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2015 NFL Hall of Fame Game

Making Warrior Wishes Come True At The NFL Hall Of Fame Game

 My Dad & I  officially kicked off our 2015 “All32in17” mission by making Warrior Wishes come true at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton.

This year, while the NFL was busy honoring some of the best to ever play the game, My Dad & I were busy honoring Army Sgt Matthew Killian & Army SFC Adam McCamant for thier selfless service & sacrifices (Read Their Bio’s below).

 After a 7 hour overnight drive and sleeping in the car we met up with the warriors outside of the Hall of Fame just before 9am.  We decided to meet up early to avoid waiting in extremely long lines to see the Halls’ main attractions.

Both Sgt Killian & SFC McCamant are die hard Steelers fans & were excited for the opportunity to be our guests for the day and even more excited to have the opportunity to watch their Steelers play against the Vikings to kickoff the 2015 preseason.

Once inside the Hall, We immediately made our way up to see the new busts added to the “Hall of Fame Gallery.”  We spent hours walking around taking in all the history, from the game used memorbilia, to every Superbowl Championship ring.  We saw it all.  We even had the opportunity to take a picture with the Lombardi Trophy!!!

 Just before noon we made our way over to the PFUFA (Professional Football Ultimate Fan Association) Breakfast.  Over the past 3 seasons we have made quite a few friends in the PFUFA organization & wanted to stop by and say hello.  Plus we hoped to tailgate with many of them this upcoming season so we networked amongst the ultimate fans and let them all know when we planned on making Warrior Wishes come true in their city.  Matt & Adam also got in the action and took some pictures with a few Ultimate fans before heading out for some lunch.

 We grabbed a bite to eat, played some connect four, attempted to chase down some Hall of Famers & had the honor of meeting Medal of Honor Recipients (Army Master SGT Leroy Petry & Navy Corpsman 2nd Class Donald Ballard) before we took a little break and went back to our cars to get out of the heat and charge up our phones for the game.

The four of us made our way over to the stadium early to get a good spot on the fence so we could try and meet some players and get some autographs.  It paid off as we had the opportunity to meet a few Steelers players including Superstar Antonio Brown!

 Eventually security made everyone go up to their seats just before game time.  It had already been a day filled with memories and the game hadn’t even started!

We had seats 24 rows up on the aisle directly behind the Goal Post.  We watched the Golden Knights parachute down to the field and deliver the game ball & enjoyed the flyover during the National Anthem.  It was officially game time!

 Unfortunately for the Warriors, none of the starters played in the game, QB Ben Roethlisberger did not even suit up, & the Steelers lost the game.  On the brightside, it was only a meaningless preseason game & more importantly the warriors had a lot of fun throughout the entire day.

Sgt Killian told us it was “One of the best experiences of his life.”

Comments like those keep my dad and I going.  Spending 14 hours in a day driving and sleeping in cars is not always fun & trust me when I tell you my dad does not enjoy riding the bus.  But when we see the warriors with smiles on their faces, having fun & hear comments like those, it makes it all worth it.  That’s why we do it!

 We thanked the Matt & Adam one last time before the 3rd quarter ended and headed out a little early to beat the traffic and drive back to Chicago to get to work on time.  It was a memorable day that none of us will ever forget.

Over the next few weeks, my dad & I will be preparing for the upcoming season.  We encourage you to come out and join us at our 2nd annual Warrior Wishes Scramble at Pheasant Run resort in St Charles IL on August 24th & Join us for our charity concert on August 29th featuring Olivia Dvorak & Drake Bell (From Nickelodeon’s hit series “Drake & Josh”) We would like to thank our Friend Minor from veteran owned Excel Automotive for his hard work in organizing the event.

 PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

We are exactly 1 month away from officially kicking off our 2015 “All32in17” mission in San Francisco for our fourth consecutive season of making Warrior Wishes Come True at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season.  Learn more about the mission, nominate your hero & follow the mission at www.warriorwishes.org.  Thank You for your Support!

ARMY SGT MATTHEW KILLIAN

 Sgt Matthew D. Killian joined the military 5 days after his 20th birthday. He attended One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Ft. Knox, KY where he trained to become a Cavalry Scout. Over his 12 year career, SGT Killian deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On his first deployment to Afghanistan, spanning from July 2009 until July 2010, Matt spent time as a Stryker gunner and a dismounted team leader.  On the 23rdof June, 2010 Matt’s Stryker vehicle rolled over an IED which sent shrapnel into his head. Sgt Killian was awarded the Purple Heart the next day.  Despite the injuries,

Sgt Killian was medically retired on November 27th, 2014 and now lives in Erie, PA with his wife Emily, and their children Robbie, Madelyn, and Charlotte. He struggles daily with the drastic changes to being out and as of last week just got hired for his first job since becoming a civilian. He is an avid hunter and loves to watch all sports especially the professional teams in Pittsburgh. One day he hopes to start a charity that benefits  veterans of any era.

