Thanks to finding a $36 flight from Baltimore to Chicago, my dad was able to come back home for a day before flying out to Pittsburgh Saturday night to make Warrior Wishes come true at his 28th NFL game this season!!!
My dad Flew out to Pittsburgh late Saturday evening and spent the night at the Pittsburgh airport.
Pittsburgh is also called the “Steel City,” due to its rich history as a center of the steel industry. Steel production formed the basis of the city’s growth and prosperity beginning in the 19th century and continuing into the 1970s. Steel mills were once the main employers of many Pittsburgh residents, and much of that legacy is still evident in the local culture.
We have made some unforgettable memories making Warrior Wishes come true in Pittsburgh over the past 4 years.
Traditionally, when we host warriors in Pittsburgh, it’s a total group effort to make their wishes come true and this year was no different. Our friend Mike from Mr G’z Slatherrring Sauce and George once again took the lead in setting up the tailgate.
This year we had a little extra help as Lou, Vinnie, Mario and the crew from San Francisco flew out to Pittsburgh to watch Lou’s Steelers at Heinz Field.
4 years ago ESPN put our mission on the map with their powerful and emotional story of what we started!
We vividly remember holding the umbrella trying to keep the horizontal “Pittsburgh rain” off of Marine Brandon Rumbaugh’s dress blues!! Little did we know that 4 years later, we would still be on this mission to honor heroes & hosted over 2000 warriors since then! It’s been an amazing & inspiring Journey!
Today, we are honored to be hosting Army Sgt Mike Toland and Army Sgt Derek Baumann, both local warriors from Pittsburgh area. Former guest, Army Sgt Joshua Furlong joined us for some delicious Pot Roast Nachos (my dad’s favorite) at Atrias. Before heading over to tailgate outside the stadium.
Sgt Jonathan Stewart also met up with everyone at the tailgate. He too was a guest of ours 2 years ago. It was great to see both Josh & Jonathan again.
Mr. G’s tailgate food is always top notch, and especially his chocolate mouse with his famous Mr G’s slathering sauce! This year, even more delicious, as he put it on top of cupcakes.
Everyone had fun tailgating with old friends and new ones for a couple hours before they headed into the stadium to watch the Cowboys take on the Steelers in one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2016 NFL season! The game lived up to the hype & became an instant classic! It was by far one of the best games of the year!
There were 9 lead changes throughout the game which was perfect for today’s warriors. Why? Because it gave both of the Warriors plenty to cheer about! Sgt Mike Toland was decked out In his Cowboys jersey screaming every time his Cowboys took the lead, while Sgt Derek Baumann was sporting a black and gold Steelers jersey and cheering on the Steelers when the regained the lead. You can only imagine how much fun they had in seesaw game like this, the fans around them were split between the two teams as well making it even more fun!!
With 42 seconds left in the game, Ben Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown for a 15 yard TD to take a 1 point lead and sent the SGT Baumann & the Pittsburgh crowd into a frenzy! It was an endless sea of Yellow terrible towels waiving in the air!
However, SGT Toland and his Cowboys had the last laugh as the Cowboys marched down the field & Ezekiel Elliot scored a TOUCHDOWN on a 32 yard run with only 9 seconds left in the game to secure the Cowboys victory 35-30. It was a game that they will never forget!
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Atrias Restaurant for their continued support helping us make Warrior wishes come true by providing pregame meals for the Warriors before steelers & pirates games over the years. We also would like to thank our friend Lou & his crew for their continued support as well! New Era Cap provided caps for the Warriors, last but not least, thanks to Mike Glagnola of Mr G’z Slatherrring Sauce and George Maier for setting up & hosting everyone at the tailgate!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
Most importantly, we want to recognize old friends Sgt Joshua Furlong and Jonathan Stewart, as well as our new friends, Sgt Mike Toland and Sgt Derek Baumann. Your service and sacrifices are appreciated, they haven’t gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten! THANK YOU!
My dad is heading New York/New Jersey on overnight bus to host both wounded veterans AND 9/11 First Responders at Tomorrow nights NY Giants game at the Meadowlands. Stay tuned for more details!
Don’t forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2016 “All32in17” Mission!
Contact Craig for more information about the mission (630) 339-6714