After a wild week 5 of making wishes come true in Tampa, Houston & Chicago, my dad got some much needed rest.
After a few “days off” he was back in action! As we have mentioned before, we do everything we can to keep expenses down so we can give back to more warriors. So instead of paying for an expensive flight to Charlotte, we found airfare for $40 to Atlanta & booked a $1 megabus from Atlanta to Charlotte.
My dad started his adventure to Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon. He took a bus to catch a train to the airport & flew to Atlanta. He arrived just before midnight & spent the night at the airport.
He then took a train from the airport to catch his bus downtown. He officially arrived in Charlotte around noon on Thursday giving him plenty of time to explore downtown charlotte & he tied up some loose ends before meeting up with the warriors to tailgate before the game.
Today we are honored to be hosting Marine Sgt Patrick Brown & Army SSG Cody Fowler at the Panthers game.
Over the years we have made some unforgettable memories and amazing friendships while making wishes come true at the Panthers games. Here are some of our favorite memories!
For the past few years, Joe & Lori Scaldera have hosted warriors at their tailgate & helped us make Wishes come true in Charlotte. This year was no different & they helped us secure a couple of tickets too! First to arrive at the tailgate was Marine Sgt Patrick Brown who brought along his expecting wife, Blake & his service dog, Tank. They were excited for the game & all decked out in Panthers gear, even Tank!
Army SSG Cody Fowler and his wife Leah also arrived shortly after. They too were decked out in their panthers gear & excited for the game.
(MEET THE WARRIORS BELOW)
After everyone was introduced, they all got to know each other while having fun hanging out at the tailgate. Since the Panthers were playing the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe and Lori prepared “Philly cheesesteaks” for dinner and as they always do, invited the warriors to go thru the line first.
Everyone had a great time meeting new friends over great food & some “Panther Juice.” Before heading over to the stadium to watch the Eagles & Panthers kickoff week 6!
Both Panthers & Eagles have only lost 1 game on the season and lead their divisions in the standings. I know it’s still early in the season, but this was a big game for both teams! Despite the media reports of NFL ticket prices & attendance dropping. This was a sold out game & a tough ticket to get!
My dad escorted the warriors into the stadium & had planned to try to get a cheap ticket outside the stadium for himself. But unfortunately wasn’t able to find anything for less than $200 even after the game started. So while the warriors had fun inside the stadium, my dad waited outside & wathed the game at a tailgate.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, but did not give the warriors much to cheer about after that. Two Cam Newton Interceptions led to 2 Eagles TD’s the panthers did their best to claw their way back, but in the end fell short & lost to the Eagles by the score of 28-23.
Despite the loss, the warriors had a great time at the game!
My dad met back up with the warriors at the tailgate after the game to thank them one last time before saying goodbye. The Fowlers dropped him off at the airport on the way back to their hotel.
Operation warrior Wishes would like to thank Joe & Lori Scaldera for their continued support & for providing an awesome tailgate experience! We also want to thank Emmet Howle for donating 2 tickets, New Era Cap for providing Panthers caps, Hilton Garden Inn North for providing accommodations & the NASCAR Hall of Fame for donating admission for the warriors to use at a later date. We couldn’t have made this all possible without your generosity & support!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
Most importantly, we want to thank Marine Sgt Patrick Brown and Army SSG Cody Fowler for their service! It hasn’t gone unnoticed, it’s appreciated & will never be forgotten. We Salute you!
My dad is spending the night at the Charlotte airport & will be on an early morning flight back to Chicago. He will be back in action on Sunday making Wishes come true in Minnesota & on Monday hosting warriors in Tennessee. Stay tuned for more details!
MEET THE WARRIORS
MARINE SGT PATRICK BROWN
On September 7th, 1989 Patrick Brown was born in Hanau, West Germany where his father (Richard Brown) was stationed in the United States Army. Patrick was raised in the small town of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina where he was involved in many sports throughout his childhood. Patrick graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School in 2008.
After graduating high school Patrick joined the United States Marine Corps which had been a dream of his since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Patrick went to Bootcamp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina in December 2008 and was assigned to 3rd training Battalion, Company K. Patrick graduated Marine Corps Bootcamp in March 2009, and was then sent to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for his Military Occupational Specialty School. Patrick attended school to become a Military Police Officer, and graduated MP school in July of 2009. Upon graduation of MP school Patrick was then stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 27. Later in 2009 Patrick would pick up the rank of E-2 (Private First Class), then to the rank of E-3 (Lance Corporal). Shortly after beginning his career at Camp Lejeune Patrick began preparation for deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Patrick deployed to Afghanistan in August of 2010 to February 2011. During his deployment Patrick stepped on 1 IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and was in 4 different vehicles who hit IED’s, totaling 5 IED blast exposures in about 3 months. Patrick was Medevac’d on two different occasions during his deployment.
After Patrick’s return from Afghanistan he was assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Camp Lejeune as a result of the injuries he obtained in Afghanistan. Patrick suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI), bruised right hip bone, ruptured ear drums, and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Upon completion of his five-and-a-half-year enlistment contract Patrick received an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps at the rank of E-5 (Sergeant) in 2014.
Due to the injuries from his deployment Patrick has been awarded two Purple Heart medals, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO-ISAF Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, and Sea Service Deployment ribbon.
In 2014 Patrick started Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC. After graduating BLET Patrick applied to different Law Enforcement Agencies around North Carolina. Unfortunately, before Patrick’s Civilian Law Enforcement career could begin it was ended. In July of 2015 Patrick began having severe seizures. After many months of medical examining and testing Patrick was diagnosed with Epilepsy secondary to his TBI. This diagnosis accompanied by his other ailments and injuries from deployment has rendered Patrick disabled. Patrick is now recognized as a 100% permanent and totally disabled Wounded Warrior and Veteran.
Patrick still currently lives in Jacksonville, NC with his wife of 6 years, his five-year-old daughter, and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their second child. Patrick finds strength in many ways but the most important is through the assistance of his service dog Tank. Tank is trained to assist Patrick with his epilepsy as well as Depression and PTSD.
ARMY SSG CODY FOWLER
Cody Fowler was born in Charlotte NC and graduated from West Meck in 05. He enlisted in the United States Army in June of 04 at 17 years old. He deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan but after a series of unfortunate events was unable to continue his service and was medically discharged in 2012. He’s been married to his wife since 2009 and they have a one year old son together.
It was an honor to host these brave warriors and make their Warrior Wishes come true. If you know a deserving warrior who would love to attend a game on our “All32in17” mission please nominate them today!
Make sure to follow our mission live on Facebook Twitter & Instagram @WarriorWishes.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!