ARMY SFC ADAM McCAMANT

 Adam R. McCamant was born May 29th, 1985 in the city of New Philadelphia, Ohio. He graduated from Buckeye Career Center in 2004. He joined the United States Army in 2004.

Adam R. McCamant enlisted in the Army in April 2004 as in Forward Observer.  His military training was received at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  His assignments consist of a 3 years in Ft Lewis Washington with C- Company, 3-21st Infantry Battalion 25th Infantry Division SBCT, with a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  He was then assigned a 1 year tour to 2-14 Cav 2nd Infantry division at Camp Hovey Korea. Reenlisted for Ft Lewis Washington and assigned to 1-14 Cav Regiment 2nd infantry division, with a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then was selected to be A US Army Recruiter at Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion working in Des Moines, Iowa. Then assigned to Cleveland Battalion as a Center Leader at Canton Recruiting Company.  SFC McCamant Adam R converted to primary MOS 79R in OCT 2012.

SFC McCamant’s military training consists of the Army’s One Station Unit Training for Forward observer at Ft Sill, Oklahoma, Warrior Leader Course, Joint Fires Observer Course, Combat life savers Course Army Recruiter Course, and Forward Observer Advanced Leader Course, 79R Senior Leader Course, Center Commander Course.

SFC McCamants awards and decorations include four Army Commendation Medals, Two Army Achievement Medal, ThreeArmy Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Ribbon with one star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Three Overseas Service Ribbons, two Certificates of Achievement, the Recruiter Badge Silver, the Combat Action Badge, and the Driver/Mechanic Badge.

SFC McCamant lives with his wife, Sarah, and his Daughter, Lily, age 11 Month.

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ESPYS 2015

Each year elite Athletes from across the country & Hollywood superstars collide for an epic night known as “The Espys.”  ESPY is short for “Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly.”  The awards are given out each year to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the year.

Each of the Espy nominees share similar characteristics. They are leaders & team players, they stay disciplined, act courageously, believe in themselves, persevere through adversity and most of all, they never ever give up.

These characteristics can also be used to describe Navy Corpsman, Doc Jacobs & Army Master SGT Cedric King.  These 2 brave warriors have shown strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril, and the willingness to stand up and fight no matter what the cost.

Thanks to Chris Berman and all of our friends at ESPN, Jacobs & King have the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the most inspiring athletes in the world & will get to enjoy a “Red Carpet” experience of a lifetime!

We chose Doc & Cedric to be guests because they have inspired us with their stories & here they are….

Navy Corpsman Daniel “Doc” Jacobs

 Growing up Daniel “Doc” Jacobs dreamed of joining the military to fight for freedom like his ancestors had and of playing Baseball in the big leagues.  Jacobs turned his dream of joining the military into a reality after high school.  He proudly followed in his families footsteps & served for more than 8 years in the Navy.

In 2006, while serving in Iraq, his dream of becoming a professional baseball player all but ended when “Doc” was severely injured After an  improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated.  Jacobs lost his left leg (below the knee), two toes from his right foot, and three partial fingers from his left hand & has endured more than 50 surgeries!

 That’s not the end of Doc’s story.  As I said before, Doc never gives up.  In the face of adversity he stood up & fought.  He believed in himself & despite his injuries,he made history by becoming the first amputee Corpsman and Naval Personnel to EVER be assigned to an infantry unit.

Doc also never let go of his dream of playing in the majors Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda met Doc before a dodgers game and encouraged him to try out for the LA Dodgers!  So he did.

 Jacobs is realistic about making the team.  He knows it will not be easy to make the cut, But that’s not going to stop him.  Doc is making a statement. He says “It’s all about the experience, and letting America and these guys know that not all disabled veterans are going to be a statistic in the news, I’m here to combat the suicide rate, homicide rate, divorce rate statistics. I just want to get out there and prove to America there are awesome disabled veterans out there and we are making a stand against that.”  he is not giving up his hopes for making it to be a Professional Athlete. As a potential professional athlete Doc hopes he can utilize such a platform in order to reach out and inspire more veterans and persons with disabilities.

See Doc’s ESPN Video here!

