A fist bump and “Together We Make Warrior Wishes Come True” is how my dad and I start every mission. We are very proud that out of the over 500 events we have hosted & almost 2000 guests We have only 2 “failed missions”.
The first was a Jets game in 2013 that we did not have a nominee for – the 2nd was yesterday – BUT we really can’t consider this a “failed mission,” because our scheduled guest may have saved a life by choosing to be with a warrior in need instead of hanging out at a ball game having fun. This warrior definitely has his priorities straight! He mentors others & was planning to bring 2 other vets with him to the Padres game. However, we got a last minute message from him stating he had to cancel to go see a comrade “who is having drinking/suicide issues.” Now this is a real American hero -we love to host guys like this who are always there for their brothers in arms. GREAT JOB! Praying everything is okay & hope to host you at a future game!
So since My dad had the “night off” what did he do? He went to a grass area outside Petco park to work & watch a little bit of the Padres game. He was glad he went because he saw a finish that you don’t see every day (if ever) – a Walkoff Balk!!! The Giants pitcher stumbled on the mound when delivering the pitch. The runner on third was awarded home giving the Padres an 8-7 victory!
After the game my dad boarded his 4th straight overnight bus, this one was destined for Anaheim. It was a shorter ride than what my dad is used to so he got some sleep on the bus and in bus station upon arrival. He said it was the nicest greyhound station he had ever been to & would sleep there again anytime….
My dad had some time in the morning in Anaheim so he found a gym to working out and then set up brunch for the Warriors at JT Schmid’s a couple blocks from the stadium.
Marine CPL Jon Schumacher and his wife, Courtney were first to arrive. We had the honor of meeting them in LA while at the ESPY Awards & invited them to join us at the Angels game when we learned they were big fans! It’s funny how “random” things happen sometimes but I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason it was an honor to meet them & have the opportunity to show them our appreciation by hosting them at the Angels game.
Since they arrived early because of no traffic (usually the opposite)., it gave my dad a chance to get to know them a little better. Our other guest Evita De La Cruz and her kids , Mark and Lilly arrived a few minutes later. They are the Gold Star wife and kids of Fallen Army Sgt James DeLaCruz. They had been our guests a couple years ago and the kids have really grown .It was great to see them again and Evita has started her own group to help other families who have lost their loved ones.
They enjoyed a delicious lunch thanks to Joe at JT Schmids. My dad gave them their New Angels caps thanks to New Era & then walked a couple blocks to the stadium. Of course they got a few pictures before they went inside, especially by those iconic giant Angels helmets in front of the stadium.
The Angels put on a show for the Warriors defeating the our home town Chicago White Sox by the score of 8 to 1.
Sunday games in Anaheim – as at most stadiums – is Kids Day, so the kids got to Run the Bases after the game , to close out another successful mission of making WarriorWishes come true!!!
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Joe at JT Schmid’s for providing lunch and New Era Cap for the Angels Caps but as always & most important THANK YOU to our warriors Marine CPL Jon Schumacher, Army Sgt James DeLaCruz and their families for their service and sacrifices to our great country!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
For the 5th straight night, My dad slept on another overnight bus. But my dad said this was a little easier as the ARTIC bus station is right next to the stadium in a giant igloo looking building. And as I mentioned before, My dad said this is the cleanest and best bus station in the country … And he should know, as he has been in all of them …LOL!!’ Anyway – it is off to Oakland to make more WarriorWishes come true!!! Stay tuned for more details.
MEET THE WARRIORS
MARINE CPL JON SCHUMACHER
Marine Corporal Jonathan Schumacher was on his second deployment when he lost both legs and part of his left hand in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Oct. 30, 2011.
While on a dismounted patrol, Cpl Schumacher stepped on a buried IED along a tree line. Originally sent to support another squad that had identified multiple IEDs, Cpl Schumacher was the seventh Marine in a group of eight who crossed a muddy field and had come upon a second tree line while on their way to question individuals who had been seen with weapons in the area. After stepping on the buried IED, Jon did not immediately know the damage caused by the blast.
Under enemy rifle and machine gun fire, Cpl Schumacher was brought to the landing zone and airlifted to Camp Bastion where he endured the first of many surgeries. Next flown to Bagram Air Force Base he was stabilized for transfer to Landstuhl, Germany where he remained for seven days while doctors tried to control the bleeding in his lung. As his squad risked their lives while rendering lifesaving aid, he tried to assist them by verbally setting up security to prepare for the MEDEVAC. With Jon alerting his Marines to areas where he believed they would encounter additional IEDs, they rushed him to the helicopter. (It was later discovered that Cpl Schumacher was correct in his assumption of where additional IEDs were buried, no doubt saving others from harm.)
Now medically retired, Cpl Schumacher enjoys spending time with his wife, Courtney and their two sons, Ethan and Easton. Jon plays many sports including; football, snowboarding, and golf. He coaches his sons’ sports teams and has most recently been coaching baseball and football. He also plays adaptive lacrosse. Jon recently returned to college and is pursuing an engineering degree.
ARMY SGT JAMES DE LA CRUZ