Rampage raise money, awareness for wounded warriors

Sled hockey team for veterans as much about therapy as having fun


This Saturday night will be Military Appreciation night at the San Antonio Rampage game.

"We'll be wearing camo jerseys and after the game, we will be auctioning those jerseys off to support our sled team," said San Antonio Rampage spokesman Alex Difilippi.

The Rampage sled hockey team is made up of wounded warriors, and their games are not played just for fun.

It's a major component in helping veterans work through their wounds and re-integrating back into society.

"It's helped me leaps and bounds. It's a great way to let out aggression. It's a great way just to have camaraderie with the guys," said sled hockey player Chris Leverkuhn, a former Army sergeant who lost his right leg in an IED blast on the taker he was driving in Ramadi, Iraq.

Leverkuhn was on the 2011-12 U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team.

After their practice Thursday morning, the Rampage shared the ice with their sled hockey counterparts.

Many of the Rampage players took to the sleds to see first-hand what the sport is like.

Getting around on the sleds is nowhere as easy as it looks. For many, it was a humbling experience.

"Very Humbling. This is one of the toughest things. I thought I would be able to maybe come out here and whip around a bit but its very hard," said Rampage right-winger and leading scorer Jon Rheault. "I've only been out here for maybe 10 minutes. My core is dead tired. My abs hurt. Its amazing what they can do out here."

And it's amazing what the sled hockey program does for the wounded warriors.

"They come into the program with a dull look in their eyes and as they get out there hitting, everything else, they get that light back, and it just makes it worth it," said Leverkuhn.

The Rampage take on the Chicago Wolves for Military Appreciation Night. The game starts at 7 p.m.

For more information, including ticket purchasing go to http://www.sarampage.com/home/


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