Game 14 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Pittsburgh!
After another amazing day of making Warrior Wishes come true in Buffalo…
I “named my own price” and got my dad a hotel so he could get a good night sleep before catching his early morning greyhound to Pittsburgh.
We have made some unforgettable memories in Pittsburgh making Wishes come true since 2012. My favorite memories include Army SSG Micheal Kacer pumping up the Steelers in the tunnel before our first game ever at Heinz field, hanging out on the sidelines with Brandon and Mike as ESPN shared our story on Monday night football & receiving a flag flown on a mission from “Furdiddy” on the field at PNC Park!
From the Steelers to the Pirates to the Penguins, Pittsburgh is a sports town and we have enjoyed making Wishes come true in the steel city!
My dad arrived in Pittsburgh just after noon and made his way over to the stadium to check things out. Today we had the honor of hosting Marines Frederick Allen Conner and Stephen Ferguson along with Army veterans Jim Yauger and Jessica Reid at the Steelers game.
Marine MSgt Frederick Allen Conner joined the Marine Corps right after graduating high school. He proudly served our country for more than 20 years with multiple (7) combat deployments! MSgt Conner has been a Steelers fan since he was a kid and has not been to a game since 2002. He was nominated for this experience by his wife and we are honored to make his wish come true!
Stephen Ferguson also joined the marine corps straight out of high school. He proudly served nine years on multiple tours of duty. He was in Iraq for the invasion in 2003, went for a second tour, in 2004, where he was injured and received his Purple Heart. Stephen fought back from his injuries and returned to Iraq for his third tour in 2006. He has battled many of the same demons that most veterans have, ptsd, tbi, and physical limitations from injuries received. He works hard, every day, to control those demons, and has over come so much to continue to provide for his family. He was nominated by his wife who wanted to “spoil him for a day” and show him how much he is appreciated for all he has done and continues to do! In her words “We are so grateful to have him in our lives, and love him so very much.”
Jim Yauger is an Army Veteran who served from 2002- 2005 as an Infantryman. He deployed to Iraq in 2014 with the 1st Cavalry Division. Jim has 2 daughters and is engaged to be married to his fiancé Jessica Reid, who also served in the Army and was joining us on this experience.
My dad met up with the warriors at Steel Cactus for dinner before the game. Steel Cactus is a modern twist on Mexican cuisine, featuring street-style tacos, monster- sized burritos, and their signature drink: the Yinzerita! They have 7 locations in and around the Pittsburgh area. They have been helping make Warrior Wishes come true for the past few years, so make sure to stop by the next time you’re in town!
After dinner, the group posed for a nice picture in front of PNC park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, before walking a few blocks over to Heinz field for the Monday night Steelers matchup against the Bengals.
They also snapped a few pics in front of Heinz Field…
And met Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Randy Moss before the game!
We were able to secure 2nd row seats right next to the tunnel for the warriors to enjoy!
The group had plenty to cheer about as the Pittsburgh Steelers played great all night long on both sides of the ball. The Offense put up points and the Defense completely shut down Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense. The Steelers went on to win the game by the score of 27-3!
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Frederick, Stephen, Jim & Jessica For your service and sacrifices! You are all appreciated and will never be forgotten!
My dad will be spending the night at the airport before heading home for a couple days. He will be back in action on Thursday making Warrior Wishes come true in Seattle! Stay tuned for more details…