Over the next 4 months, my dad will travel more than 30,000 miles to host and honor military heroes at all 32 NFL stadiums in one season.  In fact, he has 44 games on the schedule & will do just about anything to put a smile on a warriors face.

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

MEET THE WARRIORS

MARINE CPL GAME MARTINEZ 

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Corporal Gabriel Martinez and his wife, Kayla, were married only three months before Gabe was deployed to Afghanistan with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB) in October 2010. Just one month later, on Thanksgiving Day, Gabe called Kayla with the devastating news that he had been injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast and medevaced out with one of his best friends. Both men lost their legs.Gabe and Kayla Martinez

The Semper Fi Fund supported Gabe’s family while they were with Gabe in the hospital in Bethesda, MD so that they could remain by his side when he needed them most without added financial pressure. The Semper Fi Fund
also helped Gabe and Kayla move their belongings to their new home in California and provided additional assistance to Gabe’s family, allowing them to visit him when he left the hospital without having to worry about financial repercussions. Gabe was even able to purchase specialized athletic equipment and an adaptive truck, thanks to the assistance of the Semper Fi Fund.

Despite the loss of his legs, Gabe continues to be an extremely positive young man, always in a good mood and wearing a smile! In no time at all, Gabe learned to walk again on his new legs and has since been very busy rock climbing, skiing, biking and handcycling. He is also an active member of Team Semper Fi.Gabriel Martinez on hand cycle

However, Gabe does still face certain difficulties of walking on prosthetic legs. For example, he sometimes has trouble bending down to pick things up. In 2011, to help him in his daily life, Gabe received a service dog that he named Wonka. Wonka can pick things up for Gabe and open doors when Gabe is in his wheelchair. Wonka can even fetch a drink from the refrigerator! In early 2012, Wonka became ill due to something that he had ingested. The Semper Fi Fund’s Tim and Sandy Day Canine Companion Program took care of veterinary expenses, as well as necessities for Wonka, such as dog food. Wonka quickly returned to health and went back to assisting Gabe, who says he “feels blessed” to have a friend like Wonka in his life.

While heroically standing by Gabe’s side and helping him during recovery, Kayla also managed to accomplish milestones of her own. In May 2011, Kayla received her bachelor’s degree. She is also very active at the hospital helping other young wives of injured service members deal with the new challenges they face. She wants to make sure they know they’re not alone.

On October 30, 2012, Gabe and Kayla celebrated the birth of their first child – their beautiful daughter, Madelynn Grace Martinez.

Gabe is an inspiration to us all. He says his favorite quote is, “Tough times don’t last, but tough Marines do.” In the case of this Marine, that is surely a fact.

Source: https://semperfifund.org/hero-stories/hero-story-corporal-gabriel-martinez-usmc/

MARINE CPL JERRY BROESCH

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Cpl. Broesch enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was 17. As soon as he turned 18 and graduated from High School he went to boot camp. He spent 4 years on active duty as an 351, Antitank Assault Man, in places like Okinawa and almost 2 years in Rota, Spain. Once his enlistment was up he returned to Idaho, to be recalled for Desert Storm, for a very brief time. He came back to Idaho, went to the University of Idaho and earned his B.S. in Environmental Science while caring for a wife and young daughter. He worked as an Environmental Specialist with the County and served on the State Hazmat Team. In 2002 he joined the Idaho National Guard because he still had a strong desire to serve his country. In 2004 he deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq with the HHC 116th Engr. Bn. as a 74D. While going out on a mission on Oct 26, 2005 he was in HMMVEE accident during which he suffered among other things a broken neck and back. After he returned home and got back on the mend he decided to volunteer to go to Iraq with another unit out of California that needed some help. So in 2007 he left again for Iraq this time as a 11B January 23, 2008 he was on a mission and blew out his knee and re-injured his neck and back. This was the final straw for his body. He underwent back surgery, neck surgery, wrist surgery, knee surgery, he suffered a TBI and bi-lateral hearing loss. He has spent the last 8 years in physical therapy. He was medically retired in April 2014 with almost 19 years of service spanning 4 decades.

In 2011 Jerry and his family were honored when they were chosen as the Army Family of the Year and the Military Family of the year by the National Military Family Association. This was the first time a National Guard Family has ever been recognized.

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Jerry lives in North Idaho where he was born and raised. He and his wife have been together for 26 years. They have a 13 year old daughter. They have a 21 year old daughter who is married and has their 2 year old grandson. Jerry loves spending time with his family, fishing and camping.

Some of his awards include: Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Over Seas Ribbon w/1 star, Letter of Appreciation (3rd award), Meritorious Mast (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M device, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon, USN Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Don’t forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2016 “All32in17” Mission!

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

Contact Craig for more information about the mission (630) 339-6714