If that’s not inspiring enough, Doc is a full time student with a 3.24 GPA, a full time and dedicated athlete for his pursuit of the Majors, he has completed 15 marathons, he is an author of his soon to be published book, co-host on his talk show, avid bass fisherman, drummer last and certainly not least a very dear position held close to his heart, a peer mentor for his fellow veterans and persons with disabilities alike. He frequents his fellow wounded warriors in Bethesda, Walter Reed, Naval Medical Center, San Diego and Landstuhl Germany to share his story and any encouraging words of experience or wisdom to wounded warriors as they began their early stages of recovery. Doc has recently begun guest speaking at Naval and Marine Corps Commands in hopes of utilizing his constant uphill battles to inspire and bring motivation to those who may follow in his foot steps be it physical, mental or spiritual hardships.

Army Master SGT Cedric King

 On July 25th 2012 Cedric was serving in Afghanistan.  At the time he was a platoon Sargent & As usual, he received the coordinates of where to go, just like every day, setting out 10-15 minutes later and getting fired upon, which was nothing new.  The only thing different on that particular day was that this was a new sector.

Cedric’s team happened to be covering for another platoon.  They were bringing a group of guys to cover when Cedric’s right foot stepped on an IED.

He didn’t know what had happened.  In fact, he thought at first that he had just been blown back by the blast.  The men around him were hurt too, but Cedric received the majority of the injuries, although at the time, he didn’t realize it.

 He said, “I was really upset that I didn’t get a chance to finish getting the guys who were shooting at us,” but he said that wore off soon and started gasping for air.  He looked at his body and quickly realized that it was mangled.  Soon, the helicopter arrived to take Cedric and the other injured men to the closest base, Kandahar.  Cedric said that once at the army base, he had no recollection of anything until he woke up a week later on August 1 at Walter Reed.

Cedric lost both of his legs above the knee in the blast.  He credits his Family and faith for motivating him to always push his limits and never give up. “These two elements helped me when I didn’t want to get up.  Faith helps me believe in a brighter future.  Faith keeps me going—this didn’t happen for nothing.  I believe in a higher power who loves me enough to say, I’m not doing this to hurt you, I’m doing this to help you.’”

 His family, which includes his wife and children, is there for him constantly.  Cedric says, “There are people around me who love me, not because I had legs, not because I was strong, not because I could pick up my kids.  They love me for the part of me that you can’t see.  They love me for what’s on the inside.  That’s the part of you they can’t smell, they can’t see.”

Cedric wants to live life the way that He did before or better, as if nothing  ever happened. “I’ve got every excuse to say ‘Its too much,’ but I won’t. To me, it’s not awe-inspiring like it is to everyone else.  To me, it’s a frame of mind that separates me between now and who I used to be.  The injury is big in other people’s eyes.  To me, it’s not that big of a deal (any more). It’s a shift in consciousness.  The reason why this happened was to make me better…to make me stronger…to expose my best part in me.  By not complaining, it makes it better.”

If that doesn’t inspire you, this will.  MSgt Cedric King lets nothing stand in his way!  On November 2nd, 2014, Cedric set his sights on crossing the finish line at the New York City Marathon.  During the grueling 26 mile trek, one of Cedric’s prosthetic legs broke.  He lost invaluable time as he waited to get it fixed.

 King knelt down and prayed.  He put one foot in front of the other & never looked back.  After all the crowds had gone home & clean up crews were sweeping the streets, Cedric King crossed the finish line 10 hours after starting the race.  

So what if he was one of the last people to cross the finish line?  He did it, he displayed strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril, and the willingness to stand up and fight no matter what the cost.

Master Sgt Cedric King recently retired from the army and moved out of Walter Reed back to North Carolina with his family.  He is a public speaker, a mentor and a true inspiration.

When We called to invite Cedric as our guest, he said “I feel like I just won an Espy.”  We can’t wait to see his reaction to walking down the red carpet.

You will not see or hear about these 2 warriors watching the Espy’s tonight, so we are encouraging everyone to share their courageous & inspiring stories.  On behalf of myself, my dad & Operation Warrior Wishes, it’s a true honor to host these brave warriors on the Red Carpet at the Espys!

And Jimmy V, I know we will Laugh, Think & Cry.  It’s going to be one heck of a day & very special.

 Thanks to Chris Berman & our Friends at ESPN, Marine Cpl. Nick Kimmel was treated to the Espys pre-party & Navy Corpsman “Doc” Jacobs & Army Master SGT Cedric King had an experience of a lifetime walking down the Red Carpet at the 2015 ESPYs

Operation Warrior Wishes can’t thank ESPN enough for giving us the opportunity to make #WarriorWishes come true at the ESPYs for the 3rd straight year.

