Fans of the Plymouth Whalers appreciate a break in the action around the ten-minute mark of the first period during every Whalers game at Compuware Arena.
The break is not necessarily a pause to refresh, but rather, to reflect. And the reflection brings a standing ovation, without fail, from Plymouth fans for the Veteran of the Game.
The Whalers are bringing back the Veteran of the Game for 2012-13. Each Whalers home game, a veteran of the armed services is honored for his or her service to the country. The veteran will be announced to those in attendance around the ten-minute mark of the first period.
In addition, each Veteran is interviewed during the first intermission of each the Whalers television broadcast. When interviewed, the veterans are humble, proud and for the most part cheerfully understated about their service to the country.
Men and women of all armed services of the country have been acknowledged. Men and women, going as far back as World War I through Afghanistan, have been honored since the promotion started two years ago.
- Tom Klimkiewicz – Mr. Klimkiewicz is a U.S. army veteran, who served from 1961 to 1964. Tom, a member of the Disabled American Veterans, served with the 5th Infantry Division (mechanized) 7th Combat Engineers and the 76th Engineers Construction 8th Army in Korea. See Mr. Klimkiewicz's interview.
- Gene Overholt – Mr. Overholt is a former member of the U.S. Air Force serving in France and Germany during WWII. Gene has received two Bronze Stars for his service in the European Theatre of Operations.
- Michael Stoppa – Mr. Stoppa is a former member of the U.S. Marines serving in Viet Nam. Michael received a Silver Star for his bravery, along with two Purple Hearts.
- Aaron Cook – Mr. Cook recently served four years of active duty in the Army, having returned from Iraq as a fire support specialist. He received several honors, including an Iraq campaign medal with two stars.
- Debra Worden – Ms. Worden served in the Gulf War and is the current Director of St. Clair Country Department of Veteran Affairs. Ms. Worden’s father is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran assigned to the 1st and 7th cavalry in the US Army, while her son and her daughter both served in the US Air Force. See Ms. Worden's interview.
- Paul DeJohn – Mr. DeJohn joined the Navy following graduation from Northville High School in 1960. Paul was deployed on several aircraft carriers in the Atlantic, Caribbean & Mediterranean during the Cold War years of President Kennedy leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- Calvin Mason – Mr. Mason is a veteran of World War II, who served in the Pacific Theatre.
The Whalers are currently accepting nominations for the Veteran of the Game for 2012-13. Click here to nominate a veteran.
You can also contact the Whalers office at (734) 453-8400 or email John Karasinki at email@example.com with a nomination.