After an unforgettable day in Charlotte making warrior wishes come true for some amazing warriors at the HiSense TV 400, my dad was off to Miami on an early morning flight.
Believe it or not, the flight was actually cheaper than the bus, so my dad had the luxury of flying. He eventually arrived in Miami around noon & immediately got to work, getting ready for a very humbling & special Memorial Day tribute at the Miami Marlins game.
Thanks to the Marlins, we had the opportunity to host 7 Gold Star families & honored their loved ones legacy’s during the game.
The day began with everyone trying to beat the near 100 degree heat. The families met up with my dad in the cool, air conditioned Marlins Team store inside the stadium.
My dad greeted each family as they arrived & thanked them for their loved ones service & sacrifices. He also took individual family pics in front of the Marlins “Memorial Day” logo.
After everyone arrived, the group headed into the “green room” to get ready for their on field presentation. The families all enjoyed hanging out with each other in the “green room” before the game. The Marlins presented each family member with a Special Marlins challenge coin and were escorted on a VIP Tour of the Marlins stadium. They even let them hang out on the field where they met some of the players & got autographs! Kelly, Nick,and the entire Marlins staff did an awesome job creating unforgettable memories. We cannot thank them enough for their partnership!
As game time approached, each of the families lined up on the field behind home plate for a very special ceremony to honor each their loved ones legacies. one at a time, each of the fallen soldiers were recognized.
Army PFC Michael Metcalf
Private 1st class Michael J Metcalf, 22 yrs, raised in Boynton bch Fl, served in US Army, A proud 82nd airborne paratrooper. Mike was on his 1st deployment to Afghanistan after only 1yr in the Army. An IED was designated while on a rescue mission after only 1 month of being there. Mike lived life to the fullest each day. He loved all outdoor sports, and excelled at everyone of them! He grew up playing baseball, loved skim boarding at the beach and a great ice hockey player. He even rode live bulls. He was fearless… and never met anyone that he didn’t make laugh.
Army SGT Ryan Morelock
Ryan was a true hero, excellent soldier, great father and husband, we missed him dearly & everyday. He gone but never forgotten! I wish you were here! ~Lezthair Morelock (Wife)
Navy Christian Montes
Army SPC Chris Nguyen
Chris was raised in Miami Springs, Florida. He joined Job Corps in 2001 after he came back, he took time to think about what he wanted to do with and life and decided to join the army in 2004 at 22 years old. He wanted to make a difference in life and in the country. His career in the army was a Medic.He was a strong and funny man who could make anyone laugh even if they had a horrible day but he took his army career seriously.He was a mentor to many and he was loved by many. He would given anyone in need the shirt off if his back.
Army Sgt Thomas Bohall
Army Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall made the Ultimate Sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province.
Sgt. Bohall was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell.
His father says, “Thomas never met a man that he considered his enemy. Thomas loved what he was doing. He felt a true calling to serve the way that he served.”
Army CPT David Lyon Lissy
“This was a man who — first and foremost — loved his God,” Rick Pounds said. “He was a Christ follower and he truly held onto his faith. Just as passionately, he loved his country, at least the principles on which the country was founded. Then he loved his family just as intensely.”
“He’s a guy that they wanted to follow. He treated everybody with respect, whether that was the newest airman or the most senior person on the installation. When Dave talked to folks, Dave had a way of making everybody feel like they were special.”
Captain Lissy made the Ultimate Sacrifice on Dec. 27 2013, while serving in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Army PFC Marius Ferrero
Mario did not have any conscience plans to join the military, it was just something inevitable that if you really knew Mario would not have surprised you to hear that he was to join our country’s military. It made perfect sense for him to join our forces and help others. It was his calling. That is why it was not so surprising to have heard that he had just decided to join the Army from one day to the next. That was Mario. If he wanted to do something, he was going to do it….. and no one was going to stop him.
The families were then given a standing ovation! The emotional presentation was a humbling reminder of what Memorial Day is all about. It’s about taking a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedom. All our brave service men & women gave some, but some of them gave it all. Gone, but Never Forgotten!
Before making their way up the their seats to watch the game, the families were allowed to stay on the field for the National Anthem.
Then it was time to PLAY BALL!
Both the Phillies & Marlins squared off wearing their commemorative Memorial Day uniforms. Thankfully the Marlins came out on top & won the game by the score of 4-1. It was the perfect way to end a great day!
Needless to say there were many tears shed throughout the day. But there were also many smiles too. These families are so proud of their loved ones for their selfless service & we are too. It was a true honor to host all 7 families in their loved ones honor at today’s game & we truly hope they all had a great time!
As I mentioned before, we cannot thank Nick, Kelly, Angela & the entire Miami Marlins organization for their incredible support of these families and many others who they have helped us honor over the past few years. The Marlins truly do go above and beyond to make sure each of these families is taken care of, as they honor their loved ones who made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our country.
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!