As a US Navy veteran, Jeremy Feldman has seen firsthand how impactful the Long Island Warriors hockey team could be in the lives of disabled veterans.
Feldman felt disconnected after returning to civilian life in 2010 after serving as a Gas Turbine Mechanic on three deployments. The warrior hockey program helped him to connect with other vets, who could relate to the types of experiences he’d had and return a sense of camaraderie to his life.
“I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Feldman said of returning home. “Finding this team, everyone knows what you’re going through. You go to a therapist, but there’s only so much they can tell you. When you talk with someone who’s feeling the same way, you have that certain bond.”
The LI Warriors program, which is supported by the Islanders, was established to give disabled veterans a sense of camaraderie that is often lacking after they return home from deployment. After starting with about 25 skaters during a try hockey for free event, the LI Warriors have grown to about 60 players, giving rise to a second team. This past weekend the LI Warriors hosted the Long Island Summer Shootout at Northwell Health Ice Center.