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Playing Hockey At Fort Benning

from Tal Pinchevesky of NHL.com,

After separate deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Sgt. Michael Wichmann wasn't expecting to find too many traces of his favorite sport when he reported to Fort Benning in Georgia to serve as a motors instructor. With thousands of servicemen training and working at the famous base, the Michigan-born Wichmann didn't foresee many hockey opportunities in the heart of the south.

The 23-year-old previously was stationed at Fort Benning in 2006 and, except for the nearby Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League, didn't recall much hockey being played. He was pleasantly surprised when he returned in 2011.

"They have two rinks here and one wasn't here in 2006," Wichmann told NHL.com. "So I really was surprised there was a lot of military members here who play hockey. It's not something that you run into on a military base. A lot of guys that you talk to don't even know what hockey is. There are about 35 of us on the Fort Benning team alone."

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Comments

42jeff's avatar

When I was stationed at Cannon AFB, NM we had a bunch of us that would play roller hockey at a skating rink.  We eventually gathered enough support with our base there to spend some MWR funds and get us a proper rink set up in an abandoned concrete slab.  When the season came up, we used to travel 120 miles to Amarillo, TX to play in a roller league there.  Because of the travel they allowed us to play our weeks’ games all on Sunday evenings.  Made for some long nights driving 2+ hours, playing two games and then driving back.

Amazing fun though.  It was for the most part made up of a bunch of northern folk though we sometimes had folks who would see us playing and come out to join in.  Eventually like everything though, through military reassignments and deployments our team fell apart and the rink was taken down with the concrete slab used for equipment storage.  Last I heard the boards were out in some storage building collecting dust.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 02/17/13 at 12:26 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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