Big-Hearted Hockey Team Rescues Military Family's Christmas (VIDEO)

Jacobson familyTake everything the average American knows about hockey players, and it doesn't add up to a pretty picture. Think fights. Missing teeth. More fights. But members of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey organization are challenging the brutal stereotype in a big way this holiday by repairing a busted Christmas for one military family

Tomorrow, Hurricanes mascot Stormy and retired star Shane Willis, now a youth and amateur hockey coordinator, will show up at the Army's Fort Bragg with everything necessary to give the family of Army SSG Patrick Jacobson a real holiday before dad is deployed to Afghanistan. And wait until you hear how this whole thing got set up.

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Some Grinch broke into the Jacobson home this holiday, taking 10-year-old stepson RJ's PlayStation, stealing the $1,000 the family had set aside for dad to visit sons who live in New York before his deployment, even taking the Christmas gifts purchased but not yet set out under the tree. Soldier papa sold his truck in hopes that he could foot the bill to re-buy Christmas gifts, but there was that pricey bill for a trip to see his kids hanging over his head.

And of course, he's going to be overseas soon, far away from his family. A holiday home with your family means something to most of us, but what must it mean to a soldier about ready to deploy? These are memories they should be carrying with them in the back of the mind to pull out when they're feeling low and need a smile. If anyone needs a merry Christmas, it's someone like Patrick Jacobson.

So members of the Hurricanes' alumni association have donated their money to buy all the presents that were taken. That's what Willis will be bringing on Thursday.

I wish I could be there to see Jacobson's stepkids' faces when he shows up. Watching RJ play with a newly gifted PlayStation from a stranger on their local ABC affiliate made me feel little pinpricks in the corners of my eyes. I'd like to see some big guy like Shane Willis keep it together when he has to stand face-to-face with something so heartwarming. Pictures of that would prove hockey players aren't the brutes so much of America thinks they are!

Check out this military family celebrating the wonders of big-hearted members of their community:

 

Image via ABC

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