Each year the Tulsa Rampage host a charity game to honor the military by contributing to the Blue Star Mothers. That organization provides a number of services to active military personnel including sending out “Freedom Boxes” to soldiers on hostile foreign soil. The boxes include a variety of items from personal hygiene items, to food, to hand held games. For soldiers in those areas, the boxes are often the thing that somehow help bring a little comfort from home.
The Rampage players joined the Sand Springs chapter of the Blue Star Mothers in loading up the boxes for distribution to the soldiers. General Manager Julie Wilson feels that it’s an important service that her players can perform and hopefully gain a true appreciation for our servicemen and women in the process. “Many of the soldiers that are risking their lives, facing gunfire and explosions, are the same age as the players on the team,” she says “I want my guys to understand that the freedom and enjoyment we have comes at a price that is being paid by someone of their own age. I want them to get how important it is that we appreciate our military and do everything we can – even something as little as loading up boxes – to show our appreciation.”
Earlier in the year the players had participated in an event to honor the Wounded Warriors, those who have lost limbs or been paralyzed on the battlefield, which caused them to appreciate this community service opportunity even more. “I think you can talk about people dying for our freedom and it doesn’t necessarily sink in,” Wilson adds “but after meeting some of the Wounded Warriors earlier in the year and then filling the Freedom Boxes, they seem to get it.”
The Rampage host a military appreciation charity game in honor of former hockey player and soldier Corporal Eric Wozencraft every year. This year Wozencraft’s parents host Rampage player Taiyoh London and host mom, Nancy is a Gold Star Mother (one who has lost a child in the military) through the Sand Springs Blue Star Mothers Organization. This year, the military appreciation game will be held on Eric’s Birthday, Saturday, February 19th, 2011.