The excitement around the Dallas Stars making it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years is certainly building.
There is a group in North Texas who are also proud of the home team and ready to cheer them on. A group that not only loves hockey but a group that uses it to cope with everyday life.
Keith Wellman is the President of Dallas Warriors Hockey, a North Texas-based nonprofit with a mission to connect disabled service veterans that started in 2018.
“Our tagline is ‘From the front line to the blue line,’” Wellman said. "It could be a physical ailment, or it could be a mental health issue like PTSD, or a traumatic brain injury. It’s really become a resource center for our members as well... where we can connect with each other."
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In the age of a pandemic, Wellman said it’s more important than ever before to ensure these veterans are not forgotten or left in isolation with nowhere to turn.
“It’s really that comradery or that platoon mentality. I like to equate the locker room to my old platoon when I was in the Army,” Wellman, who was a sergeant in the Army, said. “Right now, we have about 108 players in Dallas Warriors Hockey and we play two tournaments a year. It’s just really a chance for us all to get together.”
There is no previous experience required.