We would also like to thank Wolfgang Puck’s LA Live restaurant for treating everyone to dinner before we hit the red carpet.  Lastly, we are thankful to all of the athletes & celebrities who stopped by & helped make the experience special including Diane Sawyer, Alex Rodriguez, JJ Watt, Mo’Ne Davis, Odell Beckham Jr, players from the USA Womens Soccer team, players from the Duke National Championship team, players from the Ohio State National Championship team, Antonio Brown, Chris Long and many more.

 You can see all of the photos from the Red Carpet here.  

Operation Warrior Wishes is a Father & Son’s Mission to Honor Heroes & Keep Legacies Alive By Providing Once In A Lifetime Experiences To Warriors From The Battlefields To The Ballfields. In less than 3 years, We have proudly honored more than 1000 warriors at more than 300 events nationwide.  We will be “Kicking Off” our 4th annual “All32in17” mission where we will honor warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season!  You can nominate your hero for an upcoming game, donate or sponsor to help support our mission and get involved at www.warriorwishes.org.

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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Royals

Since Honoring over 200 warriors at more than 50 games in 50 days on our Battlefields To Ballfields Mission, my dad has been home spending time with family and planning our upcoming All32in17 mission.

Today he is took a break from all the planning & took an overnight bus from Chicago to Kansas City to honor Army SGT Keara Torkelson and keep the legacies of ARMY PFC Shane Austin & SPC Matthew Murchison alive at the Royals game.

We would like to thank the Kansas City Royals  for donating tickets for the families of these brave warriors & to Honor Americas Valor for providing custom artwork to the Gold Star moms.

Army SGT Keara Torkelson

SGT Keara Torkelson served in the Army for 7 years.  She was training for an upcoming deployment to Iraq in November of 2009 when she was shot twice at the Fort Hood Shooting.  Keara was medically retired in 2013.  She is a proud mother of 2.

ARMY SPC MATTHEW MURCHISON – KIA 8/4/2007

Spc. Matthew Michael Murchison, 21, son of Mike Murchison and Debbie Murchison-Perri, was born on October 11, 1985 in Hutchinson, Kansas. Mike and Debbie had two children, Melissa and Matthew. The Murchison Family moved from Hutchinson in 1990 and settled in the Stanley Kansas area.  Both children attended schools in the Olathe School District and graduated from Olathe East High School.

On September 11, 2001, both children were in High School when our country was attacked. Matthew’s mom Debbie, is originally from New York and they visited New York often to be with their family. This act of terrorism infuriated Matthew’s soul and he decided at that point, to join the military when he graduated from high school in 2004.  On September 23, 2005, Matthew enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for Basic and his AIT Training.

The following March, Matthew left for his first duty station in Hanau, Germany as a Military Policeman.  Matthew loved Germany and at that point, decided to make his stay in the military, a lifelong career. In November of 2006, he was deployed to Iraq. He was assigned to the 127th MP Company, the 720th MP Battalion and the 89th MP Brigade.

In April of 2007, Matthew came home for R&R and was able to visit his grandmother who was dying of cancer, in Florida. They visited for the last time as his grandmother died 2 months later on June 6th. She was so proud of her grandson and wanted to stay around for when he finally came home. Little did we know, she was clearing a place for Matthew in Heaven.

Matthew made the Ultimate Sacrifice almost 2 months later, on August 4th, just outside of Baghdad, Iraq. He was killed by an EFP in the vehicle he was the gunner in, 2 of Matthews friends were also injured in the attack.

Matthew received the following honors: The Bronze Star, The Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and was promoted to Specialist.

On August 13, 2007, Matthew was laid to rest at the cemetery on base at Fort Leavenworth.

ARMY PFC SHANE R. AUSTIN – KIA 10/8/2006

 PFC Shane R .Austin was born Dec, 31st 1986.  Shane was the middle boy in the family, he learned from his older brother Justin, and passed down what he learned from Justin to his younger brother Kyle.

One of Shane’s dream as a child was to be a rock and roll doctor,  { A doctor that played rock and roll in concerts}  Shane’s biggest dream was to join the Military, He lived his dream. Shane graduated Army boot camp Mother’s day 2006, and a few months later left for Germany in June of 2006, from there he went to Iraq.

While serving our country, patrolling a city (Ramadi) in Iraq on October 8th. 2006  Shane gave the Ultimate Sacrifice when an grenade was thrown into his tank & took his life.

Shane served with  with the 1st Bn 35th Armor Regiment 2nd Brigade Combat team 1st Armor division

PFC Shane Austin is remembered as someone loved life & lived his to the fullest.

