Just a few hours after teaming up with the NFL Hall of Fame to honor heroes at the 2016 Merlin Olsen HOF Luncheon, we made our way across town to make Warrior Wishes come true at the 2016 ESPN Super Bowl party.

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The exclusive party was held at Fort Mason, which in 1941 was home to over a million military men and women as they boarded ships to sail the Pacific to begin Hawaiian relief efforts after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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In an effort to honor its history, this year’s signature Super Bowl event highlighted areas Fort Mason was known for – a vintage nautical design including dock pylons, oversized fishing cages with pulleys, and more than 5,000 feet of nautical rope and oversized props.  Custom chandeliers made from Edison bulbs, lanterns and candle light, also helped set the thematic tone.

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My dad & I were honored to host Marines Davey Lind & Jeremy Stengel at the Party. Once inside we snapped a few pictures in front of the ESPN logo, grabbed a few drinks & got to know each other.  

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Jeremy & Davey were in town playing in the annual Wounded Warrior Amputee Football game.  You can see their Bios below.  They were nominated to be our guests by our friend BJ, who was our 3rd guest ever!  

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When getting to know the Warriors we learned that Jeremy is a Packers fan & Davey a Steelers fan.  Davey told us that getting to meet anyone on the steelers would be a dream come true!

Just a few minutes later I saw Hall of Fame Steelers RB, Jerome Bettis, standing just a few feet away from us.  I made my way over to him and let Jerome know that he could make Davey’s dream come true just by stopping by and saying hi. A few minutes later Jerome Bettis walked over and thanked Davey and Jeremy for their service & sacrifices.

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Davey’s jaw hit the ground and the smile on his face lit up the room.  It was one of our favorite memories from the entire Super Bowl week.  

On top of getting to meet Jerome Bettis, Kurt Warner, Terrell Owens & our friend Chris Berman all took the time to thank the Warriors & take pics with them at the Party!

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We were all hanging out towards the back of the venue talking about what a great night we were having.  Nick Jonas was up on stage performing and all the sudden We saw Davey take off.  He saw Antonio Brown and made a Beeline to chase him down on his prosthetic legs.  

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Antonio was more than happy to stop and hang out with the guys for a few minutes.  Needless to say, but Davey was beyond excited and extremely thankful for the experience.  

It was a perfect way to end the night.  If only a few packers players were there for Jeremy… But we look forward to hosting him at a future Packers game.

We would like to thank our friends at ESPN & all the players who stopped by to help us make these Warrior Wishes come true!

It was a crazy day full of memories and making Warrior Wishes come true.  Time to rest up for the rest of the week…

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MEET THE WARRIORS

MSGT DAVEY LIND

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MSgt Lind lost both his legs after an IED exploded under his vehicle while serving in Iraq in 2007. He and his family received assistance from the Semper Fi Fund (SFF) shortly after arriving at Bethesda National Naval Hospital. The SFF has helped with many needs during his road to recovery, including assistance with home modifications and a modified vehicle, giving him back his independence.

MSgt Lind knows what it’s like to take on a challenge. The 20-year military veteran was a combat diver, free-fall jumper, and a Recon SNCO in Iraq. After losing his legs he was told it would take more than a year before he would walk on prosthetics … he did it in two months. He enjoys the challenge of golf and sees this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to play TPC Scottsdale’s famous 16th hole and help his fellow injured and critically ill Veterans.

MARINE CPL JEREMY STENGEL

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Cpl Jeremy Stengel was born on Sept 18, 1985 in West Allis, WI. He is the third of five kids in the Stengel family, which includes two sisters, two brothers and two nieces. He joined the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) for the United States Marine Corps on June 20, 2003. Stengel graduated from Waterford Union High School on June 12, 2004 and left for MCRD San Diego on June 13, 2004. After completion of Marine Corps Boot Camp on Sept 10, 2004 he then went to the School of Infantry (SOI) where he learned to become a machine gunner. After graduating SOI he was stationed with 2nd Battalion 3rd Marine Division Weapons Company Heavy Machine Gun Platoon. He was later deployed to Afghanistan with his unit on May 31, 2005 and successfully returned home on Jan 21, 2006. After enjoying a month of leave with his family and friends, his unit started training for deployment to Iraq in March. Once the units’ training had been completed, they deployed to Iraq on Sept 11, 2006.

On Jan 31, 2007, after six months of being deployed, Stengel was on a roadside bomb-sweeping mission in the area of operations when his Humvee hit a pressure plate IED. The explosion launched Cpl Stengel 35 yards away from the Humvee; the driver sustained 3rd degree burns over 80% of his body, and the blast took the lives of Navy Corpsmen Doc Matthew Conte and Platoon Sgt Gunnery Sergeant Terry Elliot. Cpl Stengel was medevac to Al Asad Air Force base then flown to Lanshutel, Germany where Cpl Stengel was induced in a medicated coma. Then he was flown from Germany to the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD. He stayed in the medicated coma for nine weeks in the Intensive Care Unit while his family stood by his side. After nine weeks he was moved up to the surgical ward even though the doctors only gave him a 10% chance of pulling through. Cpl Stengel suffered a left leg below the knee amputation, broken left femur, broken right foot w/ nerve and muscle damage in his lower right leg, massive internal injuries, an extensive broken back that required 6-inch rods and screws, a traumatic brain injury and several shrapnel wounds.

After 6 months of being an inpatient at the Naval Hospital he was transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to receive his new leg and start his amputation care/ rehabilitation. After 4.5 years of rehabilitation in Washington DC, Cpl Stengel is back home in WI living in a new home built for him by Homes For Our Troops. He is attending Marquette University and during his free time he enjoys playing golf with his friends, scuba diving, going to Packer and Brewer games, and spending time with his family and wife Georgia Lynn Stengel.