News>Military Appreciation Night at the RBC Center
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36th AES and 95th Airlift Squadron attend Carolina Hurricanes game
More than 100 440th Airlift Wing members were invited to see a Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game, March 12, 2011. The game was part of the military appreciation night for Airmen and family members. They were special guests of Mr. Davin Olsen, General Manger of the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. "Coining" Mr. Davin Olsen (left) was Col. Merle D. Hart, 440th Airlift Wing commander. Introducing Mr. Olsen and Colonel Hart is Stacy Tindle who works for the RBC Center and a Reservist with the 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Green)
It was military appreciation night at the RBC Center in Raleigh and 440th Airlift Wing members and their families were guests of the Carolina Hurricanes for the hockey game with the Columbus Blue Jackets (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Green)
3/15/2011 - RBC Center Raleigh N.C. -- Not only was Saturday, March 12, Military Appreciation Night at the RBC Center, it was an evening set aside for bonding, fun and celebration for the members of the 95th Airlift Squadron, 440th Operations Group and the 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team took on the Columbus Ohio Blue Jackets.
Approximately 100 members Air Force members and families attended the nearly sold out game as a way to bond and celebrate the recent success of passing the Operational Readiness Inspection last month.
"Everyone worked so hard for the inspection," said Maj. Deanna Franks, 95th Operations Group Liaison and event coordinator. "The timing could not have been better."
"We are always looking for something fun we can do as a group, and in the interest of safety, we secured bus transportation to the game," said Major Franks. "We sat within 3 sections of each other and had a great time."
This year marks the eighth season that the Hurricanes hosted Military Appreciation Night. Done as an opportunity to thank service members and women for their contributions, as well as to raise awareness about the branches of the military, the Hurricanes donated several thousand tickets for the game to local military bases, and many suite clients donated their tickets for the game as well. Armed Forces personnel were also able to purchase tickets at a discounted price.
Game attendees not only saw the game but could also visit special displays of military equipment. The RBC Center's south lawn held displays that included a variety of vehicles and weapons from most branches of the military. Inside the RBC Center, the different branches of the military had table displays set up on the main concourse.
The 440th Airlift Wing Commander, Col. Merle Hart was on hand at the event to thank the Hurricanes for their continued support. Before the game started, Colonel Hart "coined" Mr. Davin Olsen, Vice President and RBC Center General Manager.
"This is done one time per season," said Stacy Tindle, who works at the RBC Center and a Reservist with the 36th AES coordinated the outing. "Mr. Olsen really appreciates the military."
Fort Bragg's color guard presented the flag, and Staff Sergeant Darcy Mehan of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) performed the national anthem.
During the game, various Reserve, active duty and retired members of the military were recognized.
The RBC Center has donated to the military in the past. In April 2010 the RBC Center hosted a welcome home ceremony for 4,000 members of the North Carolina National Guard returning from Iraq.
The Carolina Hurricanes may not have been able to pull off the win but for the 440th Airlift Wing members in attendance the night was a success.
The event provided an avenue to reinforce one of the Air Force priorities -to preserve the balance between Airmen and their families.