Operation Warrior Wishes was honored to have hosted SGT Torkelson & surviving family members of 2 brave heroes in their honor tonight thanks to the Kansas City Royals!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

There is still time to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2015 “All32in17” Mission.  Click here and tell us about your hero and lets make their Warrior Wish come true!

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Cougars

My dad & I were back in action Tuesday night & excited to have had the honor to host the Edgewater Veterans group from Elgin IL at the Kane County Cougars game thanks to Don Gaylord from Edward Jones.  The Edgewater Veterans group was formed by our friend Carl Menconi.  Carl served in the Army from 1951-53.  Here is a short story about some of the amazing things Carl has done to make Warrior Wishes come true and his community!

The greatest sacrifices veterans have made for their country do not just happen on the battlefield. Some sacrifices happen quietly, without much fanfare, without much recognition. They happen in small homes, large homes, kitchens and living rooms. But no matter where they happen, no matter where they start, these sacrifices spark a renewed sense of obligation, a renewed sense of duty, a renewed season of service. From community to community, the sacrifice of time is an extraordinarily important thing, some say as important as the bravery shown during war, and, oftentimes, just as difficult.

In Elgin, these sacrifices are what help make our veterans something special.  Anyone who has ever met Carl Menconi knows just how special he is. Carl and his wife Rose live in Edgewater, on the city’s southwest side. When the Korean War veteran and retired Chicago police detective moved to Elgin, he saw that there was no American flag flying from the entrance of the upscale community he had just moved to.

That changed quickly. Carl helped secure funding for a flag and flagpole. The dedication of that flag included a 21-gun salute by members of Elgin American Legion Post 57. Members of Elgin VFW Post 1307 raised the flag for the first time.

In addition to the flag installation, Carl also helped energize a veterans group out in Edgewater. In 2007, there were only six members in the group. Today there are more than a hundred. Among other things, the group travels to a local veteran’s hospital to deliver donated clothing and visit with patients there.

No act of kindness, no matter how seemingly insignificant at the time, is ever wasted. Carl recently coordinated a fundraiser at a local Sam’s Club. The one-day event raised $1,300 for area  veterans.

Carl also is involved with Warrior Wishes, a not-for-profit group that honors military personnel & Gold Star families at various sporting events across the country. Carl also works with Toys for Tots.If it’s true that happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give, Carl’s smile should be switched on all the time—morning, noon and night. He has given that much.

~http://www.cityofelgin.org/index.aspx?NID=1871

Carl & the group was recognized during the game and Air Force Veteran TOm Lauterback had the opportunity to throw out first pitch.  It was a true honor to host this group of local Vietnam and Korean War veterans.  We would like to thank them all for their service, sacrifices & for all they have done to help us make warrior wishes come true!

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Best of Battlefields To Ballfields

Our mission to honor over 200 warriors across the country at 50 games in 50 days!

To follow our Best of Battlefields to Ballfields journey, check out our Facebook page here

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Warrior Wishes to Provide Lunch for the USA Warriors Hockey team

OperationWarriorWishes is extremely proud to be providing lunch again this year for the USA Warriors Hockey teams.

The USA Warriors mission is to organize and administer an ice hockey program that provides a recreational, therapeutic experience and education for those wounded in defense of the United States.Their program educates, trains, motivates, and encourages the formation of “USA Warrior Hockey Programs” locally and nationally while encouraging individuals who have physical disabilities incurred during service to the United States to participate in the sport of ice hockey in an environment that is adapted to the level of their ability.

The USA Warriors Hockey team is split up into two teams, a stand up team & a sled team.  They are here in Chicago from Washington DC on their annual trip to play Chicago Blackhawks alumni on Mar 27-28.

This is the 2nd straight year that WarriorWishes has provided lunch for the warriors, and anyone that follows our mission knows it is not just about buying lunch.  This is another opportunity to show these warriors our appreciation for their service and sacrifices and hang out with some heroes and friends we have made over the past 2 years .

Some of the USA WARRIORS have already been recipients of one of our VIP WarriorWishes experiences, while all others have open invitations waiting for them to be honored as  our guest at a future event.

We hope all of the guys have a great weekend of hockey and enjoy their lunch – Operation Warrior Wishes would like to send out a big Thank You to Rob and McKenna at Chick Fil A on State St for helping out this year!

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Battlefields To Ballfields Mission Accomplished!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Attending 50 professional sporting events in 50 days seems impossible, not only did my dad make it possible, but he honored over 200 military heroes in the process!

