Blues players honor 13 service members killed in Afghanistan

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ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues celebrated U.S. servicemen and women by honoring the 13 military members killed in Afghanistan this August at their hockey game.

On Thursday night, Blues players wore military green jerseys featuring the names of the fallen service members and donned special stickers on their helmets. They also held a puck drop and moment of silence for the fallen.

“They put their lives on the line for the country, and they deserve to be recognized for that commitment that they make,” said Blues fan Alexander Hoese.

The team also honored the life of St. Louis native Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz.

“The outpouring of love and people wrapping their arms around Jared and our vets as a whole has gotten us through all of this,” said Schmitz’s Father, Mark Schmitz. “I hope everybody understands how much that means for us.”

The players gave Schmitz’s family a special jersey with his name proudly displayed on the back.

“It’s an incredibly warm feeling to know that you’ve got people cheering for you, crying for you, with you, just wanting to hold you up, it’s an incredible feeling,” said Mark Schmitz.

Before Thursday’s game and ceremony at the Enterprise Center, many fans made a stop at BallPark Village for rapid COVID testing. The venue requires proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend games and other events.

“We’re trying to make this as easy as possible because you can come down here, you can grab something to eat, take 15 minutes to get your rapid test, you can get a trolley ride to the game and come right back,” said Mike LaMartina, chief operating officer at BallPark. “We’re trying to get people back in venues in a safe and meaningful way.”

The testing clinic will be available for a few hours before each game and event at the Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre free of charge.

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