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Game 44 – Warrior Wishes Come True in Cincinnati!

We kicked off week 12 making Warrior Wishes come true at our 43rd NFL game this season in Houston…

My dad was able to come home for about a day and a half before literally getting “back on the bus” and heading out to Cincinnati.

Throughout the years we have made some unforgettable memories making Warrior Wishes come true at the Bengals games.

Our friends at the Bengal Bomb squad have played a big part in making all of these moments possible. They have been hosting heroes at their tailgate since we started our mission in 2012. Who Dey Baby, Big John and their entire Bomb Squad crew go above and beyond every year. It’s one of my dads favorite stops on our All32in17 mission.

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On top of hosting us this year, the Bomb Squad also raised nearly $3000 to make more wishes come true! We cannot thank them enough for their continued support!

My dad arrived in Cincy late Saturday night and actually got a good night sleep on a bed in a hotel! You’re probably as shocked as I am…  He was up at the crack of dawn to head out to Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Bengals. Upon arrival, he took a quick power nap outside the stadium before meeting up with the warriors for the pregame meal.

Today we had the honor of hosting Air Force TSgt Dustin Hoover, Army Sgt Kevin McGuffie and Krista Williams, the Gold Star Widow of Fallen Hero Army SSG Wesley Ross Williams.  The group met for brunch at Moerleins and got to know each other before the game.

The Moerlein Lager House offers a guest experience unlike any other. Located across the street from the stadium, they are a working microbrewery producing a full line of Moerlein craft brews and delectable fare featuring grain spent breads and smoked rotisserie meats. Moerlein’s has been helping make wishes come true since 2013, so make sure to stop by the next time you’re in town!

After everyone filled up on food, they made their way over to a couple of tailgates. The first tailgate was our friend, Greg Eifert’s tailgate. You may recognize the last name and yes, Greg is Tyler’s dad. Greg and Tyler have been amazing throughout the years always taking time to show the warriors their appreciation and today was no different. Tyler planned to meet the crew after the game.

Then the group headed over to meet up with Who Dey Baby, Big John and the Bengal Bomb squad. As usual, they took great care of the warriors.

Unfortunately the Bengals have yet to win a game this season… last year we brought some luck to another Ohio team, the Browns as we cheered them to their first victory in nearly 2 years. This year we hoped to bring some luck to the Bengals.

The game got off to a slow start. Playing their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bengals took a 7-3 lead into the half.

After the Steelers benched their QB, the backup, Develin Hodges, connected with James Washington for a 79 yard TD. The teams headed into the 4th quarter tied at 10. But in the end, the Bengals offense failed to put up points and the Steelers kicked 2 field goals in the final quarter to beat the Bengals 16-10.

Despite the loss, everyone had a great time at the game. And as promised, Tyler Eifert took the time to show his appreciation to the warriors after the game. We gave each Warrior an Eifert Jersey to get signed.

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank TSgt Dustin Hoover, Army Sgt Kevin McGuffie and Army SSG Wesley Ross Williams your service and sacrifices are appreciated and you will never be forgotten!

My dad plans to get a good night sleep at the Cincinnati airport before catching his 7am flight to Los Angeles. He will be making Wishes come true at tomorrow’s Rams game! Stay tuned…

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Game 4 – Tyler Eifert Makes Warrior Wishes Come True In Cincinnati!

We have had an amazing start to our 2017 “All32in17” mission making wishes come true in New England, Chicago & Minnesota.

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To kickoff week 2, my dad is headed to Cincinnati to host a group of warriors at the Bengals game.  

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After returning from Minnesota early Tuesday morning, my dad had a few days to rest and hang out with family before catching his early Thursday morning to Cincy. 

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Over the years, we have made some unforgettable memories making Warrior Wishes come true in Cincinnati!

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Upon arrival, around 3pm, he immediately made his way to Moerlein Lager House to meet the warriors for dinner. The Moerlein Lager House has been helping make Warrior Wishes come true since 2013.  They offer a guest experience unlike any other with a working microbrewery producing a full line of Moerlein craft brews, and delectable fare featuring grain spent breads, hand carved sandwiches and smoked rotisserie meats… foods reminiscent of those served in the city’s celebrated 19th century beer gardens.  We cannot thank them enough for their support over the years!  

