After making Warrior Wishes come true in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, my dad flew home to Chicago for just a few hours before heading back to the airport and takinging off to Denver to make Warrior Wishes come true in the Mile High City!
Over the past 3 years we have made some amazing memories making Warrior Wishes come true at Broncos games.
Today we were honored to host Marine SSGT Randy Hulse, Army SGT Franz Walkup & Army SGT Jason Watkins at the 10th game of our 2015 “All32in17” mission to honor military warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season for our 4th straight year! (Read the warrior’s Bios below)
My dad got a good night sleep at the Denver airport while the Warriors got a great night sleep thanks to our friends at the Westin Downtown Denver. The luxurious Westin Was Located just one mile from Sports Authority Field at Mile High, & in the heart of the action on the famous 16th Street Mall in the core of downtown.
The guys met up before the game for a delicious lunch thanks to Elway’s restaurant. Located in the heart the Mile High City, Elway’s Downtown was the perfect place to have lunch before a Broncos game. There was John Elway’s memorabilia throughout the restaurant & plenty of tv’s to watch the early games. Their menu boasts USDA Prime, hand-cut steaks, Colorado Lamb, raw bar selections with fin fish, crustaceans and much more.
After lunch the Warriors got a big surprise from the Denver fire department & were escorted to the game on a fire truck!
This was each of the Warriors first Broncos game ever! Unfortunately tickets for the Broncos game were extremely expensive, so the seats were not the best, but there really isn’t a bad seat in the stadium. Plus When you sit in the upper deck of Mile High stadium you can literally feel the ground shake beneath your feet. It’s an awesome experience!
The Broncos were able to hold off the surging Vikings and won the game by the score of 23-20.
We would like to thank Westin Denver Downtown for providing accommodations, Elway’s for providing a delicious meal before the game, the Denver fire department for providing transportation to & from the game & New Era for providing Broncos caps to all the warriors. Most importantly we want to thank these brave warriors for their service & sacrifices!
My dad is headed back to the airport to sleep for his 2nd straight night and will be catching an early morning flight to Seattle to make warrior wishes come true at the Monday Night Seahawks game for the 11th game of our 2015 Mission to honor warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season for our 4th year in a row.
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
MEET THE WARRIORS
Marine SSGT Randy Hulse
Randy was nominated to us by friends of his from Indianapolis. So when my dad was in Indy making warrior wishes come true 2 weeks ago, he surprised Randy with the opportunity to see his first ever Broncos game! Randy was almost in tears when he learned he was nominated for the game & his warrior Wish was going to come true!
Randy’s story begins when he graduated high school in 1983. He turned down a football scholarship to Nebraska in order to join the military and serve his country. It was his dream to be a Marine. Randy served 14 years in the Marine Corp before leaving the service to focus on his family. After the attacks of 9-11, Randy was pulled between a six figure manager position and re-enlisting. He gave up the manager position and joined the Army to live his dream of becoming a combat medic. At the age of 42, he accomplished that goal and planned to make the military his career. Unfortunately, a severe injury made him hang up his boots for good.
18 years of military service, and 7 deployments later, Randy still wanted to help people. While being processed out of the Army in Knoxville he became an EMT and drove an ambulance for several years. Then he moved to Colorado (a huge Broncos fan) and worked as a civilian driving the ambulance for an Army hospital.
Army SGT Franz Walkup
Franz Walkup’s brother, Army 1st LT Frank B Walkup IV, made the ultimate sacrifice in June of 2007 while serving in Iraq. After his older brother passed, Franz was inspired to join the military.
On September 29th, While deployed in Afghanistan, Franz was shot 5 times by Afghan National Army soldiers that turned on US forces.
Sgt Walkup spent time recovering at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, MD. He has endured over 7o surgeries and had to have one of his legs ampitated. Franz works hard every day to heal and won’t stop until he is able to walk again.
Sgt Walkup wants to to lead, inspire and train other soldiers. He has never given up and continues to strive for the future with his wife and two dogs. After being turned down by many home-building organizations and being told he’s not wounded enough, Franz was finally approved by the VA for an adaptive grant of nearly $70,000 to help build the adaptive home so his wheelchair can easily move around.
Walkup also raised money through fundraisers and other organizations that assist wounded warriors. nearly two dozen non-profits and businesses are making his adaptive home become a reality. The Gary Sinise Foundation, through its Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment program, has taken the lead. Franz was recenly on Ellen sharing his inspiring story and road to recovery. He is an inspiration. His never give up attitude is contagious and we were honored to host him at his first ever Denver Broncos game!
Army Medevac Pilot Jason Watkins
Jason has proudly served our country in the Army for the past 12 years. He has Deployed 3 times, twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan. In 2004 Watkins Graduated from Air Assault school & continued his education attending flight school in 2010. Jason is currently stationed at Fort Riley and now Fort Carson as a Blackhawk pilot.
2 years ago, Operation Warrior Wishes mailed care packages to warriors serving in Afghanistan. Jason was one of those warriors. In the care package was an invitation to join us to a game & Jason took us up on our offer before he heads out on his next deployment.
It was an honor to host Jason, Franz & Randy and show them that their service and sacrifices are appreciated and have not gone unnoticed!
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