Welcome to Defending The Blue Line®'s testimonial page!
Read the testimonials below and then share your story about how Defending The Blue Line® has helped you or someone you know.
Post your testimonial:
Justin P. on DTBL facebook
You guys are such a great organization! So many kids are given such a great opportunity thanks to everything you do! When I return from my deployment I am planning on coming up to drop some gear off for you guys and hopefully catching a Wild game. I look forward to helping you guys make a difference in a kids life!
Dakota, Age 7
Dakota's dad is deployed and she was selected to receive a grant thanks to the help of the Disabled American Veterans and the huge donation they made to Defending The Blue Line®.
PFC L'Heureux in Afghanistan
I'm currently stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sending us some gear. We all really appreciate it.
Jason P. on DTBL Facebook
Cynthia W. on DTBL Facebook
October 1, 2013 - Captain Jodi Kiminski and me at the Wild practice today!! Thanks Defending the Blue® Line for ALL you do for our military families. - Cynthia W.
Jamie M. on DTBL Facebook
Helen B. on DTBL Facebook
Daisy received her equipment today and she is over the moon! Thank you so much, you really are a wonderful charity Go DTBL and Minnesota Wild!
I wanted to drop a line and say THANK YOU. Our little guys just attended West Point Hockey Camp with a grant from your fabulous organization. They had the best time, especially on the ice of the Black Knights. As an Army spouse, I can't say enough for what you do for military families, especially ones like ours where all four of our boys play. I have to say, the best moment was at the game on the last day, when our oldest skated to the glass and realized his dad was watching from Afghanistan via-Skype. From gear, to grants, and general support, you're making it possible for a generation of military kids to play the sport they love! Thank you!
Rebecca has a blog called "The Only Girl Among Boys" - A wee bit of rambling about being the only girl in the home of five men and life as a military wife and author.
From Bradley B. on DTBL Facebook
Lana D. in North Carolina
My family and most importantly my son Damien would love to thank DTBL! Not only have they outfitted our son with new equipment after his recent growth spurt, he was also given a grant so that he could move to Squirt A Travel on the Carolina Stars! He had begged to play travel hockey and with the help of DTBL and all of its supporters he is finally able to do so! It means so much that there are so many people out there that want to help military families! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
These are my children Brianna and Brandon. Thank you so much for helping them with gear for hockey. Brianna is pictured with Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Brandon is on ice. (Brianna was picked to meet Dupuis and catch his puck at the Altoona curve game.)
From A Family in Columbus, Georgia
I just wanted to say if it was not for you neither one of my boys would be playing....God Bless you
Sandy A. On DTBL Facebook
Photo taken at sharks ice in San Jose, CA
Thank you so much for supporting our troops. My daughter would not have been able to attend the Robby Glantz camp at Sharks Ice at San Jose without you! She had a great time and learned so much!
Heidi D. on DTBL Facebook
From St. Ignace, MI
We have recently been made aware of your organization. Thank you so much for supporting youth hockey and military families. Hockey has brought so much joy to our son's life and has taught him so many lessons. He often struggles when his dad is gone or underway but our hockey family has made those days easier on him and for that, again, we are greatful. Thanks again for all that your organization does.
Dan F. in Kuwait
I can't thank you enough for your generosity. My daughters received sticks, t-shirts, necklaces and bracelets today back home in Florida. My wife said their eyes lit up when they opened the box. My wife is packing up for a move to her home town of Denver, Colorado (Go Avs!) while I’m gone, but I’m certain the girls will carry their new gear with them. What an excellent charity. Thanks again!
Mike B. in Afghanistan
I wanted to take a minute and tell you how pleased and thankful I am with finding this program. I was blessed to have received tickets from DTBL for an islanders game to see the amazing Matt Martin. It was the last and the best family trip before I deployed to Afghanistan. My son Isaac is 9 and has been playing hockey since he turned 6. He will be playing hockey again this year but unfortunately without his dad helping to coach his team. I have been helping to coach his team cause I loved to be on the ice with the kids and sharing that passion of hockey with my son. Thank you for all you do!
Sandy A. on DTBL Facebook
Thank You! Without you, our proud Army daughter would not beable to attend hockey camp this summer. We are thankful for all you do to support our military and their families.
Thank You DTBL!
Dana H. in Afghanistan
My daughter, Nora received the hockey gear just yesterday. I wanted send a note of thanks and wanted to share the photo sent to me in Afghanistan. I want to thank you for the incredible support and we're looking to see her on the ice. From what I'm told, she is very excited! Thank you! Dana H.
Wes S. on DTBL Facebook
"A big thanks to DEFENDING THE BLUE LINE for keeping Cleland Ice rink open. We had a great afternoon skating as a family."
From Jefferson City, MO
We are truly grateful for this program and all the good you do for all of us serving. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We got it. Thank you very much for all that you at DTBL do.
SMSgt Patrick Burke On DTBL Facebook
My son, daughter and I were fortunate enough to be treated to a Boston Bruins hockey game while sitting the in luxury box of Patrice Bergeron. After the exciting game, we got the special treat of meeting “The 2012 Frank J. Selke Trophy” winner Patrice Bergeron!!! Needless to say, we owe a huge thanks to DTBL!!!! As I prepare to leave next week for my 3rd deployment, this special night will long be remembered by my family and I. Thank you.
