By Dom Calicchio
Published November 08, 2018
The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning celebrated Military Appreciation Night on Thursday, and one veteran, in particular, received thunderous applause from the crowd.
Robert McClintock, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps lieutenant who will turn 100 years old on Monday, joined the Lightning’s regular anthem singer for a stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the team’s game at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., against the New York Islanders.
Afterward, the Lightning posted video of the performance on the team’s Twitter page.
The Lightning’s regular singer, Sonya Bryson-Kirksey, also posted a photo of herself with McClintock, calling the veteran “My favorite star of the night!!!” Bryson-Kirksey herself is a retired member of the U.S. Air Force.
The evening’s festivities also included a pre-game puck drop featuring Command Sgt. Maj. McCauley and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Gary Beikirch, and a salute to Mark Van Trees, a volunteer who has helped ship more than 120 tons of items to troops serving overseas, in addition to his local charity work.
In addition, 40 Marine Corps recruits took the oath to defend America during the game’s first intermission.
Capping the evening for the military members and home fans on hand: The Lightning defeated the Islanders, 4-2.