My dad is a 57 year old grandfather who has dedicated himself to honoring the service and sacrifices of the brave men and women who have served our country.  He gets paid absolutely nothing, sacrifices time away from family & often sleeps in the most random public places because he would rather save money on hotels to give back to more warriors.  These soldiers have sacrificed much more to give us our freedom, and my dad has chosen to use his freedom to put smiles on their faces by giving them a day of fun at a ball game.  He wants them & their families to know that their service and sacrifices did not go unnoticed and that they are appreciated.  My dad does everything he can to make each warriors experience special.

Over the past 2 and a half years my Dad and I have been honored to host over 1000 soldiers (Active Duty,Veterans, Wounded Warriors & Gold Star Families) at more than 250 sporting events nationwide.  Over the past 50 days he has been on the road making Warrior Wishes come true on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.

Battlefields to Ballfields was our mission to honor warriors at Baseball, Basketball & Hockey games from the beginning of April Throughout Memorial Day 2015.

Throughout the mission, my dad honored over 200 Warriors & Gold Star families traveling over 11,000 miles, mostly by bus thru Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Buffalo, New York, Boston, DC, Pittsburgh, Philly, Baltimore, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, houston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix, Anaheim, San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland & San Francisco.

Thanks to early planning & the generosity of so many teams, businesses & people, Operation Warrior Wishes spent less than $5000 to honor & host all the warriors and their family members (more than 350 total guests & 8 service dogs) including travel to make it all possible!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

My Dad will be home for the summer before hitting the road this fall to make Warrior Wishes come true at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 seson for our 4th consecutive “All32in17” mission!  you can nominate your hero for an upcoming event here.

Here are some random facts from the Battlefields to Ballfields Mission.

*we honored more than 200 soldiers at a total of 51 games,

      *40 Gold Star Families

      * 8 service dogs

*We saw the home team win 23 times & lose 27 times.

*42 Baseball Games

*5 Basketball Games (Celtics won 3 of them)

*4 Hockey Games (all 3 ended with the home team losing by the score of 2-1)

*We never saw these teams lose- Cardinals, White Sox, Tigers, Reds, Yankees, Rays, Angels, Bulls Celtics, Wild, NY Rangers

*We never saw these teams win- Mariners, Braves, Blue Jays, Twins, Brewers, Cubs, Raptors, Nets, Cavs, Pistons, Penguins & Blackhawks

*We saw the Nationals score a total of 67 runs at 9 games (2nd most was Red Sox with 28 Runs in 5 games, 3rd most Rockies 26 runs in 6 games)

*We saw a total of 350 runs, 962 points & 9 goals scored,

*My dad travelled over 11,000 miles

      *spent over 150 hours on a bus

      *spent 15 nights sleeping on the bus

      *took a total of 4 flights

      *Slept in only 7 hotels in 49 days

      *went a full week without sleeping in a bed

The Itinerary….  (Click on any Team in red to see Warrior Wishes coming true!)

3/31 – Bus to St. Louis ($20) BLUES

4/1 – Bus to Chicago ($20)

4/2 – Train R/T to Chicago ($15) BLACKHAWKS

4/3-  Train R/T to Chicago ($15) BULLS

4/5-  Train R/T to Chicago ($15) CUBS (Opening Day)

4/6- 2 hour bus to Milwaukee ($20) BREWERS (Opening Day)

4/7- Drive to Chicago ($15 gas) BLACKHAWKS 6 hour overnight Bus to Detroit ($1)

4/8- TIGERS (day game) PISTONS (night game) 5 hour overnight bus to Cincinnati ($28.50)

4/9-  REDS (day game) 5 hour overnight bus to Cleveland ($1)

4/10- INDIANS (Opening Day) CAVS (night game) 4 hour overnight bus to Buffalo ($15)

4/11- 7.5 hour overnight bus to NYC ($15)

4/12- YANKEES (hotel $95.95)

4/13- NETS 4 hour overnight bus to Boston ($1)

4/14- RED SOX & CELTICS (donated hotel)

4/15- RED SOX 10 hour overnight bus to DC ($1)

4/16- NATIONALS slept at bus station

4/17- NATIONALS 7 hour overnight bus to Pittsburgh ($10)

4/18- PIRATES slept in rental car parked in the parking garage of the casino

4/19- PIRATES (hotel $84.61)

4/20- PENGUINS 7 hour overnight bus to Philadelphia ($1)

4/21- PHILLIES slept at bus station

4/22- PHILLIES 2 hour bus to DC ($1) slept at bus station

4/23- NATIONALS slept at bus station

4/24- 1 hour bus to Baltimore ($1) ORIOLES Stayed up all night working at hotel not staying at

4/25- ORIOLES (RIOT GAME) 1 hour bus to DC ($1) slept at airport

4/26- Flight to Tampa ($80.10) RAYS 5 hour overnight bus to Miami ($1)

