Not only has Shane Hudella served in the Armed Forces for 23 years, but his commitment to supporting military families is hard to match. Hudella, a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, founded Defending The Blue Line (DTBL), an organization catering to military families who love hockey, ESPN.com reports.
Hudella founded the charity in 2009, and it has already had great success. So far, it has provided more than 3,000 families with everything from equipment to tickets to games. Hudella has attracted quite a bit of attention for his charitable efforts and was recently recognized by the White House.
Among those who have been helped by DTBL is Riley Richards, whose father was killed by an improvised explosive device in 2008. Thanks to Hudella's organization, Richards has been able to get out and skate four days a week.
"It was tear-jerking when she [Riley's mother] was telling us how important it is for Riley to get out to the rink, where his coaches are like father figures to him now," Hudella told ESPN. "That's why we do this."
DTBL won the Joining Forces Community Challenge along with four other organizations including Give an Hour, which is aimed at giving free mental health services to soldiers and their families.