Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/21/12 at 08:54 AM ET
from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,
When Matt Hendricks received the invitation to take part in the USO Holiday Tour he was honored and, honestly, a little surprised. He knew that popular musicians, actors and actresses – people much more recognizable than himself – often visited the troops.
“I didn’t know how much of a difference I could make, just being a hockey player that’s not a superstar, that’s just your average Joe in the league,” Hendricks said in a phone interview. “But being there, being able to meet our servicemen and women and hear their stories, they showed so much appreciation and thanks to me. It made me think, ‘Man this is crazy. These troops are thanking me when I just want to thank them.’ ”
The Capitals forward returned to the United States on Tuesday after the week-long trip that included stops in Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, the Bagram and Kandahar airfields in Afghanistan and two more in Stuttgart and the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center both in Germany.
He’s flown in Blackhawk helicopters, experienced landing on and taking off from an aircraft carrier – landing requires planes to go from 160 mph to a complete stop in four seconds – and fielded questions from hockey fans about when the NHL would return.
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