Admirals to Give a Hero's Welcome

Milwaukee, WI–The Milwaukee Admirals have a hero’s night on tap when the team kicks off the home portion of their 2009-10 schedule this Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 pm against the Manitoba Moose at the Bradley Center.

In a ceremony prior to the game, the Admirals will honor Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, DJ Harper, Milwaukee Police Officers Graham Kunisch and Bryan Norberg, Milwaukee Firefighters Joel and John Rechlitz, Elm Grove Police Officer John Krahn, and United States Navy Officer Jaymz Touchstone. Over the last six months, these eight individuals captured the hearts of the Milwaukee community with their selfless acts and heroic deeds, often in the face of tremendous peril.

“Since we last played in May, there have been many heroic activities in our community,” said Admirals President Jon Greenberg. “The Milwaukee Admirals are grateful for the efforts of each of our honorees and we are privileged to have them join us on our opening night.”

Brothers and Milwaukee Fire Fighters Joel and John Rechlitz were off duty on July 19 when they rushed to the scene of a burning SUV. They jumped inside and saved four-year old DJ Harper, who was trapped in the van as his carseat melted around him. DJ’s mother and sister had managed to escape the van before the Rechlitz brothers arrived. The rescue effort, videotaped by multiple bystanders, became national news.

DJ Harper will drop the ceremonial first puck prior to the start of Saturday’s game. The now five-year old suffered extensive burns to his body in the accident and was under the care of the world-class medical staff at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for two months.

John Krahn, a 17-year veteran of the Elm Grove Police Department, was injured last Memorial Day as he attempted to help pull a woman and her small child, who were stuck in a mini-van that was in the path of an oncoming 94-car freight train. Krahn managed to help free the woman and was attempting to extricate the boy from his car seat when the train collided with the mini-van. Krahn suffered substantial injuries, including a compound fracture of the leg, fractured shoulder and pelvis, four broken ribs and a sprained right leg and ankle. Due in part to the heroic effort of Officer Krahn, the child was unharmed.

While walking home with his family from a night at the Wisconsin State Fair, Mayor Barrett heard a woman screaming for someone to call 911. The woman was trying to protect her granddaughter from a 20-year-old man, from an assault authorities characterized as a domestic dispute. As Barrett, who has been Milwaukee’s Mayor since 2004, attempted to call 911 the suspect grabbed his cell phone, threw it on the ground, told the Mayor he had a gun, and ordered him to the ground where he hit Barrett in the head and torso with a metal pipe. The Mayor suffered a shattered tooth, numerous gashes to his head and face, and a broken hand in the attack, however, the woman and her granddaughter were unharmed.

On June 9, Officers Kunisch and Norberg were on patrol on Milwaukee’s south side when they stopped a bicyclist, who opened fire on the two before they had time to react. When the attack occurred Kunisch had been on the force for 15 months, while Norberg had been on for just six months. The duo continues to recover from the significant injuries that they suffered in the incident. The assailant was arrested within an hour of the attack.

Petty Officer Touchstone, a member of the United States Navy’s 25th Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. While deployed, Touchstone served as a lead project builder assigned to a Navy/Marine counterinsurgent unit where his primary responsibility was to assist in building allied armed forces camps throughout the country. During one of his repair mission, Touchstone’s squad took on live mortar fire from terrorist insurgents, resulting in serious injuries to his squad.

The pregame ceremonies for opening night will commence at approximately 7:20 pm.

All fans at the game will receive an Admirals magnet schedule for the 2009-10 season, courtesy of Pick ‘n Save and Old Orchard. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of ten or more can receive $2 off the face value of each ticket by calling the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550. For more information on Opening Night fans can call the Admirals office or check out the team’s new website at www.milwaukeeadmirals.com.


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