St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliot wasn’t wearing his normal mask during Tuesday’s 6-1 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Replacing his usual headwear, Elliot wore a special military mask for the Veterans Day game (see the photo gallery below). The mask was delivered to the goalie by World War II veteran Charles Rohde after Monday’s practice, according to a release.
Rohde, 92, lives in St. Louis and was a technical sergeant in the 267th AAA AW Battalion during World War II. He was part of battles in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. He was there on D-Day, too, where he saw a nearby truck get hit with burning metal and debris. While taking fire, Rohde raced to the truck and saved the TNT, ammunition and records that were inside.
Since then, Rohde has been awarded five bronze battle stars from the U.S. Army. He’s also won the Bronze Star Medal, the fourth-highest individual military award. And for his heroic efforts on D-Day, France awarded him with the Legion of Honor award, the country’s highest honor.
“It’s definitely an honor getting (the mask) from Mr. Rohde, someone that’s been through something that we’ve only read (about) in books,” Elliott said. “He’s a hero. It’s an honor to be in his presence, for sure.”
The mask, which shows an American flag, military members on both side and reads “Thank you for your service” across the bottom, is going to be auctioned off by Elliot and the Blues organization with the proceeds going to charity.
The team also wore camouflaged jerseys to honor veterans around the country during warmups prior to Tuesday’s win.