Meet The Board of Directors

Matt Steichen

Founder & President

Matt is an avid sports fan with a passion to serve those who serve our country. He and his dad, Craig, created the Operation Warrior Wishes Foundation to honor heroes & keep legacies alive by providing once in a lifetime experiences to warriors from the battlefields to the ballfields.

Operation Warrior Wishes was created to show these warriors who selflessly defend our country that their service and sacrifices are appreciated, they haven't gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten.

One of Matt's heroes is his Uncle Ken, who served in the Navy & was part of the inspiration behind Operation Warrior Wishes.

Matt is the president of Operation Warrior Wishes. He wears a lot of different hats, literally, thanks to New Era & figuratively as he is the man behind the scenes planning the logistics for each mission. He also manages the finances, the website & social media for the foundation.

When Matt's not working hard to make Warrior Wishes come true, he can be found working at the Credit Union during the days & with his family at night & on the weekends.

Matt & his wife, Melissa are proud parents to their son, Xander & Daughter Quinn.

Chris Clay

Director

Chris Clay has been an essential part of Operation Warrior Wishes' mission over the past several years. He has helped us coordinate fundraisers, organize volunteers, acquire grants & made Warrior Wishes come true annually at the Army-Navy game.

Chris lives in the Chicagoland area & has been married to his beautiful Wife, Colleen, for over 25 years. They have four children Joey, Jessica, Jennifer and Joshua. Both Jessica and Jennifer are graduates of West Point. Chris' is originally from Springfield, IL and a graduate of St. Louis University with a BS in Finance and a Minor in Political Science. He has worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for over 25 years. Chris has led an amazing team in making Warrior Wishes come true by taking over 400 veterans to attend Academy Game both Army vs. Navy and Army vs. Air Force. In 2024 Chris and his team are planning to add Navy Vs Air Force to make even more Warrior Wishes come true.
We are thankful to have Chris on our team & can't wait to make Warrior Wishes come true with him again this year at the Army - Navy Game!

Craig Steichen

Founder, director

Craig Steichen has spent over 10 years dedicating his life to make Warrior Wishes come true. He & his son, Matt, started the Operation Warrior Wishes Foundation in 2012. Since then, Craig has personally hosted more than 1500 Warriors at over 400 events across the country. When he is not on the road hosting Warriors, he is back home networking & setting up future missions. Not a day goes by where Craig isn't working on making a Warriors wish come true. He is the hardest working person we know & gets paid in nothing but smiles.

Craig doesn't do this for money, fame or recognition, he does it because he wants to make sure that every warrior out there knows that their service & sacrifices are appreciated. He wants to remind them that what they have done for us has not gone unnoticed & it will never be forgotten.

If you think his lifestyle is glamorous because he gets to host Warriors at all these games, think again. Craig would rather take a $1 megabus ride to save money on a flight, he often chooses to sleep at airports, bus stations & park benches to save money on hotels & if tickets to the game are too expensive, he will hang out outside the stadium and wait for the game to get over to make sure the Warriors had a great time. Craig knows the more we save on overhead expenses for the organization, the more Warrior Wishes we get to make come true.

All he wants to see is a smile on the Warriors face & he says "that makes it all worth it." Craig also does a great job building relationships with each of the Warriors he hosts. It's so much more than just a game.

Without Craig's hard work, never give up optimistic attitude & dedication to the organization, we would have never been able to make warrior wishes come true for so many Warriors. We are proud of him & very thankful to have him on our team.

Ralph Soto

Director

Ralph Soto has always had a passion to make people smile. The satisfaction of giving back is priceless to him. Ralph has been helping make Warrior Wishes come true since our mission began in 2012.

Ralph currently lives in Arizona with his wife, Klaudia and his son. His passion to make veterans feel appreciated, respected and valued is something that he plans on passing onto his son. He enjoys running and has been running the Pat Tillman race every year for the last few years in Arizona to show his appreciation for the men who served and sacrificed their lives for our country.

Jim Creighton

Jim Creighton

Director

Jim Creighton is a Marine, and Police Officer for the Village of South Elgin. Jim is also a member of the Bagpipes and Drums Emerald Society of the Chicago Police Department. Jim has been instrumental in assisting Warrior Wishes in Police Escorts, Parades, and appearances by Police Bagpipe groups through out the country at Warrior Wishes Events.
Jim's community service does not stop with veteran organizations as he participates in numerous charity events for special Olympics, and other Patriotic organizations such as Ture Patriots Care.
Jim and his amazing wife Melisa are parents to an intelligent, loving and always curious son Aidan. The Creighton family is well know to also throw the best annual Marine Birthday Bash in The South Elgin area.