Utica Comets president Robert Esche, in conjunction with Chapter 490 Military Order of the Purple Heart, announced today that the Utica Comets will be honored as the first Purple Heart Hockey Club.
The Comets are only the eighth professional sports team in the country and the first hockey club to be awarded this honor. The Comets plan to hold an official proclamation ceremony at their annual Military Night on Friday, November 9, when they face off against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the Adirondack Bank Center.
The recognition comes as a monumental honor for the Comets, who, in conjunction with the Adirondack Bank Center and the Save of the Day Foundation, have committed to honoring veterans and all military throughout their years in existence. Most notably, the Comets have held numerous military appreciation nights, raising money for the local CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center, Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, and more. Last season, the Comets also began a Hometown Hero initiative, in which they publicly recognize a veteran at each of their home games and organize a meet-and-greet with Comets defenseman Jaime Sifers following the game.
“Watching the Utica Comets and the fans honoring our veterans as Hometown Heroes displays the tremendous patriotism within our area,” expressed Joe Fraccola, Commander of CNY Chapter 490. “It recognizes the sacrifices made by our veterans, our active military men and women and their families. The Purple Heart crosses over all military service branches, so we are very pleased that the Utica Comets will be accepting our designation from the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA to be known as a Purple Heart Sports Team. The Utica Comets help their fans walk away with an understanding of what it means to be a veteran, especially the children attending the games.”
For more information, visit uticacomets.com.