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Hockey Telecast to Feature U.S. Servicemembers in Kosovo
American Forces Press Service ^ | Tech. Sgt. Jason Smith, USAF

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 won’t discourage people from showing up. According to Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jay Valloric, one of the event coordinators, it’s 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 that’s just not possible, I think it’s great that my kids will get to see me and know that I’m 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 doesn’t make the headlines at home the way Iraq and Afghanistan do,” Valloric said. “No one here is complaining, because the conditions aren’t 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.)

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: balkans; feature; hockey; kosovo; nhl; servicemembers; wrongplace; wrongside; wrongwar

1 posted on 11/29/2007 4:17:43 PM PST by SandRat
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To: SandRat; joan; Bokababe; FormerLib
The game is scheduled for December 12th in Kosovo. However, the shit may hit the fan on December 10th!
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.


2 posted on 11/29/2007 4:45:32 PM PST by F-117A (Mr. Bush, have someone read UN Resolution 1244 to you!!!)
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To: SandRat; Bokababe; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; Honorary Serb; jb6; Incorrigible; DTA; ma bell; ...
The best Christmas present we could give to the beseiged Christians of Kosovo would be to reverse Clinton's legacy there and start fighting against the Jihadist invaders from Albania.
3 posted on 11/29/2007 4:53:18 PM PST by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Hat-Trick; SZonian; retrokitten; hollywood; Alberta's Child; 6323cd; Betis70; ColoCdn; k2afe; ...
Hockey ping

4 posted on 11/29/2007 5:18:39 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: SandRat

Didn’t Clinton say these troops would be home by Christmas 1996?

5 posted on 11/29/2007 5:51:49 PM PST by infidel29 (Voting for Paul? Might as well make it Ru Paul, he's got better legs.)
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To: infidel29

and Gen. Wesley Clark guarenteed it.

6 posted on 11/29/2007 6:07:32 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

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.

7 posted on 11/29/2007 7:05:13 PM PST by Bokababe (
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To: G8 Diplomat

Thanks for the ping G8

8 posted on 11/29/2007 10:18:04 PM PST by StoneWall Brigade (Mark Levin for U.S. Senate 08! Someone has to fill the shoes of Joe McCarthy , Levin is that man)
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To: G8 Diplomat

Thanks for the ping!

9 posted on 11/30/2007 6:29:42 AM PST by retrokitten ("But he is a maestro." "Well, I'm great!")
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To: StoneWall Brigade; retrokitten

No problem!

10 posted on 11/30/2007 9:25:11 AM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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