former United States military personnel who have been wounded, injured, or otherwise disabled in the line of duty.
The Minnesota Warriors is a way for these veterans to not only get their physical exercise in, but mental and emotional stimulation as well.
“I couldn’t run at the time and walking was kind of hard, and I could only do that. Then I was like ‘hey, I can go back to playing hockey,’ so I started skating with that. I could do that a lot longer than what I could walking around. So I was like ‘hey, this is awesome’ and I started to play in a local league here, and then I found about the Minnesota Warriors Organization. Ever since then I have been a part of it,” Aiken explained.
The developing Mankato team will take the ice under the lights and get back to how hockey used to be played outdoors.
“With the St. Cloud team and then with the Mankato team that we are filling together with Twin Cities team as well. A couple of guys from the Mankato team, we are kind of just getting together beforehand kind of talk and go through that camaraderie thing,” Aiken remarked.
They will also be holding the flag during the National Anthem on Jan. 22, which is a huge moment for the organization.
“You always get goosebumps, every person that we talk to and every time we do it. Even just hearing the National Anthem in the first place. We definitely get the goosebumps and kind of feel it. It hits home,” Aiken said.
Copyright 2022 KEYC. All rights reserved.