The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program has been serving wounded veterans in Minnesota for ten years. We were organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes for wounded, injured, or otherwise disabled veterans of the United States Military, in conjunction with the USA Disabled Hockey Program. The Minnesota program has expanded and has programs in the Metro, St. Cloud, and Duluth regions of the state.
The program educates, trains, motivates, and encourages veterans who have physical disabilities incurred during service to the United States to participate in the sport of ice hockey in an environment that is adapted to the level of ability of the participating athlete. It is designed to integrate veterans with disabilities with people in the community in order to promote awareness of challenges and to encourage team building.
The program uses the game of hockey to assist individuals with disabilities in developing self confidence, adjusting to their new lifestyle, rehabilitation, self-reliance, concentration, and to assist in helping participants back into mainstream lifestyles they were accustomed to prior to their disability, that will help the individual be more successful both within and outside a hockey environment.
One of the greatest accomplishments of the program is giving veterans back that sense of purpose and camaraderie that they can lose when transitioning out of the military. Veterans are trained to be very self reliant, and that self reliance can lead the veteran to isolate and withdraw from friends and family members when they are struggling. The Minnesota Warriors hockey program allows veterans an opportunity to be around other veterans and grow together while supporting each other.