I was told I should start this with a joke, but the only ones I know are about mooses, maple syrup, or hokey so I’m sorry, but I figured it would be better to just skip it.
Truth, my life before joining the US Elite feels like it was a long time ago, and in a galaxy far, far away. I grew up in Winnipeg, one of the places that represents the C in UCAS, and I’ve been skating my whole life. In fact, if you were to ask my mother, she’d tell you that I was on skates before I was walking, regardless of that, though, I started playing hokey at 4.
I learned a whole queue of things from a really young age: athletics, discipline, team-work, time management, and strategy to name just a few. But I didn’t just play in the peewees and school league, at 12 I joined the national Bantam league, and then eventually the NHL.
Joining the Maple Leafs, and helping take them to the Stanley Cup will always be a highlight of my life. And though people wouldn’t take it as truth, I was ecstatic when I was scouted to be the only human in the meta-league and got drafted to the New York Rough Necks. People thought I was nuts trying to play actively 12 months a year, especially when I’d be going up against orcs and trolls.
Being on that team forced me to adapt both on and off the ice. There was the standard stuff like a new play book, sure, but there was more to it. I wasn’t the big fish anymore, and not everyone appreciated me being there. So, while proving my chops on the ice, and learning to navigate a new city, I had to earn the respect of my team and prove I wasn’t there to show them up.
The Rough Necks taught me a lot, not just new moves on the ice or how to survive getting checked by a 250-kilo troll, but tolerance, patience, understanding, and what it means to respect people of all races.
Tragically, my time on the team was cut short, as were the lives of my teammates. I helped stop the Zamboni killer, and I got to go on the trideo circuit as a hero, but I had lost my NHL career in the process. You see, the cyberware I needed to fix my hand and my leg were against regulation.
I had always assumed I’d be in the NHL till I was at least 35, and then just go into broadcasting or acting. With that taken out of my queue, I had no idea what to do with myself. So, I took my coach’s advice and moved out to Seattle. I arrived not long after the, now legendary, “Battle of Seattle”, and quickly found myself in the Bowery helping keep people safe from thieves and gangers.
It was though the people I met there that I somehow found myself with an invitation to a Christmas party at the Waterways Military Compound, and unintentionally got a new career. Early Christmas day, I decided to go for a bit of a run, and seeing the recruits I just fell in step at the back of the pack. I never thought that would lead me to an offer to join up, but once the run was over that’s exactly what happened; I proudly signed the enlistment contract and the rest is history. I realised that I had found a solution to the direction and purpose I had been missing since leaving the NHL,
That was it. I was in the military. The lifestyle and training were far from easy, but again I managed to adapt. When then President Elect McKeen came to visit he was apparently impressed by the “Jolly Green Giant” of the recruits and asked me to join him as his guest on the stage for his inauguration. I was very surprised and honoured.
That’s how I ended up here on Monday. Through my training I was able to keep calm enough to react to the dangers we faced, and help the Congressmen and their families to safety. But none of us live in a vacuum, and everything I’ve succeeded at since I was a kid, I’ve had help with. I’ve had more than a few coaches, teachers, teammates, mentors, family, and friends teach me things along the way. Without the skills, perseverance, and courage they’ve instilled in me over the years I’d never have gotten this far. Thank you everyone for believing in me.
In closing, I would like to thank Senator Maximilian Yates, Director Wilhuff Palpatine, Assistant Director Alva Palpatine, and my family for guiding and believing in me; I am proud to be serving within the US Elite and continue on with my families legacy of dedicated and humble service to this great nation of ours.
Be seeing you,