HARTFORD, Conn. -- The commanding officer of USS Hartford (SSN 768) and his son, who is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, dropped the ceremonial puck together before the start of the Connecticut Whale annual Military Appreciation Game in Hartford, Dec. 22.
Cmdr. Steve Wilkinson's and his son, an Air Force 2nd Lt. Andrew Wilkinson, stationed with the 38th Cyberspace Command at Scott Air Force Base, took leave to spend time with his family.
USS Hartford recently returned from a regularly scheduled deployment Nov. 17. Wilkinson, who has served more than 30 years in the U.S. Navy, reflected on special opportunities to spend time with family during the holidays.
"With both of us serving in the U.S. military, albeit different services, we are thrilled to be able spend quality time together during the holidays," said Wilkinson. "Both my son and I are extremely honored to have the opportunity to drop the puck together before the start of the appreciation game."
Lisa Feigenbaum, senior manager with Connecticut Whale Hockey Team said they started the annual appreciation games five years ago and reflected on the importance of recognizing all branches of the military.
"We are honored to have Cmdr. Wilkinson and his son participating in the honorary puck drop," said Feigenbaum. "This event provides the Connecticut Whale an opportunity to showcase what these servicemen and women do for our country."
USS Hartford, commissioned Dec. 10, 1994, is the second U.S. naval vessel to be named in honor of the city of Hartford.