As the nation prepares to celebrate Flag Day later this week, the Waterloo Black Hawks’ organization has received an award recognizing the team’s efforts to highlight the flag, support the men and women of the Armed Forces, and build civic pride.
On Monday, The Exchange Club of Waterloo presented the Black Hawks with their “Proudly We Hail” honor. The purpose of the award is to encourage “…regular display of the flag by individuals, commercial establishments and industries.” Black Hawks President of Business Operations Joe Greene accepted the specially designed “Proudly We Hail” plaque during Monday’s Exchange Club meeting, as well as a flag which had been flown by American military forces serving in Afghanistan.
“Our organization is humbled by this recognition; many of the things which were noted by The Exchange Club are deeply weaved within the fabric of our operation. It was gratifying to be reminded that others have found meaning in the Black Hawks’ efforts to salute our country and those who serve,” Greene said, adding, “I would like to also thank the fans and corporate partners who add so much depth to our efforts in this area.”
Besides seeing an American flag at the entrance to Young Arena and standing for The Star-Spangled Banner before puck drop, Waterloo fans may notice our nation’s colors on the right shoulder of each player’s game jersey. During home games, each Waterloo goal scored helps the families of fallen soldiers via a contribution to “Folds of Honor” by Budweiser/Fahr Beverage. Last season’s total raised for the program was $5,000.
The Black Hawks also recognize those who have, and who will, serve their country. Waterloo fans have warmly welcomed new recruits during on-ice swear-in ceremonies, the most recent of which was conducted by the Iowa National Guard at intermission during a game on March 23rd. Veterans and active service members are routinely saluted with a standing ovation as part of the VGM Seats of Honor Program.
The team’s annual veterans/military jersey auction was more successful than ever in 2018/19. Featuring a design inspired by naval images from World War II, the sweaters - sponsored by American Pattern & CNC Works - went up for bid during Pearl Harbor Remembrance Weekend. The Sullivan Hartogh Davis Cedar Valley Honor Flight and Americans for Independent Living organizations split the proceeds of the auction.