WESTFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds gave back to our military on Thursday. They presented custom jerseys to eight fighter pilots of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds as part of the Westfield International Air Show at Barnes Air Force Base in Westfield, MA this weekend.

Photo: Peter Bottini/Springfield Thunderbirds Media

The fighter pilots have two years of duty and are referred as American Ambassadors in blue and have their number as a call sign with certain roles.

“In naming the new hockey franchise in Springfield last year, we wanted to pay homage to the military, in particular, the Barnes Air National Guard Base, the 104th Fighter Wing and, by extension, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa in a news release.

PHOTO: Peter Bottini/Springfield Thunderbirds Media

The Thunderbirds will be on hand at the Westfield International Air Show on this weekend with appearances by Boomer the Thunderbirds mascot. Those who visit the show will also get a chance to play in an inflatable interactive hockey game.

The Thunderbirds will kick off their 2017-18 season on the road at the Dunkin Donuts Center against the Providence Bruins on Saturday, October 7. The opener will be the following Saturday against their I-91 rival, the Hartford Wolf Pack.

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