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A 101-year-old World War II veteran sang the anthem at Lightning game

The Lightning brought back Robert McClintock to join Sonja Bryson, also a veteran, for Military Appreciation Night
Pictured from the center ice display, LT Robert McClintock, 101 years old, from the US Army Air Corps (Ret.), performs the National Anthem along with USAF Technical Sergeant (Ret.) Sonya Bryson (not pictured) before the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New York Rangers on Military Appreciation Night at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 15
Updated Nov. 15

TAMPA — Robert McClintock turned 101 on Tuesday, but you couldn’t hear those years in his voice on Thursday.

The World War II Army veteran joined Sonya Bryson, a veteran of the Air Force, to sing the national anthem as part of the Lightning’s Military Appreciation Night.

McClintock’s rich voice rang out “and the rockets’ red glare,” as Bryson pulled her own microphone down to give him a solo. The crowd showed its appreciation.

This is the third year McClintock has performed on Military Appreciation Night and it doesn’t get old.

The Thunder kid skater Aidan Smith was joined by his parents, both retired from the Marines. Sergeant Sam Smith is a member of the Lightning sled hockey team and took the ice with Aidan to lead the team out before the game. Staff Sergeant Gloria Smith joined them for the anthem.

The Lightning also continued their tradition of hosting a Marine Corps enlistment ceremony at first intermission. It’s a no-frills affair, simply repeating the oath to support and defend the Constitution. Sometimes you don’t need frills to make an impact.

Each of the team’s usual in-game presentations took a military tilt on Thursday. Military personnel participated in the usual game of “name that tune.”. The Lightning hosted more than 2,000 active servicemen and women from MacDill Air Force Base through their Seats for Service program.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

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