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Game 43 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Redskins Game Again!

After making wishes come true in Baltimore my dad made his way to Washington DC to host heroes at the Redskins game for the 3rd time this season.  

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He arrived in Washington via Greyhound at 4am Mon morning.  He hung out at Union Station for a while to catch up on some work. As the sun rose, my dad decided to explore DC.  He stopped at some of the monuments & museums in the National Mall.  

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After all the sightseeing, it was time to get to work making wishes come true!  At around 4pm my dad headed out on the Metro to Longhorn Steakhouse near the stadium to meet up with Army Spc Joseph Miller and his wife Michelle.  My dad set up the table as he always does, with tickets, New Era Caps and salute to service thank you letters from kids.  

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Joseph didn’t even know he was going to tonight’s game until yesterday when my dad pulled off his patented “Fake Radio Contest” that he uses to surprise our nominees with the experience.

Everyone had a great time getting to know each other over delicious steak dinners thanks to Longhorn Steakhouse.  My dad learned that the Millers actually know a couple of our previous guests which led to some great stories & conversation.  

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Joseph’s favorite team is the Washington Redskins.  He was excited to have the opportunity to watch his Redskins fight for a chance to make the playoffs.  

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Unfortunately for SPC Miller & the Redskins, they came up short against Cam Newton & the Carolina Panthers 26-15.  It was a must win game to have any chance to get the final playoff spot.  despite the loss, the millers still had a great time!  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank New Era Cap for providing Redskins caps, Chive Charities for providing the KCCO shirts & Longhorn Steakhouse for the delicious PreGame meal!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly we want to thank Army Spc Joseph Miller for your service & sacrifices our country!  It’s appreciated, has not gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten!  

My dad will get a couple hours of sleep at the airport before his early morning flight back to Chicago Tuesday morning.  

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Our regular season scheduled “All32in17” Mission is officially accomplished.  It’s time to make wishes come true in the playoffs & all the way to Super Bowl LI in Houston!  Stay tuned for more details!

MEET ARMY SPC JOSEPH MILLER

Jason Miller

Joe had enlisted in the Army in June 1997 and went to basic training at Fort Benning Georgia, home of the infantry. After completing basic training he was assigned to the first infantry division (the big red one), first battalion 26th infantry regiment (blue spaders). His duty station was Schweinfurt, Germany. While stationed there he was deployed to Macedonia and Kosovo, two tours to the Balkans region. ETS out of the Army as a specialist in 2001. We cannot thank him enough for his service & hope he had an unforgettable experience at the Redskins game!

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Game 42 – Warrior Wishes Come True A Freezing Cold Soldier Field!

This is going to be a wild weekend filled with Warrior Wishes coming true! 

Thanks to many generous supporters, we have been receiving more and more donations as our mission continues to grow.  Those donations include cash, meals, tickets and volunteered time.  We are very thankful to everyone for their support & proud to say that 98% of what we bring in goes directly towards making wishes come true for our nation’s heroes.

This weekend some generous donors helped us treat some amazing Warriors to some unforgettable experiences!  Last night our friends at VACO in Nashville made Warrior Wishes come true in a “Suite” way at the Predators game for the 3rd straight year!  

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Thankfully, Warrior Wishes Director Mark Toppel, was able to host the large group of warriors along with our friend Keith in Nashville.  

My dad would have been there, but he was headed to the east coast for the weekend to host Warriors at the Ravens game on Sunday & Giants game Monday night.  

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While he was on the road, we also had the opportunity to make a few wishes come true back here in Chicago thanks to Vern Tempe.  Vern donated 4 Packers vs. Bears 4th row tickets!  

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With -20 degree wind chills in the forecast we thought it may be tough to find Warriors who would want to attend the game.  

But warriors don’t care how cold it is, they are tough, so of course we found a few brave Warriors who were willing to “bear” the cold weather to see their team take on the division rival Green Bay Packers.  

It was an honor to host Army Sgt William Cree & the Gold Star family of Army SGT Damian Bushart at the game.  

My dad and I had met SGT Cree & his service dog Nixon the NFL Draft in Chicago.  William mentioned he was a Bears fan.  His Friend nominated him for the experience.  He was beyond excited to watch the Bears from the 4th row!  

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Army Sgt Damian Bushart made the Ultimate sacrifice while serving our country in Iraq in 2003.  It was a true honor to provide this experience to SGT Bushart’s wife & son in his honor.  

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As you can see, everyone was dressed for the extreme weather conditions.  Thankfully temperatures never dropped as low as they were expected to go, but it was still in the single digits all game long. 

The Bears did their best to play spoiler & tried to crush the Packers hopes of making the playoffs.  Unfortunately, Aaron Rodgers & the Packers did what they do best & were able to beat the Bears 30-27 and keep their playoff chances alive.  

