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Over the past year, we’ve seen a great deal of change in our country and throughout the world. Through it all, we’ve remained laser focused on our mission—serving our members. We carry out this mission in a number of ways, but we always draw inspiration from the dedication of the military community. As a veteran myself, I know firsthand how willing we are to help each other and our communities.

Through our partnership with the NHL, we’ve been able to share our appreciation for active duty members, veterans and their families—who we know are passionate about the game of hockey. We’re always looking for ways to reinforce our appreciation through the great sport of hockey. The NHL naturally shares our message of military appreciation as the league and individual teams create military moments at key events.

That’s what makes this year’s Stick Tap for Service program so exciting. On top of 2020 being a challenging year, these individuals continued to be selfless and charitable with their time and energy. Each story our judges reviewed showed how active veterans are in their communities and with their peers.

Meet the Finalists

Our judges reviewed hundreds of submissions carefully to find our finalists. While it was challenging, these individuals stood out to us for their spirit of giving, mentorship, sacrifice and service. Hockey fans know that a tap of hockey sticks between players—on the ice or against the boards—is a sign of approval or applause. So, with a virtual tapping of the ice in honor of all those who give back, here are this year’s Stick Tap for Service finalists.

Christy Gardner

Christy is a veteran of the U.S. Army, collegiate athlete and overall all-star in the communities she supports. During her service, Christy was injured in the line of the duty. She relied on the help of her service dog and being able to rediscover her love for sports. Eventually her passions were ignited with Sled Hockey and playing her way onto the U.S. Women's National Team, becoming a co-captain. In her journey, Christy created the Mission Working Dogs foundation, which trains service dogs for other veterans. She focuses her energy on helping her fellow vets and igniting passion for all those on her teams.

Greg Gutterman

Greg is a veteran and lifelong fan of the game of hockey. Being from Minnesota, Greg played hockey in his youth and learned many lessons from the game. Those lessons stuck with him and helped him build on his military service with the U.S. Air Force. Greg’s leadership ultimately led him to become a Brigadier General. That leadership stuck with him and is now prevalent in his role as a hockey coach with the Academy Hockey Club. The club’s mission is to provide hockey for free to all members, and to instill values with all the kids who play today in the league.

Maggie Peterson

Maggie is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a passionate hockey fan from childhood. Growing up in Wisconsin, hockey was an activity she watched and played as an avid lover of the game. In her military service, Maggie was actually one of the first female loadmasters and an instructor. Her experience led her to be an integral leader in the veteran community in Houston. In turn, Maggie created a team-like support system with Camp Shield. The organization empowers female veterans and supports personal and professional success of veterans and their families.

Jay Greeley

Jay is a U.S. Army veteran and coach with the Potomac Patriots Hockey Club. His experience in the military and as a 9/11 responder gives him a deep understanding of service. In addition, he leads efforts to support the United Heroes league. Among his peers and players, he’s known for his selfless work ethic. Jay leads multiple hockey teams, including the 8 and under Mites and women's program. His service, dedication to the sport of hockey, and support of his fellow team members and players makes him a standout finalist.

Follow us on social media to see more on our finalists and to stay current with all our Stick Tap for Service updates.

Author Bio: Brian K. Parker serves as the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications at Navy Federal Credit Union. Brian served on active duty in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves for a total of eight years.

 


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