Today we were honored to be hosting Desert Storm Veterans Dale Spiller and Paul Mann. As well as Army SPC Christopher Warren, his battle buddy, Marine Mike Humbert & one of our original guests from 2012, Buck Clay.  

Dale, Paul & Buck were treated to delicious meal thanks to Aaron and Michelle at Moerleins Lager House.  They had fun getting to know one another & were presented with new Bengals caps courtesy of our friends at New Era.  

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After dinner, they made their way down the street to meet up with Chris & Mike who were already at the Bengal Bomb Squad tailgate waiting for them to arrive.  The Bengal Bomb Squad tailgate is one of the best tailgates in the NFL!  Bengals Superfans “Who Dey Baby” & Big John have been big supporters of our mission throughout the years. 

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They always make sure to introduce the warriors to the group.  They also do their signature “Bengal Bomb” toast to them to show their appreciation for the warriors service & sacrifices.  

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The tailgate crew truly went above and beyond, as they always do, and also gave each of the warriors autographed mini helmets!  While the warriors enjoyed the tailgate, my dad made his way over to the stadium to pick up the tickets.  Bengals Tight End Tyler Eifert and his family have a deep appreciation for the Brave men & women who serve our country.  They have graciously donated tickets to the warriors for the past few seasons.  On top of that, Tyler even wore custom Warrior Wishes Cleats last year to help raise money for our mission! We cannot thank the Eifert family enough for their support!  

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With the tickets in hand, my dad went back to the tailgate to get the warriors and they headed inside to watch the Texans take on the Bengals!

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The warriors were all excited for the game.   They were all huge bengals fans!  Unfortunately, the bengals were shut out last week and we hoped the warriors would bring the team some luck!  Both teams struggled on offense.  On a 3rd and long, late in the 2nd quarter, Texans QB, Deshaun Watson, scrambled for a long TD run which turned out to be the difference maker in the game & the only TD in a low scoring affair.  

Tyler did catch a TD pass in the 3rd quarter to give the Bengals their first touchdown of the season and the lead for a minute, however, he had stepped out of bounds just before catching the pass making him an ineligible receiver which wiped out the score and the Bengals had to settle for a field goal.  In the end, the Texans came out on top and beat he Bengals 13-9.  

During the game, Tyler’s mom stopped by to thank the guys for their service.  She also surprised them with post game passes so they could meet Tyler & some of the Bengals players!  The smiles on their faces stretched from ear to ear!  

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After the game was over, everyone headed  over to Club West to meet back up with Julie Eifert to go down & meet the players.  As usual,the entire Eifert family was awesome & enjoyed hanging out with the warriors.  Tyler sincerely thanked each of the guys & took the time to take some pictures and sign some autographs for them. 

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The guys also got to met up with a couple of other Bengals players including QB Andy Dalton!  Despite the loss, it was an overall amazing experience!

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We couldn’t have made this experience possible without the support of Eifert family, Moerlein Lager House, The Bengal Bomb Squad & New Era!  THANK YOU!  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, Operation Warrior Wishes would also like to thank Dale, Paul, Chris, Mike & Buck for their service & sacrifices!  

 At around 1:00am, My dad thanked the warriors one last time & walked over to Bengal Bomb Squad,where they were just finishing up taking down tailgate.  He ended up hanging out at a local restaurant that was open til 3am and eventually got a couple of hours on a park bench befor catching his 9am Megabus back home.  We will be back in action this Sunday Making Wishes come true in Pittsburgh.  Stay tuned for more details!

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MEET THE WARRIORS

Marine CPL Mike Humbert

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Corporal Mike Humbert was recruited by his brother into the United States Marine Corp in 1991. Mike started out in Marine Corp Security Forces London England as a Marina Security Guard from 1991-1993.  He was then stationed at Camp Lejuene North Carolina where he was assigned to 2nd Battalion 8th Regiment Weapons Company 81mm Mortar Platoon.  Mike was Honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1995 and then returned to Northern Kentucky where he was born and raised as a Bengals fan. He resides there today with his wife and 2 kids.

