Immediately following the 6th game of our 2015 Mission in Minnesota, my dad & I hopped in the car & drove to Green Bay to host a hero on a tour of Lambeau field in Green Bay.
It was a race against time as the last tour started at 7pm & we had a 280 mile drive ahead of us. Thanks to our smart GPS we were able to avoid post game traffic in Minnesota & pulled into Green Bay at around 6:45pm in time to meet up with Army SGT Mike Engel, his wife & grandfather (Vietnam veteran) right in front of the new 50 foot Lombardi trophy inside the stadium.
The champions tour kicked off right at 7pm in the Lambeau Field Atrium. The atrium is one of the coolest characteristics of the stadium. It’s a massive indoor venue attached to the stadium & home to a packer themed restaurant, the Packers Hall of Fame & the biggest souvenir shop in the NFL, they have everything you can imagine with a packers logo on it for sale there!
We were excited to tour the world famous Lambeau field. This was Sgt Engel’s first time ever at the stadium. Throughout the tour we got to go up to the suites, take pictures from the roof of the stadium, visit the champions club, pass by the Locker Room & Run out of the Packers tunnel & on to the field! It was very informative & fun!
We all had had a great time, said our goodbyes & took a seat on the steps of the stadium to watch the “Blood Moon” eclipse before finding a place to eat & calling it a night in the “Hyundai Elantra Inn” for our 2nd straight night, lol. My dad got revenge on me and took this rare picture of me sleeping to pay me back for all the ones I take of his sleeping all over random places….
Monday morning we woke up early and met up with our good friends, the Tompa’s, at Crystal Coffee for breakfast. The Tompa’s have been helping us make Warrior Wishes come true since 2013 & for that we are thankful!
Here are some of our favorite memories making warrior wishes come true in Green Bay!
We made our way back to the stadium around 1pm and played catch outside the stadium before tailgating with the Tompa’s & meeting up with the warriors.
We were honored to be hosting Army Sgt Charles Fischbach, Army Sgt Jeff Stoleson, Marine David Kedziora & the gold star parents of Army Sgt Nickolas Mueller at the Packers game. (see their bios below)
Thankfully the rain held off to give us time to tailgate. Before making our way inside the stadium to take advantage of the VIP field passes the packers provided to the Warriors, we gathered everyone at the tailgate & had an emotional presentation to recognize the Warriors & presented the Muellers with a custom piece of framed artwork from Honor America’s Valor in honor of their sons service & ultimate sacrifice. May we never forget those who gave some & especially those who gave all.
We escorted the Warriors inside the stadium & helped them get down on the field. We watched them take full advantage of the passes from the stands. They got pictures with the Cheerleaders, Mason Crosby & thanks to our friends at ESPN, they even got a picture on the Monday night countdown set with Suzy Kolber, Steve Young, Trent Dilfer & Ray Lewis!
It rained on and off throughout the game, but a little rain didn’t stop us from having a great time or the Packers from beating up on the Chiefs as Aaron Rogers threw 5 TD’s and helped his team win 38-28.
It was a great weekend filled with unforgettable memories with some of our nation’s bravest heroes!
We would like to thank The Green Bay Packers for their continued support over the past 3 seasons & for providing VIP field passes to help make these warrior wishes come true! We would also like to thank The Tompa’s & their tailgate crew for their hospitality, New Era Caps for providing Packers Caps for the Warriors, Honor Americas Valor for providing the framed artwork for the Mueller family & most of all we would like to thank the Warriors & their families for their service & sacrifices!
As a Bears fan this is not easy to say, but I’m going to say it anyways, Green Bay is one of the best football towns in the NFL! From the stadium, to the fans, to the players on the field, we truly enjoy hosting heroes at Lambeau & making Warrior Wishes come true in Green Bay! We wish you nothing but the best & continued success. Thanks for the memories! #GoPackGo
We’re headed back to Chicago!
My dad will be back in action Thursday in Pittsburgh for the 8th game of our 2015 mission to honor warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums for our 4th year in a row!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
MEET THE WARRIORS
Army SGT Jeff Stoleson
SGT Stoleson proudly served our country in the Army for 28 years! He doesn’t consider himself a hero. SGT Stoleson says his heroes didn’t make it home.
