Jarome Ignila by the way is the first active NHL player to have visited Afghanistan. That must have been an extra special treat for the troops.
It's a fantastic story that's nothing like you get from the consensus media. It takes a sports journalist far removed the Press Gallery that who hasn't drunk the koolaide to get reporting like this. I encourage you to go and read the whole story, you won't be sorry. Here is a portion stuck out for me.
We only had a few hours left on the base. Hockey Canada had sent boxes of merchandise, which we passed out to the soldiers. Then we spent our remaining time chatting and posing for pictures. Jayna and Marie-Philip were a big draw with their Olympic gold medals, which they happily allowed to be touched and worn.
And off to the side was Jarome Iginla, surrounded by hundreds of people. At that point, he had been awake for more than 24 hours, was still adjusting to a 10 and a half hour time change and had been meeting people almost non-stop in the stifling heat. He never stopped smiling and never stopped making people feel good.
Many of the people who had posed for pictures with him in the afternoon had gone to the computer area and printed them off so he could sign them, and Jarome signed every one with a grin and a personal message.
Finally, it was time to go. As we went to board the plane, were greeted by General Natynczyk, Brig. General Milner and defence minister MacKay, each of whom shook my hand and pressed a medallion into my palm. Now I too had been "coined" and understood fully what it meant.
For some reason, I couldn't sleep on the C17. Finally, a young airman named Tony, who had noticed my discomfort, came over with an inflatable air mattress and laid it out on the floor. At last, I got four good hours of sleep.