HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
After a fantastic year in 2015 hosting and honoring about 500 warriors at over 100 events, we are kicking off 2016 with a bang!!!
Not wasting any time, we teamed up with the Ohio State alumni to send retired Veteran and MLB hopeful
“Doc” Jacobs to this years Fiesta Bowl to watch his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes dominate Notre Dame 44-28.
Daniel “Doc” Jacobs said he always had two dreams: One, to fight for freedom in a war like his ancestors have done. And two, to play in the big leagues one day. Doc accomplished his first goal by serving in the Navy for over 8 years. In September of 2005, while serving in Iraq, Doc’s truck was hit by an IED. He lost his left leg below the knee as well as 2 toes on his right foot & 3 fingers on his left hand. Doc spent 2 full years recovering from the blast, but never gave up on his country or his second dream. in fact, Doc returned to the fleet Marine force & became the first amputee ever to be assigned to an infantry unit & today he continues to tryout with major league baseball teams with the dream of one day signing a big league contract. Doc Even has his own Upper Deck Baseball card!
Doc is one of the biggest Ohio State fans we have ever met. Earlier this year he was one of our guests to the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Doc’s face lit up when he got to meet up with some of Ohio States Current players & try on Cardale Jones National Championship ring! It was an amazing experience!
We would like to thank the to Ohio State Alumni for giving us the opportunity to make warrior wishes come true for the 2nd straight year at the Ohio State’s Bowl game – last year we sent Sgt Drew Mullee & his wife to the BCS Championship Game.
That was just Day 1 of 2016! My dad certainly enjoyed his 10 straight days of being home for the holidays – and so did X-man – but it was time to get back in action. Xander and I dropped off G-Pa at the airport for a 3 day Texas tour, hosting warriors at Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavs games, as well as Cowboy Stadium Tour.
We chose to do an extra Cowboys game due to the large number of nominations we had to see “America’s team.” My dad & I do our best every year to accomodate every request that we get, but its not always easy. and for those of you that we did not get to this year, we have not forgotten about you, we have you on our list for future events.
Today we had the opportunity to host Navy Warrior Chris Bradley, Air Force Warrior Nicholas Navarro, SFC Rocky Johnson & his wife Karisa, who is the Gold Star sister of fallern hero SSG Michael Murphrey at the Dallas Cowboys game.
We met 2 of our families at Whole Foods Arlington for breakfast at 8:00 AM due to the noon kickoff . Navy warrior Chris Bradley, his wife Kayla, their 3 year old son Robert and Chris’ service dog Sadie arrived early. They had just met our other guest SFC Rocky Johnson and his wife Krisa. We would like to thank Eric and Melinda at Whole Foods for providing a nice relaxing introductory breakfast, before we headed down the street a few blocks to the stadium .
As we always do in Dallas, we tailgated with Julio”Prime”Marin, a member of the PFUFA. He & his awesome tailgate group have always welcomed us with open arms. Today was no different. Great food and good fun was had by all. We are thankful to call Julio & his crew friends. Before making their way into the stadium, my dad grabbed a microphone from the next tailgate over to recognize the warriors for their service and had a moment of silence to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice Sgt Murphrey made for our country.
Air Force active duty Nick Navarro , who has been following our mission for awhile & his fellow Air Force warrior Luis Covarrubias were unable to make it in time to tailgate with us, but enjoyed the game in their camo uniforms from the party deck.
Unfortunately for the warriors, the Cowboys didnt give them much to cheer about as the Redskins took a commanding 24-0 lead to start the game. After Washington had benched a majority of their starting players, the Cowboys made a little come back, but fell short 34-23.
The loss certainly didn’t keep our guests from having a great time. It was an honor to host these heroes and give them an experience that they will never forget at their first Cowboys game ever!
Again we want to thank Whole Foods for breakfast , Julio for tailgate and transportation and New Era for the awesome Cowboys caps. But most importantly our warriors for their service and sacrifice to our country .
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
After the game, my dad slept at the Airport for his 2nd night in a row… I offered to get him a hotel, but he said he would rather save the money and make more warrior wishes come true. So thats what he did. On Tuesday morning he woke up, jumped on a bus to Arlington & made his way back to AT&T stadium to do just that.
For anyone who has not been to Dallas and toured AT&T Stadium, it should be on your bucket list, it was amazing!
We had the honor of hosting, 8 year Marine Corporal Johnny Turner & kept the legacy of Kimi Agar alive by hosting her mom & brother in her honor.
The tour began rather routine by making a stop in the team pro shop and browsing the main concourse, but as it progressed it became better & better. Stops on the Cowboys Stadium tour included visits to Jerry Jones suite, the cheerleaders locker room, the players locker room and the best part of all, the warriors got to make their way out of the tunnel & onto the field to take pictures & do their own Romo to Bryant touchdown impersonation.
Chris and Johnny played a little 2 on 2 with a couple others on the tour , while Margy kicked a couple punts.
Of course, my dad had to catch a couple passes on the field too, but he eventually took a nap on the star.
Everyone made unforgettable once in a lifetime memories on the tour & our day was just getting started! After about an hour on the field, we headed downtown to American Airlines Arena for our 3rd leg of our Dallas Warrior Wishes Experience – Dallas Mavs game.
THANK YOU to the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium for donating tickets to their awesome tour.
MEET THE WARRIORS
NAVY WARRIOR CHRISTOPHER BRADLEY
Christopher Bradley joined the Navy Reserves on August 6th, 2003. Among his duties, he assisted with the clean up with Hurricane Katrina.
In September of 2006, Chris was deployed to Kuwait as part of the Navy batallion Romeo. He also flew several missions into Iraq. While on deployment, his unit came under attack & Chris was knocked unconscious.
Bradley married his wife Kayla on September 21st 2007. Chris was medboarded at 100% disabled in 2009 due to health issues. He & his family now live in Amarillo Texas with their 3 kids.
SSG MICHAEL MURPHREY
SSG Michael Murphrey, joined the Army out of high school. He served 6 years and three tours of duty before giving his life on September 6 2009. Michael was trying to help a humvee up a steep hill when he stepped on an PPIED triggering the IED. Michael was stationed with the 82nd airborne out of Bragg and his final deployment was with the 501st airborne out of ft. Richardson, Alaska.
He was born a hero in his family. He played football, baseball, and ran track in high school and excelled at everything he did. There was no mediocracy with michael. His hobbies included fishing and hunting and with thanks to our dad he could fix anything with a motor on it (or at least was supposed to have a motor). Michael adored family.
He and his wife Ashley had two children a son, jaden and a daughter, Cameron. He had an especially tight bond with his dad and used that to create the same bond with his son, Jaden and his daughter, Cameron. He is missed and loved dearly every single day.
SFC ROCKY JOHNSON
SFC Rocky Johnson has served 12 years in the United States Army he has completed 3 deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Right now he is stationed at Camp Shelby at the first Army Academy as an OC/T instructor. His original job is in field artillery as a 13 bravo. He joined the military to make a difference in the world. His biggest challenge is raising his three daughters. There isn’t a regulation on guiding teenagers on the right path, he says. He enjoys being with family, fishing, dove hunting, and woodworking. He is huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns.
MARINE CPL JOHNNY TURNER
Johnny honorably served in the US Marine Corps from 2000-2008. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 & was medically retired from the Marine Corps with service connected disability rating of 100% due to PTSD and TBI.
Today Johnny is a licensed Minister in Fort Worth, Texas and enjoys spending time with family, going to church and attending sporting events.