The Miami Marlins Keep Legacies Alive & Honor Gold Star Families!

April 13, 2017

After an amazing night at the Miami Heat game thanks to Wayne Ellington, my dad was up early to catch the sunrise over the Biscayne Bay.  

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Today he was on a mission to honor Gold Star Families at the Marlins game.


Every time we have the opportunity to host a Gold Star Family, it’s a humbling experience & an honor.  Knowing that their loved ones made the Ultimate Sacrifice, gives us a deep appreciation for all the Braves men & women who protect our country.  We do our best to show our appreciation to the families by providing the experience in their loved ones honor.  It’s important that we never forget the sacrifices made & keep their legacies alive!  

 Two years ago, the Marlins helped us share the legacies of a few fallen heroes.  They hosted surviving family members & shared an emotional moment of silence to reflect on their sacrifices.  


Tonight, they went above and beyond again to help us accomplish our mission by honoring the legacies of Army SFC Larry Vaquero, Army PFC Marius Ferrero & Air force MSGT Martin Gonzales.  They again hosted surviving family members in their honor.  

IMG_2340 IMG_2339 Air Force Master Sgt Martin Laureano Gonzales, who was affiliated with the Air National Guard, was among four people killed in Saturday's apparently accidental crash of a drug-hunting plane in Colombia, the U.S. Southern Command said Wednesday. (Photo courtesy U.S. Southern Command via Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

Before meeting up with the Gold Star families, my dad had the morning to catch up on some work & spent time exploring Miami. He also took some time to relax by the beach.


My dad met up with the families of Master SGT Gonzales, PFC Ferrero & SFC Vaquero in front of the stadium, before the game. Thankfully everyone made it on time & we were able to get a nice group photo of everyone before heading inside.  


Nick and Kelly, from the Marlins, greeted everyone inside the stadium & explained their plans to honor each families loved one.  The families were then escorted onto the field behind home plate to watch some of the pregame warm ups.  The kids were fascinated by the aquarium that is built into the wall behind home plate.  It’s one of the most unique features of the stadium.  


Just before the First Pitch, the Marlins  honored the legacies of Master SGT Gonzales, PFC Ferrero & SFC Vaquero in an emotional presentation.  They shared their stories while featuring pictures of them & each family on the Jumbotron.  The fans cheered & gave the families a standing ovation to show their support before the Marlins asked for a moment of silence to reflect on the sacrifices these warriors have made for us.  

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My dad said it was a humble honor to work with the Marlins & host these Gold Star families to celebrate their loved ones lives.  After the ceremony, my dad escorted the families to their seats to watch the Braves & Marlins take the field.  

2 home runs by Giancarlo Stanton gave everyone something to cheer about as the Marlins took a 4-3 lead into the 8th inning.   Unfortunately Braves center fielder, Ender Inciarte answered with his 2nd dinger of the night to tie the game in the top of the 8th inning. The Braves took a 5-4 lead on 2 out single in the 9th & held on for the win.  

Despite the loss, it was a special night for each of the families.  A night that they will never forget.  Everyone had a great time & we know there were definitely 3 very proud and special heroes smiling down from heaven today as they watched their families honor them.  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to send a special thank you to Angela, Nick and the MIami Marlins for going above & beyond to honor the legacies of these brace warriors.  We couldn’t have done it without you guys & look forward to coming back for Memorial Day weekend!  

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We also want to thank our friends at New Era for providing Marlins caps to the families!  


Most importantly, we want to thank Army SFC Larry Vaquero, Army PFC Marius Ferrero & Air force MSGT Martin Gonzales for their service & dedication to our country.  We also want to show our appreciation to their families for giving us the opportunity to share their legacies.  These brave men will NEVER be forgotten!  

My dad gets the day off tomorrow & will “follow the Braves home,” except he’s taking two $1 megabusses, to Atlanta to make Warrior Wishes come true at the FIRST EVER game at their new stadium, Suntrust Park.  Check back soon for more details!




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In Lorraine’s words ” (Larry was) The typical “big” brother. (He) watched and took care of all us. He was the oldest of all of us. I am number 6 of 7 and I remember that he was always in the army. I used to think he was born into the army. He was always on your or just on the move. Larry was a Persian gulf vet. He was married and had 2 beautiful kids! He had a love for retiring old Volkswagens. We really miss him dearly.