Despite the loss, everyone still had a great time & nobody got frostbite!  Haha.

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Vern Tempe for donating the incredible 4th row seats to make these wishes come true. 

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

But MOST importantly we want to thank Sgt Cree and to the Bushart family for their service and ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  It is appreciated, it has not gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten.

MEET THE WARRIORS

MARINE WARRIOR WILLIAM CREE

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My name is William Cree I join the Marine Corps at the age of 18 straight out of high school I was shipped off to boot camp the day after my 18th birthday on July 7 I went to basic training then chose to be come motor tea went to motor transport school and completed it after that I was shipped off to camp Penelton California within two weeks I was shipped off to Iraq for my first tour to Iraq. I did two more tours on my third tour I reenlisted I enjoyed being a leader of Marines and teaching them what I knew and what I’ve been taught. About a year after I reenlisted I was in a severe motorcycle accident and paralyzed my arm because I paralyzed my arm I was no longer able to stay in active duty so I was medically separated from the Marines.

ARMY PFC DAMIAN BUSHART

www.IraqWarHeroes.org
www.IraqWarHeroes.org

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Game 41 – “The Posse” Makes Warrior Wishes Come True Again!

After a relaxing week at home with the grandkids, my dad made his back to Baltimore for the 4th time this season!  3 Ravens games & the Army Navy game last weekend.

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Today’s game has both a “Good News” and a “Bad News” story to it , BUT also has a very special meaning.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.  By doing this game, we were not able to personally host or meet the warriors at our VACO Night in Nashville.  

So our ambassador Keith Blazic and warrior wishes Director Mark Toppel stepped in to host a big group of warriors in a “suite” way at the Predators game last night in Nashville thanks to our friends at VACO Nashville.

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The good news is that we are proud to host guests Paul Norden and his fiancé Jacqui Webb at today’s Ravens game.  Paul & Jacqui are two of the Boston Bombing Survivors who were mentored by a few of our previous Wounded veteran guests, including Gabe Martinez in Colorado and BJ Ganem in Wisconsin.  In fact BJ was the one who nominated them for this experience.  

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You may remember that we hosted and honored many of the Boston Bombing survivors along with a big group of wounded warriors at Opening Night of 2013 NFL Season at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro with Robert Kraft and the Patriots. 

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When we were planning that game, our first call was to the Norden family contact, Melanie at a local restaurant who was raising money for them. Unfortunately they could not make that event due to medical issues, nor could Erika Brannock.

Paul and Erika are Ravens fans, while most of the others were Patriots fans . We were honored to host Erika at a Ravens game earlier this season & now had a special opportunity to finally host Paul and his fiancé at a Ravens game to thank them for never giving up & being inspirations to so many.  

Of course we started their Experience where we start all of our Ravens events, with “the Posse” at Brian, Rick and Chip’s Tailgate. Last week we hosted 50 guests with Brian, Rick & Chip at the Army Navy game!  

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Brian, Rick & Chip have been making Wishes come true since 2013!  

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As always, they made Paul and Jacqui feel right at home.  Great food and fun was had by all. After the tailgate everyone headed into the stadium to watch the Ravens kickoff against the Eagles.  

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The Ravens & Eagles took turns taking the lead going back one forth. Eventually the Ravens jumped out to 27-17 lead in 3rd quarter.  

Early in the 4th quarter, the Ravens were knocking on the door of another score when Joe Flacco was picked off inside the Red Zone keeping the Eagles in the game.  The turnover led to an eagles field goal.  they drove down the field and got a Field Goal off that turnover. 

The Eagles had one last chance to score as time ran down late in the 4th.  With 3 seconds on the clock, Carson Wentz ran the ball in to the end zone to score the what looked a game tying touchdown. 

However, the Eagles decided to go for 2 instead of taking the game in to overtime. Their gamble failed, when Wentz Pass was broken up in the end zone and the Ravens survived with 27-26 victory, which actually keeps them alive for a slim chance for a playoff spot.  

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It was a very entertaining game and an incredible experience!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank our Ravens Tailgate Hosts Rick, Brian and Chip AGAIN!  They continue to go above and beyond to make warrior wishes come true every time we host warriors in Baltimore.  We cannot thank them all enough for their continued support!   We’d also like to thank New Era Cap For providing Ravens caps & our friend BJ Ganem for his Nomination of Paul and Jacqui. He – and others that know them – told us that Paul and Jacqui were great people.  We learned that first hand and it was a real pleasure to meet and host them at the Ravens game.  

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My dad will be back on the bus tonight heading to Washington DC to make Warrior Wishes come true at tomorrow’s  Redskins game, the last game of our scheduled mission. Stay tuned for more details.

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Game 40 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Giants Game!

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Sanofi Makes Warrior Wishes Come True At The 2016 Army Navy Game!