4/27- MARLINS (hotel $72.51)

4/28- MARLINS 6 hour overnight bus to Orlando ($2) (missed connecting bus to ATL due to delay)

4/29- 8.5 hour bus to Atlanta ($2) BRAVES slept at airport

4/30- BRAVES 6.5 hour bus to Memphis ($20) 8 hour bus to Dallas ($20)

5/1- RANGERS (hotel $49.40)

5/2- RANGERS 4.5 hour overnight bus to Houston ($1)

5/3- ASTROS slept at friends house in Houston

5/4- ASTROS flew home to Chicago to surprise family for the day thanks to friends in Houston

5/5- 5 hour bus to St. Louis ($21.50) CARDINALS 4 hour overnight bus to KC ($23.12)

5/6- ROYALS slept at airport

5/7- ROYALS slept at airport

5/8- Flight to Denver ($62.10) ROCKIES donated hotel

5/9- ROCKIES (RAINED/SNOWED OUT) hotel thanks to our friend Joey

5/10- Flight to Phoenix ($38.09) (delayed due to snow storm) D’BACKS slept at warriors house

5/11- D’BACKS 6 hour overnight bus to LA ($18.50)

5/12- Bus to Anaheim ($2) ANGELS Bus to LA ($2) slept at airport

5/13- Bus to Anaheim ($2) ANGELS 4 hour overnight bus to San Diego ($25.50)

5/14- PADRES (RAIN DELAY) slept on park bench outside the bus station

5/15- PADRES stayed up all night working at hotel not staying at

5/16- 4 hour bus to Los Angeles ($25.50) DODGERS 10 hour overnight bus to Oakland ($10)

5/17- ATHELETICS Train to San Fran ($5) slept at airport

5/18- DAY OFF!!! (hotel thanks to our friend joey)

5/19- GIANTS slept at airport

5/20- GIANTS Flight home to Chicago ($88.09)

TOTAL COST FOR TRAVEL & HOTELS – $948.47

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank the following teams

for helping us make our #BattlefieldsToBallfields mission a big success

St. Louis Blues provided tickets in the owners suite

Chicago Blackhawks provided tickets & post game locker room passes

Chicago Bulls provided gift bags

Milwaukee Brewers provided tickets & pregame batting practice field passes

Detroit Tigers provided tickets

Detroit Pistons provided dinner, transportation & a suite for 12 

Cincinnati Reds provided tickets & honored warriors during the game

Cleveland Cavaliers provided a suite a giftbags for 12

New York Yankees provided tickets and a tour of the stadium before the game

Boston Celtics provided tickets 

Boston Red Sox provided tickets

Washington Nationals provided tickets to multiple games

Philadelphia Phillies provided tickets to multiple games

Pittsburgh Penguins provided playoff tickets

Baltimore Orioles provided tickets and pregame batting practice field passes

Tampa Rays provided tickets 

Miami Marlins provided tickets, t-shirts, pregame field passes & honored warriors at 2 games

Atlanta Braves provided tickets and pregame field passes at multiple games

Texas Rangers teamed up with Globe Life to provide a suite, jerseys & scoreboard message

Houston Astros provided tickets and honored warriors at multiple games

St Louis Cardinals provided tickets

Kansas City Royals provided tickets

Colorado Rockies provided tickets and honored warriors on the field

Arizona Diamondbacks provided tickets and pregame field passes 

San Diego Padres provided tickets, Camoflage jerseys & honored warriors at multiple games

Los Angeles Dodgers provided tickets & scoreboard salute

Oakland A’s provided tickets, gift bags and a scoreboard salute

San Francisco Giants provided tickets 

Operation Warrior Wishes would also like to thank these people & businesses

for helping us make these Warrior Wishes Come True

on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!

