This year, my dad travelled more than 35,000 miles for less than $2000 to make warrior wishes come true at all 32 NFL stadiums for the 5th year in a row.
This year’s mission only took 82 days to complete, which is a new world record!
Although the mission to honor warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in one season is complete, doesn’t mean we are done making wishes come true this season. We will continue to host Warriors throughout the rest of the regular season, playoffs & all the way to Superbowl LI in Houston in February!
My dad took a break from making wishes come true at NFL games this week to host a big group of warriors at the Army Navy game in Baltimore thanks to our friends at Sanofi, Med Assets & the “Posse.”
This is the 2nd straight year we have had the opportunity to make warrior wishes come true at the Army Navy game. Last year we hosted 25 warriors at the game in Philadelphia.
Warrior Wishes Director Chris Clay & John Eppard initiated this annual tradition for the organization. This year we were honored to host 50 warriors in Baltimore thanks to the amazing generosity of Sanofi, Med Assets, The “Posse” & others.
My dad flew out to Baltimore on Friday Morning & Five of our 9 Board Members also volunteered both their time, and their own money to fly out to help coordinate our big event.
My dad met up with Director Manny Gonzalez at the airport before meeting up with the other board members for dinner at the Ale House to go over the game plan.
Although we had almost everything in prepared for the game weeks in advance, my dad spent all day Friday tying up the loose ends.
Hollywood Casino offered to provide parking and shuttle service for all the Warriors.
Our friends Brian, Chip and Rick from the Baltimore Ravens “Posse” went above and beyond, as they always do, and offered to provide food and drinks for all 50 of our VIP guests and their families at their amazing tailgate!
My dad and the Board members met up at the Casino early Saturday morning to do a quick “Walk through” before the Warriors began to arrive.
Bill and Don greeted the warriors at the casino & directed them to the shuttle. Mark and Chris welcomed the Warriors to the tailgate as they exited the shuttle bus at the tailgate. They also distributed custom made Army Navy Warrior Wishes shirts & thanked each warrior for their service and sacrifices.
As the Warriors were arriving at the tailgate, Manny and My dad were speaking at a Company Breakfast at the Marriott. It was a great opportunity to share our mission and thank everyone at Sanofi & Med Assets for helping us make Warrior wishes come true at the Army Navy game for the 2nd straight year.
For those of you who don’t know, the Army Navy game is unlike any other college football rivalry. The Army West Point Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen have faced off against each other 116 times since their rivalry began in 1890. Navy leads the series 60-49-7 & has beat Army in their last 14 matchups.
We were honored to host a very diverse group of Warriors at the game. We hosted Army, Navy, Marines, & Air Force. Some Warriors were still active duty, some retired veterans, wounded warriors, Gold Star families & Boston Bombing survivors were all in attendance. It was an amazing group of men and women!
As I mentioned before, the “Posse” went above and beyond again to create an unforgettable experience before the game at their tailgate. All of the Warriors enjoyed getting to know each other over great food & drinks! We cannot thank Brian, Chip & Rick enough for their generosity!
After tailgating for a few hours, group by group, everyone headed into the stadium to watch the “March On.”
The March On is an annual tradition the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen each march onto the field hours before the game. It is a visually stunning occurrence with lines of gray suited Cadets or blue-coated Midshipmen filling the football field. It’s an amazing display!
Once inside the stadium, everyone made their way to their incredible seats located midfield on the lower level. They were the best seats in the house!
My dad, as he always does, went back and forth from group to group throughout the game to making sure he was able to get some good quality time with each and every one of our guests. He also took photos of each family or each group, with the field in the background, to send to all of those who attended as a keepsake.
Navy was hoping to extend their winning streak to 15 games, however Army wasn’t going to go down without a fight. They came out “guns blazing” (pun intended) and went up 14-0. However, Navy fought back to take the lead 17-14 into the fourth quarter and it looked like Navy was going to extend their streak.
But with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Army put together a great touchdown drive to take a 21-17 and held off navy to end their drought!
My dad said the next 15 minutes was one of the coolest experiences he has ever been a part of while making wishes come true. The entire student body of Cadets, and many other Army fans, jumped over the wall and rushed the field to celebrate the historic win!
Before everyone left, the directors made sure to thank all the Warriors one last time for their service & invited them to come back to the tailgate after the game while traffic died down.
Everyone had an amazing time at this year’s Army Navy experience! We could not have made it all possible without Rand Ballard, Med Assets, Chris Clay, John Eppard, Sanofi, Hollywood Casino & “The Posse.” In addition, we want to thank everyone who made financial donations. We couldn’t have made this unforgettable experience possible without all of you! it is a total team effort in providing these experiences to our nations military warriors!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
MOST IMPORTANTLY Thank you to all of the Warriors for your service & sacrifices to our country! It has not gone unnoticed, it’s appreciated & it will never be forgotten!
My dad will be on an overnight bus tonight headed to New York to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Giants game tomorrow. Stay tuned for more details!