After honoring the legacy of PFC Zachary Salmon at the Bengals game on Thursday night, my dad made his way to the bus station for a few hours of rest before catching an early morning megabus for $1 to Buffalo.

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Friday night, he splurged & booked a hotel for $49 to get a good night sleep.
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Saturday morning roles reversed & my dad was invited to attend the Sabres game with Tim Payne, one of our guests for the Bills game Sunday afternoon.   Tim was honored by the Sabres & got to drop the puck at the game.
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My dad declined a hotel for the 2nd straight night & opted to sleep over at the airport before heading out to Orchard Park in the morning to meet up with Tim & the other warriors at the Bills game.
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We were honored to be hosting Army SGT Tim Payne & Army SGT Hackett at the game plus we met up with Army SPC Mike Jarvis & Army SSGT Kevin Miller who were both die hard bills fans.  They already had tickets, but we had a little surprise for them. (meet the Warriors below)
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My dad did his best to coordinate everyone to meet at a very special tailgate.  Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame QB, Jim Kelly, has helped us make many warrior wishes come true over the past 3 years.  This year all 3 warriors had specifically requested to meet him.  Jim took time away from his tailgate to show his appreciation to the Warriors & personally thanked each one for their service & sacrifices.  It was an experience they will never forget.
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The Buffalo Bills, the Provided the warriors a once in a lifetime opportunity to take the field at Ralph Wilson stadium before the game.  They also provided tickets to the game for each of the Warriors.
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With Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins & Karlos Williams all returning back to the lineup after injuries, the Buffalo Bills got back in the win column & beat the Dolphins by the score of 33-17.
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We would like to thank the Buffalo Bills for going above and beyond to help us make warrior wishes come true for these brave warriors by providing tickets & field passes.  We would also like to thank Jim Kelly for taking time to show his appreciation to the Warriors & New Era caps for providing Bills caps to each of our guests. Most importantly, thanks to the Warriors for your service & sacrifices.  We hope you guys had a great time in Buffalo & made some unforgettable memories along the way, it was an honor to host you.
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My dad spend a 2nd night in a row sleeping at the airport & found a local gym to work out & clean up at in the morning.  He had all day in buffalo before catching an overnight bus to Philadelphia to host warriors at the Flyers game Tuesday night.
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For those of you who have been following our mission since 2012, you may remember we were invited to take a tour of the New Era Cap factory in Buffalo, where they make each 59/50 on field cap!  since then, New Era has played a key role in making warrior wishes come true by providing financial support & caps for all the Warriors!  We truly cannot thank them enough for their support!
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So since my dad had an extra day in Buffalo before heading out to Philly, he found a local bakery to make a cake with our logo on it and hand delivered it to the New Era front office to personally thank them for their generosity.  Special thanks to Missy at Embassy Suites and Jeannie at Tops Grocery Bakery for helping out with cake.
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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
My Dad will be taking a break from football over the next few day to host heroes at the Philadelphia Flyers game on Tuesday & the Boston Bruins game on Thursday before coming home Friday.  Safe Travels dad!

MEET THE WARRIORS

ARMY SGT RYAN HACKETT

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On April 5, 2006, while on routine patrol in Iraq, the Humvee Ryan was driving was struck with an IED. The shrapnel was strong enough to penetrate the vehicle, and caused injuries to both the gunner and Ryan. A large piece of shrapnel came through the door and passed through both of his legs. The truck lost control and began to swerve on the road. The vehicle finally came to a stop after it struck the wall of an Iraqi residents home. A tree was pinning the door of the Humvee shut, and because of his injuries he wasn’t able to be carried out the other door. Some other members of his unit arrived and were able to hack away enough of the tree to get the door open.

   Ryan was able to be evacuated from the area by helicoptor. After several hours in the emergency room, the doctors and nurses were able to stabilize him. Due to the severing of both of his femoral arteries, he received over 200 blood transfusions during the operation.  A few days later Ryan was  transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC where he remained for the next year and a half doing physcial therapy.

Since his injury: Ryan got married in 2013. He enjoys spending time with his English bulldog, skiing, and going to concerts and movies.   He earned his masters degree in English education in December of 2014. 

Ryan was nominated by his wife Sarah who told us he is a die hard Bills fan who would love to meet Jim Kelly.  Mission Accomplished.  It was an honor to host Ryan at the Bills game and make their Warrior Wishes come true!

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ARMY SSG TIMOTHY PAYNE

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Timothy Payne was inspired to join the Army after the events that took place on 9/11.  He enlisted right out of High School.

In July of 2011, Tim was serving on his 3rd deployment when the 32-year-old Army veteran lost both his legs and severely injured his left hand after an improvised explosive device detonated under him during a combat mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.

“I was making my final check with the soldiers and that’s when I got blown up – it was pretty intense. I remember everything I thought I was blown in half. recalls Tim.

SSG Payne was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center where he spent a year and a half recovering from the blast.  After enduring more than 100 surgeries his spirit remains unbreakable.

“It’s been a rough road, but I can’t thank the American people enough on their dedication to give back to the soldiers and just pay it forward,” said Payne.

Tim now travels the country promoting his new book “The Squad Leader’s Bargain” and hopes to inspire others by sharing his story and showing them that nothing is impossible.  He works hard every day to always be the best he can be.

“You just adapt to your limitations and just keep on going,” he said.

Tim is a true inspiration.  You can get inspired by his story and buy his book here.

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SSG Payne was nominated by his mom who told us Tim was a die hard bills fan & his favorite player was also Jim Kelly.  It was an honor to make this warrior wish come true!

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www.WarriorWishes.org

Twitter @WarriorWishes

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Thank you for your support!

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