Some might say that Korean War veteran Ned Dewey, who resides at Brookdale Victoria in Texas, is a glutton for punishment when they learn that the 89-year-old played hockey until the age of 70.
While aboard the USS Missouri, he received a letter from the U.S Olympic Committee inviting him to play with the 1952 Men’s Ice Hockey Olympic Team. Ned was unable to represent the U.S. in ice hockey due to his military obligations but it didn’t stop him from continuing to play the game of hockey. When he returned home he joined an amateur league in Corpus Christi and played until he was 70 years old.
Despite living with dementia, Ned still recalls all the broken noses and shattered ribs from his 60 years on the ice. He began playing the sport at 10-years-old on his neighborhood lake during while it was frozen in the winter. He went on to earn the honor of All American while playing for Brown University before enlisting in the Navy and spent four years fighting as a Lieutenant.
Brookdale and the non-profit Wish of a Lifetime recently commemorated his military service and renewed his passion for the sport of hockey when they sent him to a San Antonio Rampage hockey game this year.
This Wish experience was truly special for Ned and gave him the chance to relive his glory days on the ice. Not only did he get to attend the match but he was also given a custom jersey, polo shirt and hat from his alma mater, Brown University. At halftime, he was honored for his military service and given a victory lap on the Zamboni with the entire crowd cheering him on.
"I could see the joy all over his face. He talked about it all the way home," said Betty Sievers, Clare Bridge program manager at Brookdale Victoria. "Those were the best three hours of his life at the moment, and watching that made me feel good."