Resident Charles Rohde Presents Blues’ Elliott with New Mask
One of our Garden Villas North residents recently had the opportunity to present a new Veterans Day-themed mask to St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott. The story was covered by FloValley News here.
By Chris Pinkert
Blues goalie Brian Elliott wore a special Veterans Day-themed mask when the Blues played the Buffalo Sabres last Tuesday night at Scottrade Center. The mask was delivered to Elliott by World War II veteran Charles Rohde, who met the team after Monday’s practice at the Ice Zone in Hazelwood
“It’s definitely an honor getting (the mask) from Mr. Rohde, someone that’s been through something that we’ve only read (about) in books,” Elliott said. “He’s a hero. It’s an honor to be in his presence, for sure.”
Rohde, 92, who lives in Garden Villas North, was a technical sergeant in the 267th AAA AW Battalion during World War II. He was part of battles in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. He was there on D-Day, too, where he saw a nearby truck get hit with burning metal and debris. While taking fire, Rohde raced to the truck and saved the TNT, ammunition and records that were inside.
Since then, Rohde has been awarded five bronze battle stars from the U.S. Army. He’s also won the Bronze Star Medal, the fourth-highest individual military award. And for his heroic efforts on D-Day, France awarded him with the Legion of Honor award, the country’s highest honor.
Elliott will eventually auction the mask, which was designed by Head Strong Grafx, with proceeds being donated to charity.
It’s really amazing how when people come up to you and tell you ‘thanks’ or ‘hi’…it works,” Rohde said.
“It helps. They’re helping you feel much better about Veteran’s Day.”
Rohde and others like him were honored at last Tuesday’s Salute to Military Night at Scottrade Center. Players wore special camouflage jerseys during warmups and volunteers collected care package donations for the troops. Fans who donated received raffle tickets for a chance to win one of the camouflage jerseys.
For more information on the Blues Salute to Military Game, and a video of the mask presentation visit www.stlouisblues.com/military