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Game 39 – World Record Warrior Wishes Come True At The Jets Game!

Over the past 81 days, my dad has traveled the country making Warrior Wishes come true at 31 different NFL stadiums!  Today, my dad was back in New York to break a world record and more importantly to make wishes come true at the Jets game.  

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He spent the night at our friend, Erick’s house, last night after hosting warriors at yesterdays Jaguars game.

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This is “Part 2” of Avery Williamson/Warrior Wishes honoring of our 9/11 Ground Zero First Responders.  If you recall, back on Nov 14 at Giants game, we hosted veterans & 9/11 First Responders, thanks to a generous donation from the auction of Avery ‘s 9/11 Tribute Cleats.

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We want to be fair so today we are hosting and honoring those 9/11 First Responders who are Jet fans –  FDNY Firemen Bobby Boldi, Jay Byrne, Matt Cody, Chris Vesey and Don Hoffman.  We were also honored to host Army Sgt Chris Levi.  

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After the game tonight we will have made warrior wishes come true at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season for 5 straight years!  And this year, when the final seconds tick off the scoreboard, my dad will have the new Guinness Book of World Record for “Fastest Time To Attend a game at every NFL Stadium!”  82 days!

The record is cool, but not the reason we do what we do.  Having the opportunity to show the brave men & women who serve our country that their service & sacrifices are appreciated and never forgotten is why we continue our mission.  It’s so much more than just a game.  

Here are some of our favorite memories of making warrior wishes come true at the Jets games over the years.

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My dad arrived at MetLife stadium early went to help set up the L7 Tailgate crew set up. When the Warriors arrived, My dad gave them all their New Era Jets caps & everyone had fun tailgating in the L7 lot.   Everyone really enjoyed the awesome chicken roll sandwiches that nobody could get enough of!  

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After a couple hours of fun tailgating everyone headed inside MetLife stadium to watch the the Jets take on the Colts. 

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Unfortunately for our guests, the Jets were really never in it.  The Boo Birds were our out early and did not stop until they finally put in backup QB, Bryce Petty. Petty did throw a long touchdown pass to rookie Robbie Anderson, which was the only bright spot of the day in a 41-10 drubbing by the Indianapolis Colts.

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Despite the loss, everyone still had a great time.  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Joe & the L7 tailgate crew for hosting us again this year.  We also want to thank New Era Cap for the Jets caps for all the warriors and Chive Charities for providing KCCO t-shirts.  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!  

Most importantly We invite you to join us in thanking Army Sgt Chris Levi & all the  9/11 First Responders for their service & sacrifices! It’s appreciated, does not go unnoticed & will never be forgotten.  

Even though the “official ‘All32in17’ mission” is over, we still have a couple more full weekends of events.  We cannot thank everyone who has been there to help us make our 2016 mission a big success!  We truly couldn’t do it without all of your support!

Next week we will be back in Baltimore to make warrior wishes come true at the 2016 Army – Navy game!  Stay tuned for more details.  

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Don’t forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2016 “All32in17” Mission!

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Game 38 – The Jaguars Go Above & Beyond To Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After making wishes come true at the Thursday night Vikings game in Minneapolis, my dad stopped at home for a few hours before heading south to Jacksonville.

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Operation Warrior Wishes does everything we can to save money on operating expenses, so that most of our donation dollars go directly to making the Warriors wishes come true.  98% of what we take in, benefits the brave men and women who protect our country. My dad’s journey to Jacksonville is a perfect example of how we save money everywhere we can.  We spent less than $2,000 on travel to host warriors at every NFL stadium across the country this season.

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Flights from Chicago to Jacksonville cost more than $250 one way.  So instead, my dad took the alternate route.  I was able to find airfare to Atlanta for $38.  From there, my dad took a train from the airport to the bus station & and jumped on a $1 overnight megabus to Jacksonville!  

We have made some unforgettable memories making Warrior Wishes Come True at Jaguars games over the past 5 years.

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Our friend, Erick Millette offered to pick my dad up at the bus station in Jacksonville.  Erick was our first Patriots guest ever in 2012.  He now lives in Jacksonville. 

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Erick had initially planned to pick my dad up at 5:00 AM.  However, two different megabusses broke down overnight.  Thankfully my dad finally arrived in Jacksonville safely around 9:30am. He barely had enough time to get to stadium to meet the other guests before kickoff.  Erick & My dad met up with the warriors in front of the stadium by the “Touchdown Jaguar Statue.”

We were honored to be hosting Erick, Sgt Michael Japak with his 10 year old son, Marine Marcus Mason with his Fiancee & the Gold Star father & Uncle of Army SGT Gene Lamie.  SGT Lamie made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country in 2007.  

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They got a great group photo in front of the stadium before heading inside to watch the Jaguars take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Broncos.  

