Skip to comments.Hockey Telecast to Feature U.S. Servicemembers in Kosovo
Posted on 11/29/2007 4:17:41 PM PST by SandRat
PRISTINA, Kosovo, Nov. 29, 2007 Versus, the U.S. cable television home of the National Hockey League, has partnered with some troops deployed to Kosovo to give an early Christmas present to the peacekeepers there and their families at home.
At 7 p.m. EST on Dec. 11 , everyone watching the Pittsburgh Penguins battle the Philadelphia Flyers on Versus will get to see some pictures of the American soldiers, airmen and sailors who are serving at Camps Film City and Bondsteel, Kosovo.
At the same time their pictures are being shown on television in the United States, the troops will be gathered at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center at Camp Film City to watch the game on the American Forces Network. Due to the time difference, the game starts in Kosovo at 1 a.m. Dec. 12, but the late start wont discourage people from showing up. According to Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jay Valloric, one of the event coordinators, its easy to stay up because he knows his kids will be watching for him at home in Ohio.
Most of us will be here through Christmas and New Years, Valloric said. I would rather be at home, but since thats just not possible, I think its great that my kids will get to see me and know that Im doing OK.
The idea for the game came about in an unusual way. A small group of troops gathered for the Oct. 24 game between the Penguins and Rangers. A story was written about the game and sent to Versus. Eventually, Michael Baker, coordinating producer of the National Hockey League for the cable network, received an e-mail with the story. Baker contacted the author of the story to thank the troops for watching the game.
Mike was happy to hear that we watched the games, Army Sgt. Kai Tonti said. He said if we wanted, he would try to show the photos that he received from the initial story during a future game we would be watching. Of course we were excited about it, so we said, Yes. We were telling the other people here about it, and the idea just grew that it would be nice to do a live feed like they do sometimes during the Super Bowl.
Baker was onboard with the troops idea, but mission requirements at Camp Film City trumped the valuable resources needed to pull off the transmission. The team putting the event together on the Kosovo side quickly started gathering troops for pictures that could be shown during breaks in the action.
Our mission here doesnt make the headlines at home the way Iraq and Afghanistan do, Valloric said. No one here is complaining, because the conditions arent as bad as a lot of people have it, but we still miss our families, and to get some of our pictures on TV is a real morale booster.
In addition to American troops, other NATO and Partnership for Peace troops will be on hand at the MWR Center to cheer for their favorite team and watch the live broadcast. Camp Film City, which serves as the Kosovo Force Headquarters, is a deployed home to troops of 34 nations.
(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Smith serves with the Kosovo Force Public Affairs Office.)
Negotiators from Serbia and Kosovo are due to meet next week in Brussels with mediators from the United States, Russia and the European Union in their latest attempt to force a breakthrough in deadlocked talks over the province's future.
The mediators are scheduled to report back to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by Dec. 10, and some Kosovo Albanian leaders, notably the outgoing prime minister, have warned that if no agreement is reached by then they will immediately declare independence.
Didn’t Clinton say these troops would be home by Christmas 1996?
and Gen. Wesley Clark guarenteed it.
We better pray for all the Christians in Kosovo, because the the nasty is going to hit the fan there very soon and our boys are going to have a hell of time trying to decide who to defend — marauding Muslims who are supposed to be “our Allies” or old Serb Christians who just may get slaughtered in front of their eyes.
Thanks for the ping G8
Thanks for the ping!