It always makes for a long week when my dad travels from city to city, rather than coming home for a few hours in betweeen trips. This is one of those weeks. He flew straight to Dallas after making warrior wishes come true At the Patriots game.
My dad arrived in Dallas late Saturday Night and “hung out at the Hyatt”, catching up on some work at the hotel which was connected to the DFW airport. Around 1:00 AM, when the bar closed, my dad went “down to bed”. Most people go “up to bed” – to their hotel room – but my dad went “down” to the airport terminal couches to get a couple hours of sleep…
Over the past few years, we have made some incredible friends & memories in Dallas!
On Gameday Morning, he had breakfast at the Hyatt before one of those friends, Army Sgt Curt St Pierre, picked him up and they headed to Arlington. SGT Curt St Pierre just retired last year and moved to San Antonio from Chicago. He was our guest at the Bears “hurricane game ” when fans had to leave their seats and go under the stands while severe storms passed through.
Curt was up from San Antonio to tailgate with the “DaCoach,” no not coach Ditka, but the tailgate group from Chicago that wrapped a bus in Ditka themed logos and tailgates at all home games and some road games.
Curt & my dad , along with about a dozen others, rode in “DaCoach” to AT&T stadium, THANKS to Curt, as well as Sergio and Angie for cool ride!
The threat of severe weather kind of interfered with a lot of tailgating plans, although it ended up only raining for a couple short spurts. The Warriors were invited to meet indoors at Lupe’s TexMex, to keep them out of rain. Our first guests – the Cheatum family , a father and son who both served our country, and their wives, got there around 12:30. Army SGT Joe Washam (who was our first Dallas guest 4 years ago) and Army Sgt Joseph Gonzalez & his wife, arrived at 3:00 so my dad also set up indoor arrangements at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Once we had the whole gang together we had a great time getting to know our new friends, and reminiscing with old ones. We would like to thank Buffalo Wild Wings for providing dinner to the Warriors!
After dinner the group walked down to AT&T stadium to take a few pictures some in front of Stadium before heading inside.
If you have never been to AT&T stadium, let me tell you, it’s incredible! Many people ask us what our favorite stadium is & it has to be the Cowboys! From the open concept to the massive Jumbotron, it’s a true experience just to visit! So next time you’re in the Dallas area, make sure to stop by, even if it’s just for the tour!
We had great seats thanks to Cowboys’ Zack Martin and his new bride, Morgan.
Much like the last time we made warrior wishes come true in Dallas when the Cowboys played the Bears in 2012, The game itself was a one sided affair. Only this time, the Cowboys gave the Warriors plenty to cheer about as they jumped out to 24-0 lead and coasted to a 31-17 victory over the winless Bears.
After the win, the experience wasnt over. One of the Cowboys coaches & offensive Guard, Zack Martin went above and beyond again to provide once in a lifetime memories for the Warriors & invited them all to meet up with some of the players after the game in the ultra exclusive “Landry Room.”
Coach Bech has provided passes over the past 3 seasons & its always an incredible experience. The “Landry Room” is where most of the Cowboys meet with their families after the game. There are Tv’s, delicious food, & an open bar for everyone to unwind.
The Warriors & their families enjoyed the food & drinks, while meeting a number of Cowboys players as well. They met Coach Garrett, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Coach Bech, Zack Martin, Jerry Jones & more!!!
We always enjoy watching the Warriors interact with some of their favorite players. There is nothing better than seeing the athletes recognize the Warriors for their service. Many of them say it is an honor for them to meet the Warriors, but we know, that they are certainly excited to meet the players too! It was an experience none of us will ever forget.
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Curt, Sergio and Angie at “Da Coach” for the ride, Shelby Kelly for setting up Lupe’s and making a donation, Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, New Era Cap for the Cowboys caps for the Warriors and to Coach Bech, Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys for helping us provide a once in a lifetime experience at the Cowboys game!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
My dad is off to DFW airport (thanks for the ride Joe) to get a few hours of rest, before taking off to New Orleans Monday Morning to make Warrior Wishes Come True at the Monday night Saints game! Stay tuned for more details!
MEET THE WARRIORS
ARMY SGT JOE WASHAM
Joe Washam is a Service Disabled Veteran who served honorably for over seven years until he was medically retired from the United States Army. Growing up in a family with military service deep in their blood, Joe chose to enlist as an active duty Soldier in the U.S. Army after high school instead of going to college. He spent 4 years at various Army bases as an Infantryman. On September 11, 2001 Joe was in Washington, D.C. with a scheduled appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After the Pentagon was attacked he knew our nation was going to face a new challenge. Within two days of 9/11 Joe was able to see the damage to the Pentagon first hand. Unable to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit from the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) due to an extensive recovery from back surgery, he was still able to support his fellow brothers and sisters in arms by becoming a Unit Armorer for his battalion stateside. Joe’s enlistment was finished in July 2002.
Joe decided to re-enlist in the U.S. Army Reserves five days before the war in Iraq started in 2003. At that time he re-entered the U.S. Army in a Military Intelligence unit based out of Dallas, Texas while attending a university located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Missing the military lifestyle, he decided to volunteer for a tour of duty in Iraq and return to active duty. While in Iraq, Joe was assigned as a Mobile Collection Team Noncommissioned Officer to a multi-national unit, the Iraq Survey Group, whose primary mission was to search for weapons of mass destruction. On April 26, 2004, Joe was severely wounded in Baghdad, Iraq due to enemy activity at a suspected chemical weapon site. Shortly after an explosion, he lost consciousness at a Baghdad civilian hospital.
Joe awoke two weeks later at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Joe had received 3rd degree burns over 40% of his body, plus a shrapnel wound. With the support of his wife, family, friends, and medical staff, Joe has made a remarkable recovery and continues to make great strides. He was awarded the Purple Heart on his 24th birthday.
In January 2006, after spending 20 months as a patient at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joe was medical retired from the United States Army. A few months later Joe accepted a position on the Board of Directors for a national non-profit, the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, where he previously served as a spokesperson. In January 2007, Joe and his wife moved to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where he served as Chief Liaison of Government Affairs for the Coalition. The next months were spent advocating and lobbying on Capitol Hill for his fellow wounded troops, veterans and their families. Joe provided subject matter expertise for three bills in the 110th Congress (1st Session): Homecoming Enhancement Research and Oversight (HERO) Act (S. 1271), 21st Century GI Bill of Rights Act of 2007 (S. 1409/H.R.2385), and the Wounded Heroes’ Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 2855).
From 2007 until 2013, Joe co-owned two Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB). As Project Manager of one of those companies, he organized and led two Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business federal government contract bids that were successfully awarded to Mid-Cities Home Medical Delivery Service, a joint venture company. These contracts provided direct medical services to VA patients every month throughout the state of Texas. He’s also a 2011 Alumni of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation’s Veteran Institute for Procurement.
He has lived, visited, or worked in more than nine countries worldwide. Joe continues to be actively involved with fellow wounded troops and their families by becoming a lifetime member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National Military Family Association. Joe is a Wounded Warrior Project Alumni, and also participates on the Wounded Warrior Project National Campaign Team.
SPC E4 STANLEY CHEATUM
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CSM STEVEN CHEATUM SR.
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Contact Craig for more information about the mission (630) 339-6714