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Blackhawks skate with wounded veterans of USA Warriors at Soldier Field

Feb 16, 2013, 7:52 PM EDT

San Jose Sharks v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

‘Going to war’ or ‘going to battle’ are popular phrases in the hockey vernacular.

However, the magnitude of even the fiercest hockey games pale in comparison to the sacrifices made by men and women in the Armed Forces.

On Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks skated at Soldier Field with members of the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program.

The program is designed to offer wounded veterans a “recreational, therapeutic experience” through the game of hockey.

“These guys are our heroes,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told NHL.com.

“It’s an inspiration to see these guys want to come out here and play and do anything they can to have some fun, stay in shape and play something they love. Getting to share it with some pro athletes is special for them, but I think it’s more special for us when we get a chance to show some of our appreciation for what they’ve done for us.”

Added Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to the Chicago Tribune: “We look up to them. We appreciate everything they’ve done for us and to us they’re the real heroes. To share the ice and have them out for practice with us is a pretty huge honor for the guys.”

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