Erik Kirsch, Noah, Abby and Ian
"Thanks again for this past Friday's Wild game and for what you each are doing. We appreciate that you were willing to work on this for Sean and especially for Noah. We are grateful. Noah has stage 4 cancer, and his favorite uncle and "best buddy" is serving in Afghanistan. Both love hockey."
Our Defending the Blue Line story is one about family, about hockey and how we became a hockey family. We are a military family first of all, myself a veteran of both the Marine Corps and Army (now working as a DoD civilian) and my wife, also dual service as a Navy veteran currently serving in the Air Force Reserve (and deployed to Afghanistan since January). My wife and I both grew up hockey fans and playing on ponds and in the streets of New Jersey but never competitively as it was just too expensive and inconvenient for our working class families. When we met, two Jersey kids in North Carolina, our love of hockey was one of the first things that instantly drew us together in spite of, or maybe because of our teams' rivalry (she's a Rangers fan, I'm a Devils fan). Fast-forward 10+ years through a courtship, wedding, births, Stanley Cups!, deployments, PCS moves, honorable discharges, reenlistments and all the other comings-and-goings of military life and we have found ourselves reasonably settled back in our home state of NJ. It wasn't long before my wife and I would leave the kids with her mom to sneak off on a date night and watch my Devs take on her Blue Shirts... and it was like we were finally home.
We never pushed hockey on the kids and they seemed to not be very interested at all if we were watching a game on TV. That is, until it was Spongebob playing hockey on TV (Yeah... Spongebob). The next day while driving home from daycare my then 5 year old son shocked me when from the back seat I heard, "Daddy, I want to play hockey". Sadly, the first thing that I thought of was money. Instead I replied, "Well, you need to learn how to skate first." I was still dithering about the cost a few days later when an old Army buddy of mine called to see if we wanted to join his family at the rink for a public skate. I thought for sure it must be a sign. Things went well enough that first day on the ice that we signed my son up for skating lessons, and with a pair of too-big second hand hockey skates (girls skates with all the girly stuff removed) and his bike helmet he took to the ice like a duck to water. This was great as we had been trying to find him an activity to keep him busy and his mind off Mommy's frequent flight missions (his sister had softball and gymnastics) but pretty soon the skating lessons wouldn't be enough for him. The next few weeks saw me combing the internet to try to scrape together some gear so he'd be ready for Mites Cross-Ice... eBay, Craig's List and all the usual retailers were on my radar. My wife and I strategized the best way to approach it... should we ask family to get him gear for his birthday instead of toys? Roll the dice and see what might turn up in the spring yard sales?
Somehow, by accident (or perhaps divine intervention) I stumbled upon Defending the Blue Line and it was like a humongous weight was lifted off our shoulders. Not only could we get the gear my son needed... but GREAT gear! He got skates that fit... BOYS skates! And just as important as the loaner gear was the knowledge that somebody cared enough about military families and was passionate enough about hockey to make all this happen. After that Spring Cross Ice season when my daughter saw that her little brother was better than her at something she decided to give up gymnastics in exchange for hockey. I'm proud to say that instead of worrying about expenses the first thing I said to her was "OK, let's fill out a gear request with DTBL". Now when we see the Defending the Blue Line TV spot on NHL Network we all cheer. The kids are always quick to point out when Zach Parise is sporting his DTBL ball cap during interviews and like Zach we've become huge supporters of DTBL wherever we go. If DTBL is willing to stand up and be an advocate for my kids the least I can do is be an advocate for DTBL. And their dedication to military families doesn't stop at kids! Just days before her current deployment my wife was asked to drop the puck at a DTBL sponsored event providing a top notch send-off and a once in a lifetime memory. They've made a hockey family out of us and helped us face the challenges of being a young military family while they were at it. They're growing the game we love one military family at a time! I can't wait for the day when some little kid DTBL helped put on the ice is skating for the NHL... maybe it will be mine!
SGT Micah M., National Guard Medic
I would just like to express my thanks to DTBL. Through their generosity, my son has received an entire set of brand new goalie gear and a week at a hockey camp. I have nothing but praise to say about the organization. I would also like to thank Shane Hudella as well. He puts a ton of time and effort into this great organization and asks for nothing in return but the smile on the face of a kid. This is truly a top notch organization and I hope that I may be able to contribute somehow to the cause in any way I can. The only kids that organization can’t help are the ones who don’t know about it so please pass the word on! Thanks again DTBL!
Years ago when our 10 year old first asked us if he could play hockey (he was 4 at the time) we lived in San Antonio, TX (15 minutes to an ice rink). We told him he had to learn how to skate first- oh my goodness, never saw such determination before. He did it and learned quickly and started taking to learning to play hockey programs there in TX. We made one promise to him: being a military family and moving every two years and my husband constantly doing deployments or deployment training, that we would keep one thing consistent for him- let him play ice hockey wherever we went as long as he wanted. Now as new naïve parents we didn't realize we wouldn't be as close to ice rinks as we were when we made that promise and shortly after he turned 5 (when he was finally old enough and ready to be on youth hockey teams) we moved.
