What follows is a very important announcement from Julie Wilson, General Manager of the Tulsa Rampage:
There was a time when I would never have believed that looking at a pair of beat up skates would cause the image to be permanently imprinted on my mind or that it would forever change me – but it did. Watching the skates of Eric Wozencraft be placed at the base of his flag draped casket is an experience that was painful beyond what I can describe and yet something that has inspired me. While I was always proud of Eric for his love of our country and his commitment to serving in the military, seeing the empty skates lying next to the perfectly placed flag caused me to reflect on all the other soldiers that are willing to risk their lives for us. Many of them are the same age as the players that put their skates on to play for the Rampage. While I get to see my players bunking up on the bus, many of them are spending sleepless nights on a tank. While my players are “battling” on the ice, kids of the same age are in a battle that doesn’t simply change the scoreboard. Some will die and others will live with wounds that forever change their lives.
I had the opportunity this year to listen to a former soldier as he told what it was like to have his skin peeled off because of massive burns that covered over 80% of his body. I was amazed at his laughter as he told about having his prosthetic ear fall from his head in a public place and surprised at the humor he found in the fact that people are terrified to look at him because of his permanently disfigured face. He also told of his closest friends who now spend their days in wheelchairs because they simply have no lower body as a result of their war experience. He too, was a boy who was of an eligible age to play for the Rampage when he was injured.
It is out of absolute respect for the men and women who serve our country that each year we hold a Military Appreciation game to provide support to them. We raise funds and supplies for the Blue Star Mothers because I had received an email from Eric when he was in Iraq that described how exciting it was for the soldiers to receive care packages. The Blue Star Mothers gather supplies and raise funds to purchase supplies to put in those packages, called Freedom Boxes, which they send to our soldiers who are on hostile foreign soil. This is where I am asking for your help.
We will be gathering supplies and raising funds to help the Blue Star Mothers in this endeavor. While supplies and funds can be brought to the game, if you are unable to attend the game, I’d like to ask you to consider making a donation online at www.tulsarampage.com. ; Simply put the dollar amount in the donate box and follow the prompts to make a donation via credit card. When you get to the box that asks for “Instructions to Merchant” simply put the words Military Appreciation in that segment. We will make sure that the funds are distributed to the Blue Star Mothers at the game. Any donation you make is tax deductible and I do hope you will consider making a significant one.
Attached is a flyer that gives details about the game and the items that could be included in the Freedom Boxes. This game is even more heartfelt for me in that it falls on what would be Eric Wozencraft’s birthday. Please consider making a significant contribution to the Blue Star Mothers and don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions.
General Manager – Tulsa Rampage
11063-D South Memorial, Mailbox 516
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
Cell: (918) 671-5312
Fax: (918) 392-0551