DeMatha Hockey Honors Fallen
By Lori Mezzanotte
On Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, Corey Hirsch and Pat Tanski, seniors at DeMatha Catholic High School and members of the Prep Hockey Team, visited the gravesite of Travis Manion and Brendan Looney, to pay their respects. Each left flowers, a photo, and a DeMatha Hockey wristband. On Feb. 1, 2013, Corey will honor Brendan and Pat will honor Travis at the Second Annual American Heroes Hockey Challenge. Each will wear a jersey with the Manion/Looney name on their back. Pat will also honor his cousin, Major Samuel Griffith, USMC, killed in Afghanistan on Dec. 14, 2011.
Corey formulated the idea of the American Heroes Hockey Challenge last year when trying to come up with a way to recognize his dad, Jeff, a Captain in the Navy. After some coordination and planning with his high school hockey coach, Tony MacAulay, and Ryan Adler of Hockey Helpers, the Inaugural American Heroes Hockey Challenge was born. The event honored 13 fallen soldiers, including Travis and Brendan.
Corey and Pat first became involved with the Travis Manion Foundation when they and their teammates volunteered to build a Habitat for Humanity house in memory of Lance Cpl. Eric Herzberg, USMC in the summer of 2012. Corey went on to volunteer at the 9/11 Heroes Run. Most recently, through coordination with the Travis Manion Foundation, they have adopted a veteran family for the holidays. They are gathering gifts from family members, wrapping them, and delivering them in time for Christmas to a veteran family in need of some assistance this holiday season.