On sept 26 2005 gun truck C41 was hit by an EFPIED at bridge 6 just north of the border in Iraq . Sgt Andrew Peter Wallace and Micheal Jacob Wendling were Mortally wounded .
“I held Sgt Wallace and tried my best to do everything I could to keep him with us but I was unable to and he passed in my arms. one of his last wishes was to tell his wife how much he loved her. He also told me to look after his other troops and I promised him I would.” said Stoleson.
“I went to Basra hospital to look after Spc Roskoof and Spc Wendling, Roskoof had minor wounds but Wendling was in tough shape. I was called to the operating room & was told he wasn’t going to make it. I stayed until the end, because no solider was going out alone on my watch. They tried to get me to leave but it wasn’t happening I lost Mike at 11:29am alone by myself in my arms again”
SGT Stoleson’s son was born with a heart problem from being exposed to the Burn Pits in Iraq and didn’t know if he would make it. But he did & believes that the men he lost were the angels watching over him.
“My Heroes are those guys I’m just the story teller of their bravery and sacrifice.”
It was an honor to host SGT Stoleson at his first ever Packers game to thank him for his 28 years of service and sacrifices.
Army SGT Charles Fischbach
Charles Fischbach was medically released from the Army after 14 years of service as a reservist in which he volunteered to be on active duty for 9 of those years. He went on his first deployment over seas as a SPC and the youngest person in his unit. After what was supposed to be a six month tour to Turkey he ended up spending 18 months in Bahgram, Afghanistan.
Upon his return home he got married and in three years his unit was asked to serve overseas again. A week after his first daughter was born he deployed to Iraq. After spending a year there he returned home and was asked to stay on orders to train fellow service members in what he learned overseas. During his second tour in Iraq, Charles started struggling with PTSD, he lost a tendon in his wrist, and damaged both of his knees to a point where he had to wear braces to get around. Even with these issues the Army allowed him to stay on orders and lead fellow soldiers being sent to help train fellow service members in places like Texas, Kentucky and Alabama including other places. Charles is now 100% disabled by the VA and according to the state. He has a service dog to help calm him when his PTSD flares up.
SGT Fischbach was nominated by his wife. She told us how he spends his sundays watching football and never misses a Packer game. It was an honor to host him & show him our appreciation for his service & sacrifices!
Army SGT Nickolas Mueller
Sgt Nickolas Mueller, 160th, Special Operations, (Airborne) Night Stalkers, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, GA.
Nick was a mission qualified MH-47G Crew Chief on a Chinook Helicopter flying over 412 combat flight hours. Nick was the assistant training NCO. “For he loved to fight, fought to win, and would rather die than quit” NSDQ
On October 26th, 2009,Nick did pay the ultimate sacrifice in a helicopter crash due to hostile fire while on active duty in the Badghis Province of Northwestern Afghanistan.
Nick’s goal in the army was to be a pilot. As a young child in grade school, Nick talked about being a pilot in the army. Nick was living towards that dream. He loved the military. He was supporting our country and loving it. Nick was making a difference. He was strong, intelligent, and achieved everything he went after. He always carried a big smile and cared for people.
SGT Mueller was loved by many and liked by all. He had many friends, wrestled, played basketball and football, participated in track, played the Bari Sax in pep and jazz band, and was in choir and drama. Nick was elected 2001 homecoming king.
Nick was starting a new life with the love of his life. He takes with him her HEART. Other loves were his motorcycle and a day at the Hilton Head Beach with his “Sweets”. Nick made life worth living and he loved life to the fullest.
We would like to thank Honor America’s Valor & the Tompa tailgate for helping us honor Nick’s Legacy. It was an honor to have his parents with us & keep his legacy alive!
Army SGT Mike Engel
SGT Engel served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has PTSD & is 100% disabled by the VA. Mike was nominated by his wife. She told us how he has always talked about attending a game but was not sure how he would handle it with the big crowd. So we invited SGT Engel to be our guest on the Lambeau field tour so he wouldn’t have to worry that much about the big crowds.
We were honored to meet him and show him our appreciation for his service & Sacrifices.
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