Name: New Jersey Warriors
Area served: New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania
Key members: Ted Curtin, president
The New Jersey Warriors hockey program is a nonprofit, volunteer-run program, affiliated with the New Jersey Devils, created to give disabled U.S. military veterans an opportunity to rehab through the exciting world of ice hockey. The Warriors’ home ice is the Prudential Center in Newark, but the team plays at a number of New Jersey rinks. The organization was co-founded in 2019 by Mark Puttenvink and Ted Curtin, with support from the Devils and USA Hockey.
New Jersey Warriors Hockey strives to provide a safe and welcoming outlet for disabled servicemen and servicewomen to connect with one another, challenge themselves and each other, and remind them that there’s still nothing they can’t do. Disabled veterans from New Jersey and beyond are able to join the team as a way to connect, bond and use this experience as a therapeutic way to physically rehab, manage stresses from their military experiences and renew that sense of camaraderie that gets left behind when they leave the military and make the difficult transition to civilian life.
- Continue being an outlet for veterans — enabling disabled servicemen and servicewomen to connect and rehabilitate through hockey;
- Continue to raise awareness for the important work the team does;
- Reach and attract new veterans to join the program.
The team participates in tournaments and events, both locally and nationally, with the goal of providing a safe and welcoming environment of camaraderie, where it can instill a renewed sense of purpose and hope for disabled servicemen and servicewomen, while providing a healthy recreational outlet through the sport of ice hockey. The team strengthens its community through practices, games and special events.
In the last year, the New Jersey Warriors have:
- Held charity hockey games against various community first-responder teams: West Orange Fire/Police All-Stars, Newark Fire Department, South Brunswick PD, NJ Fire and others;
- Honored the victims of 9/11 with a 2,977-shot Shootout with first responders and veterans from the tri-state area and several New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup champion alumni at American Dream;
- NJ Warriors were inducted into the Rink of Dreams Hockey Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and welcomed by the Utica Comets, the Devils’ farm team;
- Host the annual event, the Hockey Players in Business Golf Outing, raising awareness for disabled veterans and fostering a sense of community;
- Honored during the Devils Military Appreciation Night with an on-ice exhibition scrimmage during a Devils vs. Washington Capitals game;
- Participated in the USA Hockey Warriors Classic tournament in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The New Jersey Warriors are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and they rely on individual donations and corporate sponsors to accomplish their goals. The ability to reach and support disabled veterans depends on the generous support of partners and individual donors that help cover ice time, equipment, travel expenses and outreach. In addition to relying heavily on donations, they also raise money through merchandise sales, charity games and special events like the annual Columbus Day HPIBJ Golf Tournament.
The New Jersey Warriors are supported by individuals and a range of small and regional New Jersey businesses who are looking to support their work with disabled veterans.
In addition to the work the team does to serve disabled veterans, its veterans still love to serve. The team works with a number of community organizations to create opportunities for veterans to give back to the community. The New Jersey Warriors are proud to work with organizations like Bergen County Horse Rescue, the Monarchs special needs hockey program. Back Packs for Life and other community organizations that provide opportunities for veterans to come together and do what they do best — serve. The team is truly grateful for all its supporters and fans!
Visit the New Jersey Warriors at njwarriors.org to learn more and for links to Warriors merchandise, donations and social media.