New Era Caps

Billy Goat Tavern & Grill – Chicago

Whole Foods – Chicago

Honor America’s Valor – Chicago

Hockeytown – Detroit

Westin Book Cadillac – Detroit

Hard Rock Cafe – Cleveland

Hard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium – New York

Whole Foods – Boston

The Constitution Inn – Boston

Gordon Biersch – DC

Atrias – Pittsburgh

McFaddens – Philadelphia

Onesti Entertainment – Chicago

Westin BWI – Baltimore

Dempsey’s – Baltimore

Sliders Bar & Grill – Baltimore

Burg’s Sports bar – Tampa

Hampton Inn – Miami

Whole Foods – Atlanta

Globe Life Insurance – Texas

TGI Friday’s – Texas

Hampton Inn – Houston

Colin & Vanessa Hulme

Joey Ossey

Cardinals Nation – St. Louis

Outback Steakhouse – Kansas City

Stewartsville School

Elways Restaurant

Denver Chop House

Whole Foods – Arizona

Game 7 Grill – Arizona

Bubba Gump Shrimp – Anaheim

Whole Foods San Diego 

Cloudeez – San Diego

Whole Foods – San Francisco

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The San Francisco Giants Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After honoring Army Warrior Brian Bullock at the Giants game on Tuesday night, my dad picked up his luggage that was checked in at the Hyatt hotel & made his way back to Oakland where he spent the night on a grey couch in the airport.  He was completely exhausted, but felt accomplished.  Over the span of the last 50 days, he had successfully traveled over 11,000 miles to honor over 200 Military heroes at 50 professional sporting events across the country & he was finally coming home to be with his family!  However, the mission is not complete.

My dad took an early morning flight from Oakland to Chicago.  Meanwhile in San Francisco the Gold Star family of 2LT Terrence Murphy, was getting ready to enjoy a game at AT&T Park thanks to the San Francisco Giants!

ARMY 2LT TERRENCE MURPHY

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank the San Francisco Giants for helping us honor the Legacy of Army 2LT Terrence Murphy by hosting surviving family members in his honor.  The Giants went above and beyond by providing tickets & pregame field passes.

While the family enjoyed their experience at the game, my dad was happy to be back home and enjoying hanging out with his grandson.

My Dad will be taking a few days off to be with family before he continues our Battlefields to Ballfields mission and honors warriors at White Sox, Cubs and Twins games before we can officially say Mission Accomplished!

Learn more about our mission, nominate your hero for a game, follow our blog, get involved, make a donation & buy Warrior Wishes gear at http://warriorwishes.org/

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Warrior Wishes Come True By The Bay

After my Dad Honored a warrior in Oakland thanks to the A’s, he made his way across the bay and slept ovenight on the big red couches at San Francisco’s Airport (its not the first time he has slept on them… haha)

 Yesterday, for the first time since we began our Battlefields to Ballfields mission on April 2nd my dad had a “Day Off”.  My Dad has now honored over 200 warriors at 47 games in as many days.  My dad spent the day hanging out working at the airport before making his way down to the Wharf.  Thanks to our friend Joey for donating points to get my dad a hotel, he was able to sleep in a bed last night for the first time in a week when he was in Colorado!

Today we had the honor of hosting Army Warrior Brian Bullock at the Giants game.  Brian was nominated to us by Robert Hall, a soldier who served with him in Afghanistan.  Robert said that Brian has always been there for him especially after he was injured.

“He was a great infantryman and I was proud to serve with him” Says Hall

ARMY BRIAN BULLOCK

Brian bullock served in the us army from oct. 2010 – feb 2014 as an infantryman. He was Stationed at ft.stewart Ga. Deployed to Afghanistan in support of operation enduring freedom. Brian love thes outdoors, his family and his country.

It was an honor to host Brian and his girlfriend, who also served in the Army, at tonights Giants game and thank them for their service & sacrifices.

 Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank the San Francisco Giants for providing tickets,Whole foods Market for providing the pregame meal & New Era for providing Giants caps..

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

After spending the last 2 months on the road making Warrior Wishes come true on our Batlefields to Ballfields mission, my dad will finally be coming home tomorrow!  We still have a few games left on our schedule, but I know he is excited to be coming home and cant wait to sleep in his own bed.  I know X-man will be happy to see him too!

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The Oakland A’s Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After honoring the legacy of Army Sgt Dwight Burn last night at the Dodgers game in LA, my dad made his way to bus stop and took a $1 overnight bus ride from LA to Oakland.  After hosting heroes at 46 games in 45 days on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission, my dad was pretty exhausted and slept the entire ride.

Today he is in Oakland hosting Army Sgt Daniel Valentyne & his kids thanks to the Oakland A’s.

ARMY SGT DANIEL VALENTYNE

SGT Valentyne served in the United states Army from April 2006 to June 2014. He deployed with third infantry division out of fort benning GA in March 2007 in support of the surge into Iraq. He was in Baghdad, Iraq for 15 months, & was assigned to a military transition team, where he trained the Iraq army and would also provide quick reforce force for all other units in southern Baghdad.

Operation Warrior wishes was honored to host Sgt Valentyne and his family at the A’s game today.

We would like to thank the Oakland Athletics for providing tickets and helping make this experience special by putting a special message thanking SGT valentyne for his service on the scoreboard.  We would also like to thank New Era for providing A’s caps.

My dad will be taking a day off tomorrow, only because there is no professional sporting events going on in the bay area.  He will be back in action on Tuesday honoring warriors at the San Francisco Giants game.