In the words of Willie Nelson, my dad is… “On The Road Again.” He will be making wishes come true at 11 games in 11 days! Starting in Cincinnati & passing through Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Baltimore & Detroit!
He has 0 flights on this leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission & will be traveling mostly by bus. But thanks to board member, Mark Toppel, My dad got a break from the overnight busses as he drove with my dad to Cincy to help him with our Reds mission.
They left Chicago at 4am and arrived in Cincinnati just in time to have breakfast with Army Veteran Jason Correll, who also runs a nonprofit- Vets Inc. they actually partnered up with us to make wishes come true today at the Reds game.
Our guests for the day began to arrive about a half hour later. They handed out parking passes and met up at the Johnny Bench statue located outside of the “Great American Ball Park.”
Today at the Reds game, we were honored to be hosting Marine Cpl Matthew Bradford, Air Force Sgt Jeff Vaughn & their families. We also honored the legacy of Army PFC Zack Salmon by hosting his mom & other surviving family members in his honor.
As everyone met up outside the stadium in front of the statue, my dad thanked everyone for their service & sacrifices. He also handed out New Era Reds caps to everyone & took a few pictures in front of the “Great American Ball Park.”
Thanks to our friend, Jason, from VETS Inc. and the Cincinnati Reds everyone was treated to seats in a suite!
They got settled in just in time for the National Anthem. It’s one of our favorite parts of every game!
It was time to “Play Ball” – and the Reds were hoping to complete the sweep of the St Louis Cardinals. Pitcher Scott Feldman turned in a pitching gem with 7 scoreless innings. Scooter Gannett, who hit a MLB record 4 home runs yesterday, started the scoring with an RBI single to put the Reds up 1-0. Joey Votto added a Home Run in the 5th giving the Reds commanding 5-0 lead. The Cards put 2 across in the 9th but it wasn’t enough. The Reds held on for a 5-2 victory.
During the game, the Reds staff stopped by the suite to thanks the warriors & families for their service & sacrifices. They gave each warrior T shirts & gift bags to show their appreciation. It definitely added to the overall experience!
After the game, everyone walked across the street to Morleins Lager House for a late lunch/early dinner, before saying goodbye.
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Jason at VETS Inc and the Cincinnati Reds for providing the suite, gift bags and incredible hospitality. We’d also like to thank Morleins Lager House for the delicious Post Game meals, New Era Cap for providing New Reds caps to all the warriors & Mark for making the drive to Cincinnati so my dad didn’t have to ride the bus.
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
Most importantly, we want to thank Marine Cpl Matthew Bradford & Air Force Sgt Jeff Vaughn & the Gold Star family of Army PFC Zack Salmon for their service & sacrifices. May we never forget!
My dad will be hitching a ride to Cleveland with Jason in the morning where they will be making wishes come true at the Indians & Cavs game. Stay tuned for more details!