Unlike most moms who find out they are moving and immediately look up schools and neighborhoods I looked up the nearest ice rink to where my husband just got his orders to at that time (Rolla Mo) and found out our fun hockey adventure was just about to turn crazy as the nearest rink was 1 hour 45 minutes away (St. Louis). But a promise was a promise and we did it for 2 years. I had to stop homeschooling kids and get job to make it a bit less painful and more possible.
The time came again just over a year ago when my husband got orders again to move and oh boy, I couldn't be more excited thinking we would get to go somewhere closer to a rink. Whoops what was I thinking- silly me- we got Tucson AZ, yikes 2 hours away and now two boys who love hockey more than anything in the world.
So we got to Tucson and it was when I lost my job here and the hockey dream was about to end when I found out about Defending The Blue Line and boy, my boys are SO thankful. They wouldn't be able to do it - since being two different ages (one being mite- getting ready to go to squirt, while our squirt kid just got bumped up to peewee- they are never in same league to be on same team hence double practices, which are never on same day or at same rink as each other.)
So getting to be a part of this program has REALLY made it possible to hold up our crazy promise:) At the end of each season the kids ask - are we going to get to do it next season- and we tell them each time - we will try our best and see. - Arizona Hockey Mom
Misty C. on DTBL Facebook
We received our equipment for our toddler this week and wanted to make a shout out to DTBL. THANK YOU, DEFENDING THE BLUE LINE!!!
Sergeant Gregory S. G., 105th Military Police Company, New York Army National Guard
I had the opportunity to attend the November 22 Rangers game against the Calgary Flames through the generosity of Defending The Blue Line. I am a lifelong Rangers fan, and have ticket stubs in my collection from as far back as the early 1970’s. I haven’t been able to attend more than a handful of games in the past six or so years due to my work schedule, and when you add in my military time you can see how difficult it is to see a game in person. My wife submitted my name, and I was quite surprised that I was selected so quickly to attend a game. I decided to invite two other Soldiers I serve with, one of which had never seen a hockey game, let alone attend one in person. We had a fantastic time at the game, and I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for your generosity.
We thank you so much for this opportunity of making ice hockey a possibility for our boys. Living over 2 hours from a ice rink (each way) it makes it financially more challenging along with a very deep time commitment. If it wasn't for your grants it would be nearly impossible for us to make the dream of playing ice hockey for our boys a reality. Thank you so much for all you do.
I was seriously wounded by gunfire in Afghanistan and since then I have been going through multiple surgeries and rehab. Hockey has become even more important than it had been prior to that deployment as it is the activity which really binds us as a family. We would like to thank you again for the generous grant we received from your organization last year for both our boys.
My son attended the DTBL Warrior Camp last year and really enjoyed it so much that he wants to attend again this year. Thank you to all who put the camp together, much appreciated.
Our son currently is skating out and playing goalie. We have handed down skating equiptment and borrowed goalie equipment that has to be returned this year. He is a very energetic boy that has been faced with some huge challenges. Hockey has helped in so many ways. His advanced gross motor skills help His amazing abilities in the net. Any equipment is greatly appreciated. Thanks for helping military kids play this amazing game.
Jill S. on DTBL Facebook
Spent some time in Hastings this AM at DEFENDING THE BLUE LINE. What an awesome organization. If you have old hockey equipment to donate this is the place. They place about 25 kids a week into hockey gear and ship out all over the US and Europe. I hope our community of hockey players will continue to support this organization!
Fort Wayne, IN
I saw a TV commercial for Defending the Blue Line and I had to look it up. I now have two children that have received equipment from DTBL and another child and myself play as well. When my daughter received her gear she was so excited! Being 9 years old she couldn't wait to get on the ice. She wrote a thank you letter that we returned with the receipt. Shane Hudella personally hand wrote her a response! She still has the letter! I pass the word about DTBL to everyone that I can! Keep up the great work; it is greatly appreciated by those of us that have served.
A Letter From Alex: This Is A Must-Read Letter Received By DTBL
Hi my name is Alex I heard about your program through melony nelson of beyond the yellow ribbon and I am writing because I need some new hockey skates. Im a pewee and im on the B2 team. I really like it but I need some new skates because of 2 reasons the first is because the bottoms of my skate where my foot goes in comes out and slides around and I get welts on my foot and that hurts. The last reason is that I can’t get my foot in them because there to old and I used them so much. I have one last question, is there any chance that my brother and I could go to a camp in st cloud MN that you would sponsor? Oh one more thing I need to buy an new set of shin pads because mine got cracked in practice.
Margaret E., Wife of currently deployed Marine
A Big Thanks to Defending the Blue line. My boys were given a grant to help with the costs of their summer hockey. They were able to participate in a great clinic this summer, which has really helped us pass the time. Their dad is deployed to Afghanistan for a year, this is his third tour since 9/11. Thanks so much! I am happy to help in any way that I can!