http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/hockey-rink-from-afghanistan-to-go-on-display-at-canadian-war-museum-1.3232006Hockey rink from Afghanistan to go on display at Canadian War Museum
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca Writer @JoshDehaas
Published Saturday, January 7, 2017 10:00PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 7, 2017 10:09PM EST
The boards from a ball hockey rink that provided mental breaks from daily grind of the mission in Afghanistan will soon go on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
The rink, built by Canadians on the base at Kandahar in 2006, was home to a competitive league with dozens of Canadian teams, plus some from the U.S. and Slovakia.
Capt. Travis Smyth, who served a seven-month tour in 2010, said the hockey games offered soldiers 30-minute breaks from workdays that were up to 16-hours long.
“Any time you get to do a fun activity with your peers, you kind of escape and just focus on that,” he said.
Stephen Quick, director of the Canadian War Museum, notes that hockey was also used to uplift Canadian soldiers during the First World War, Second World War and Korean War.
“Even though you’re in a battlefield and you may die the next day, there’s got to be some piece of home,” he said.
Capt. Smyth said he hopes to show his two-year-old son the Canadian-flag emblazoned boards, adding “I think that he will probably appreciate the family sacrifice.”
More than 40,000 Canadians served in Afghanistan during the 12-year mission that was launched weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States and ended in March 2014.
A total of 158 Canadians died in the Afghanistan mission. Approximately 2,000 others were wounded.
With a report from CTV’s Omar Sachedina