ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Rogertha Howard went to the Blues-Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, took her seat in Section 115, row J, and watched her favorite hockey team play the first period at Scottrade Center against one of its biggest rivals. Life was good.
It was about to get a lot better.
With just under four minutes remaining before intermission, during a media timeout, Rogertha heard a familiar voice coming from the arena’s video board. She looked up and saw this:
I first came into contact with Major Ian Howard a few years ago, when I arranged a meeting for him with his favorite Blues player, Keith Tkachuk. A diehard Blues fan, Maj. Howard was deployed again to Afghanistan, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. He emailed me earlier this year to let me know his mother, Rogertha, would be at the game on March 6 against the Blackhawks. He wondered: If he shot a video tribute to his mother, would I be able to get it played on the video board at Scottrade?
Thanks to the Blues, we were able to make that happen.
The crowd roared as Maj. Howard said hello to his mother…and then pulled out a Blues cap and a “Let’s Go Blues” cheer at the end of the clip. But the fans stood as one as the in-house entertainment crew quickly jumped to a shot of a stunned Mrs. Howard, covering her mouth in shock.
Here’s a YouTube clip of the scene from the press box:
I went down to Section 115, introduced myself to Rogertha Howard and asked her what she thought:
As you can imagine, it was quite an emotional family moment. A night that we’ll never forget…all 19,150 of us.
Thank you to the Blues for their assistance (and the Howard’s family friend Rick for keeping it quiet).
Thank you to the 82nd Airborne Division for shooting the video and sending it our way.
And to Major Ian Howard: Thank YOU for all that you do for our country.
Tom Ackerman is Sports Director at KMOX. He can be heard weekday mornings at :15 and :45 past the hour on “Total Information A.M.” Follow him on Twitter: @Ackerman1120.
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