After re-signing with the Cincinnati Cyclones in July, forward and alternate captain, Louie Caporusso expressed interest in giving back to those in the Greater Cincinnati Area who have served in the U.S. Military. The Cyclones announced the team would work with Caporusso, launching “Lou’s Troops,” as an initiative to make his vision a reality.
Lou’s Troops will bring one military family out to each home game as Louie’s guest during the 2022-23 regular season.
Ahead of Military Appreciation Night on Friday, Cyclones broadcaster, Andrew Mossbrooks, sat down with Caporusso to discuss this new venture.
Andrew: As a Canadian-born hockey player, what motivates you to be a part of a cause for the armed forces of the United States?
Louie: Well I think if I was playing in Canada I would probably be trying to do something similar for the Canadian troops. The US and Canadian military have a tremendous history together, but now that I’m here in the U.S. I think it’s important to recognize that this is the freest place in the world and it’s important just to recognize why we are free and why this place is special. That’s because of the brave men and women who paved the way for us with their sacrifices and their courage to fight for our freedoms.
Andrew: What were your first impressions of being in America when you started living here?
Louie: So, my parents actually used to take our family to Florida for about three weeks every year but my first real taste of American life was probably when I spent four years playing for the University of Michigan. I just fell in love with the way of life in the United States. It just became a special place for me and I always knew, whether I was playing overseas in Europe or Sweden, that I would eventually find my way back to the United States and this would be where I would spend the rest of my life. I now call this place home.
Andrew: Have you ever ran into people who have served along your pro hockey journey?
Louie: Yes, especially early in my career when I was playing in Reading, Pennsylvania and Elmira, New York. Several times we had get-togethers and had team events when we would be out in the community with active and retired military members. Some of the stories that they tell you about things they went through would make me think “wow, we don’t give up nearly as much as these people sacrifice day-to day.” They’re doing things for us. They make the ultimate sacrifice so the least we could do is show our gratitude. We’re just playing a hockey game. They are playing the ultimate game.
Andrew: What do you want to see Lou’s Troops grow into?
Louie: I want all of those veterans and all of our armed forces to look and realize that we’re not just going through the motions when it comes to the support that we’re going to show for them. I think it’s important for them to know that we do care and we do appreciate everything that they have done and continue to do. I’m trying to take the first step and lead on this for our team, because the big thing is trying to be thankful, but also trying to help in any way that we can. I want to increase the amount of volunteer work that we as a team put out. Hopefully that inspires others and inspires our fans to come out and support us and see what we care about and support as hockey players.