My dad got to catch up with friends in San Francisco after making Warrior Wishes come true at the 49ers game Thursday night.
He spent a few days in San Fran before taking an overnight $1 bus ride Saturday night down the coast to Los Angeles.
As most of you know, the St. Louis Rams moved to LA in the offseason, so For the first time ever, my dad was making Warrior Wishes come true at an LA Rams game!
This was his 2nd “new stadium” this week, as he hosted Warriors in Minnesota at the new Billion Dollar US bank stadium. The LA Coliseum was the exact opposite of that new state of the art facility in Minneapolis. The LA Coliseum was built in 1921 & opened its doors in 1923. Having said that, it’s far from a new stadium, however, it is the new home of the LA Rams while their new stadium is being built. Fun fact, the LA Coliseum cost 100 times less than US bank stadium!
Today we were honored to be hosting Army Warriors Carlos Chavez and Jose Ortiz, as well as Navy Veteran Byron Rodriguez.
My dad went back to our roots and met up with the Warriors for lunch at Whole Foods before the game. Whole Foods locations across the country have really gone above & beyond to help us make Warrior Wishes come true! They have provided a great meeting place & delicious food along the way!
My dad & the Warriors all got to know each other over lunch before catching a ride on the metro rail to the Stadium.
As I mentioned before, the stadium is very old! It is very historic too. The stadium has been the home of the Olympics twice, the USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, LA Dodgers, LA Raiders, an XFL team, a lingerie football team & now home to the Rams. My dad said stadiums are not constructed like this anymore…
Needless to say, my dad took a lot of photos of the stadium and its surrounding
Since it was the first time he had ever been there. He got some great pics of the guys in front of a Navy fighter jet and in front of the stadium & let the Warriors go walk around the stadium while He picked up tickets from this trailer outside the stadium.
Separating from the Warriors was both a “bad” move and a “good” move – bad because I ran into former Ram Eric Dickerson, who asked if I had warriors with me, but was heading inside (he definitely would have taken pic & signed autographs for them) . The good was cuz the tickets did not get transferred to Will Call, so it was a real hassle. Luckily, Jesse JC Cervantes our Dodgers warrior this past summer was at the game too and had the hard tickets – and it was nice to see him for few minutes.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Jesse and his wife for donating tickets to our program after having been recipients themselves, a great example of how Warrior Wishes is working and growing.
Once we had the tickets in hand, they headed into the stadium. The seats were great, and so was the weather! although sun was a little hot on 90 degree day, but being from Chicago where snow is on the horizon, my dad couldn’t complain. Unfortunately the Rams were not as hot as the weather.
The game was close early on and tied at halftime but a pick six early in 3rd quarter put all of the momentum on the Bills side, and they went on to win 30-19.
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Jesse “JC” Cervantes and his wife for donating Rams tickets, Whole Foods for their continued partnership and New Era Cap for providing Rams caps for the Warriors!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
And most importantly Thank You to Army Warriors Carlos Chavez, Jose Ortiz & Navy Veteran Byron Rodriguez for their service & sacrifices to our country! It’s appreciated, has not gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten!
My dad will get a few hours of sleep at LAX airport before heading home to catch up on lost sleep & hang out with Family for a couple days. He will be back in action on Thursday making Warrior wishes come true in San Diego! Stay tuned for more details!
MEET THE WARRIORS
ARMY WARRIOR CARLOS CHAVEZ
Carlos Chavez served in the United States Army as a Combat Engineer stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina under the 37th Engineer Battalion(Combat) (Airborne) from 2006-2010. During that time Carlos deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006-07 and to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009-10. Carlos has worked for the Vet Center program since 2012.He started as a work-study at the Sepulveda Vet Center. After 9 months he was promoted to Assistant Office Manager. He transferred to the L.A. Vet Center on July 2014 and assumes the duties as the full time Office Manager. He is currently pursuing a B.S degree in Health Administration at California State University-Northridge. His goal is to eventually move on to receive a Masters in Health Administration and become an Administrator for the VA.
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”
― Abraham Lincoln
ARMY WARRIOR JOSE ORTIZ
My name is Jose Ortiz and I was born on March 28, 1986 in Los Angeles, California. I graduated from Eagle Rock High School in 2004 and decided to join the Army in 2005. My motivation to join the Army was fueled by the events of 9/11 and my desire to protect this country. I made my way to the recruiting station and was surprised that there were not many volunteers willing to fight for their country. My friends and family tried to talk me out of serving my country but I decided to stick to my decision. I signed up for the Army on January 20, 2005 and 10 days later I was shipped to basic training in Ft. Knox, Kentucky where I saw snow for the first time. After basic training I was assigned to the 82nd Sustainment brigade under the 82nd airborne in the 659th CSSB and I deployed to Al Taqqadum, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006-2007. In Iraq, where I spent 15 months in support of the President Bush’s surge, I was a gun truck driver/gunner and I escorted supply trucks in the Al Anbar Province in places like Fallujah and Ramadi and numerous other outpost. In August 30, 2008 I was Honorably discharged and had the difficult task of reintegrating into civilian life. With the help of the VA and other battle buddies at the Sepulveda Vet Center I was able to graduate from CSUN with a bachelor’s in Finance and was ready to help other veterans coming back from their tour of duty by giving them advice and mentoring them. I now work at the West L.A. V.A. as a payroll technician and I handle pay for all the employees that are helping our fellow veterans. I received a lot of help from my battle buddies and the VA and I am deeply grateful that I am in my situation today.
Contact Craig for more information about the mission (630) 339-6714