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The Jacksonville Jaguars went above and beyond for the 2nd year in a row.  their military liaison, Angie Nix greeted everyone at the stadium.  Angie’s son is a marine & she has a deep appreciation for all who serve.  

Angie handed out envelopes with everyone’s name on them and a private note to each of the Warriors & told everyone where they needed to go to get down on the field before the game.  She also handed out “Jaguar dollars” so everyone could get a bite to eat too.  Angie got a little emotional as she thanked each guest personally – especially Mr Lamie.  

Now that everyone had their tickets & field passes, everyone headed inside to take the field. My dad said he could see the excitement on the Warriors faces as they walked through the tunnel onto the field.  They got some fantastic pictures and made once in a lifetime memories on the sidelines thanks to the Jaguars.   

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But the Jaguars weren’t done.  They had also provided Club Access as well!  Unfortunately, the Jaguars have had a tough season this year.  Heading into the game they were big underdogs.  They put up a good fight, but fell short to the Broncos 20-10.  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Chad, Dave, Angie and the Jacksonville Jaguars for providing tickets, field passes and an unforgettable experience to the Warriors.  We would also like to thank New Era Cap for providing the Jaguars caps, Chive Charities for the KCCO T-shirts & Erick for providing transportation & a place to stay for my dad.  

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Most importantly, we want to thank Army Sgt Jeremy Japak, Marine Sgt Marcus Mason, Army SSG Erick Millette & the Gold Star Family of Army Sgt Gene Lamie. Your service & sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, they are appreciated, and will never be forgotten.

My dad will be making history tomorrow as he makes warrior wishes come true at the 32nd stadium in 82 days!  He will fly to New York first thing in the morning.  Stay tuned for more details!  

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Tyler Eifert Makes An Amazing TD Catch Wearing Custom Warrior Wishes Cleats!

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CHECK BACK SOON FOR MORE DETAILS

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Warrior Wishes Come True At “Da Bulls” Game

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Operation Warrior Wishes is kicking off December with 5 events in 5 days!  It all started with last nights Vikings game in Minnesota.

 Tonight’s Warrior Wishes come true at the Chicago Bulls game, Tyler Eifert’s will be revealing his Custom Warrior Wishes Cleats for week 13.  

On Sunday my dad will be in Jacksonville to make wishes come true at the Jaguars game followed by the “All32in17” world record finale in New York making Warrior Wishes come true at the Jets game! 

As we mentioned, tonight we are honored to host warriors at the Chicago Bulls game.  They are up against Lebron James & the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Lebron lost a bet to Dewayne Wade when the Cubs beat the Indians in the World Series, so he had to wear full Cub jersey to the stadium.  

We had the pleasure of meeting Paul Sucec a couple years back thru our friends at ESPN.  Paul is the military Liasson for the network.  A few months back he reached out to us when he was moved over to cover the NBA  & asked if we wanted to host some warriors at Basketball games.  He offered to provide some special access to the Warriors.  Needless to say, we couldn’t turn it down and Hosted Warriors at the Cavs vs Bulls game to kick things off.

Since my dad was still on his way back from Minneapolis on a bus, Warrior Wishes Director, Manny Gonzalez, stepped in to host Army Sgt Sean Griffin & Sgt Matthew Oliva. Ironically SGT Griffin & Manny, who served in the marines, met earlier this year when they helped us pack care packages to send overseas at the “FamilyPalooza.”

Unfortunately, due to heavy traffic, the Warriors were a little late. Thanks to Paul, they still got an abbreviated version of the Tour and On Court Access before the game.  They got photos with the ESPN on air personalities.

They also got to see a big Bulls win over the Cavs 111-105!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Paul at ESPN for the first of many NBA ON ESPN games we will be doing this year and to Marine Manny Gonzalez for hosting the event.

Most importantly we want to thank Sgt Sean Griffin and Sgt Matthew Oliva, for their service to our country!

My dad will be back in action this weekend to make wishes come true in Jacksonville & New York!  Stay tuned for more details!

MEET THE WARRIORS

SSG SEAN GRIFFIN

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SSG Griffin joined the Guard in December 2008. He reported to Delta Company
RRB of Aurora IL until leaving for basic training in 2009.
Then SSG reported to Alpha Battery 2/122 Field Artillery where he served as
a Driver, Ammunition Specialist, Gunner, and Section Chief over the course
of 5 years. He was selected as the NCO of the year twice during that time,
as well as TOP GUN, for having the most effective howitzer crew.

He was then selected to be a recruiter for Delta Company RRB of Aurora, IL
in 2014. Last year he was selected as Illinois Recruiter of the Year and
placed second in the Regional Competition. 8 total years of service, and
counting.

SGT MATTHEW OLIVA

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My name is SGT Matthew Oliva, I have been serving my country proudly for the last 10 years.  I have 7 years wiht the Air Force and 3 years with the National Guard.  

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