SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Thunderbirds will take to the ice with a new look to honor their military member fans.

The players will be wearing military-inspired jerseys for the team’s 5th annual Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, February 26 at the MassMutual Center.

The event honors the sacrifices made by men and women in the armed services with an unoccupied seat in recognition of the thousands of U.S. military personnel who are missing in action or are prisoners of war and remain unaccounted for.

For more information on the Springfield Thunderbirds and Military Appreciation Night, go to the Thunderbirds website.

“Paying homage to our active and veteran military personnel was a major reason we selected Thunderbirds as our team name,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “Our annual Military Appreciation Night has been a huge success since our inception, but this year we will be wearing special threads on the ice that we hope will ‘excite and inspire,’ similar to the Thunderbirds flight team. This jersey has been in the works for quite some time, as we wanted to make sure our design was something that was unique and spoke to our namesake. We think we have accomplished that, and these jerseys serve as an extension of our continuous support for all that our brave military men and women do to protect and serve our country.”

The military-inspired jerseys will be one of the many Thunderbirds’ specialty sweaters with a charitable arm through the Springfield Thunderbirds Foundation. Since the team’s inception, the Thunderbirds have raised thousands of dollars through jersey auctions for a variety of specialty nights, including Pink in the Rink, Hockey Fights Cancer, and Hometown Heroes Night.