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Defending the Blue Line

08/03/2015, 4:30pm MDT

Helping military families get involved in hockey

Defending the Blue Line is the brainchild of First Sgt. Shane Hudella (retired). “In 2008 I was lucky enough to meet Minnesota Wild players Derek Boogaard and Brent Burns. They wanted to help, but there was nothing in place,” said Hudella, a retired Minnesota Army National Guard member. “There were no other organizations that helped military families with being involved in hockey,”

“There is a lot of stress put on children when a parent goes away to serve their deployment. They can become withdrawn, depressed and sometimes experience behavioral issues. With hockey, they can become engaged with other kids and involved in the community. It helps them become active and helps keep them healthy,” said Hudella.

In the spring of 2014, DTBL was awarded a $15,000 grant from The USA Hockey Foundation. “The grant is huge. The toughest thing to come by is cash. This will directly help 90 kids receive scholarships to play hockey,” said Hudella.

Two such kids are Sgt 1st Class Wade Scott’s sons Brenden and Liam, ages 14 and 12 (pictured below). A 13-year veteran, Scott was wounded by six bullets in Afghanistan in 2011.

“The scholarships that we have received from DTBL make it easier to play. When you’re gone overseas, you worry about them being taken care of. These incredibly generous people help take the edge off,” said Scott.

Scott’s oldest son Brenden describes hockey as having created “a lot of friendships. It helps me be more active and to get out of the house. When I’m on the ice, I don’t worry or stress out as much.”

“Hockey is more than just a sport. It binds us together as a family,” said the elder Scott, who, without a doubt, has been helped in more ways than one by the generosity of not only DTBL, but also by donors to the Foundation.

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