Army MP Paul Mann

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 I was a MP in the Army from 1989-1993. I was stationed in Korea for 18 months because of Desert Storm. I went to Ft Drum after. And was assigned to HHC/LEC the garrison unit that patrolled the base. I was reassigned to 511th MP Co to go to Somalia, East Africa for Operation Restore Hope. I ETD soon after that. I was in a car accident with my father in 2001 and I broke my neck at the C-6 vertebrate. And became a quadriplegic. I learned of the sport Murderball or Quad Rugby at the Dayton VA hospital. And competed in it at the NVWG a year later. I found a club team in Columbus, Ohio a couple of years later. I still compete with the Ohio team. And I’ve started competing with a all veteran team sponsored by a organization called Oscar Mike. It was started by a fellow quadriplegic veteran Noah Curriur. Their goal is to keep veterans “On the Move”. By sending veterans to various places for many different camps and events around the nation. They have a military based clothing company that sells American made clothing to help support the cause.

Army SPC Christopher Warren

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SPC Chris Warren was a medic in the United States Army stationed with the 31st Combat Support Hospital out of Fort Bliss, Texas. He was deployed to Iraq in January 2004. On April 10, 2004, his unit came under attack injuring multiple soldiers including Chris. He received a Purple Heart for his injuries.  Chris was medically discharged in November of 2016 due to the injuries sustained in Iraq. He was born and raised in Cincinnati and has been a lifelong fan of the Bengals.  He currently resides on the west side of Cincinnati with his wife and 3 children.

Air Force Dale Spiller

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I grew up an Air Force brat, born in England in 1962, and living all over the US and Guam and Phillipines. We settled in Ohio where I graduated from Xenia High School in 1980. I joined the Air Force in 1982 as a Tactical Air Command and Control Specialist, or better known as TACP (Tactical Air Control Party), and was a qualified Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller (ETAC). We provided command and control of air support for Army maneuver units in the close battles. I spent most of my career in Germany, and even deployed from there in support of Third Armor Division in Desert Shield/Storm on Christmas Day 1990. I was medically retired in 1996 at Shaw AFB, South Carolina after a tree fall accident left me a T7 complete paraplegic. After retirement, I settled back in Ohio with my wife, Renee, and two daughters. Currently I volunteer with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), as the Volunteer Liaison Officer at the Dayton VA Medical Center. I’ve always been a sports fan and athlete, playing football and baseball growing up. After my injury I coached girls fastpitch softball at Little League and High School levels. I’ve competed in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) 13 times, along with numerous Ohio and Buckeye Wheelchair Games. My main recreational hobby is handcycling. I have completed 2 Air Force Marathons on my bike, and hoping for a third this year. I’m a huge Cincinnati Reds and Bengals fan, as well as The Ohio State Buckeyes and Alabama Crimson Tide!

SSG Buck Clay

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11 years of federal active service, 4 deployments – Kosovo ’02, Iraq ’03, Iraq ’05 – ’06, Iraq ’08 – ’09, Airborne Combat Engineer Staff Sergeant

Awards 
Bronze Star Medal
Army Commendation Medal with Valor
Army Commendation Medal, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010
Army Achievement Medal, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Knot)
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal (Bronze Service Star)
Iraq Campaign Medal (Silver Campaign Star)
Overseas Service (Numeric 6)
Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development (Numeric 2)
Meritorious Unit Citation (Bronze Oak Leaf)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal
Navy Unit Commendation
Driver Badge Track & Wheel
Combat Action Badge
Parachutist Badge
Graduate Student Xavier, Private Interest and Public Good, Current
Graduated BAC 2014 University of Cincinnati
Graduated AA 2012 Cincinnati State
Graduated BBA, 2006 UMUC
Founded and turned over veterans non-profit Modern Veterans of America to go volunteering in Syria and Ukraine.  The MVA merged under the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s veterans program, acceptable as one of the founding national board members, a veteran i served with, operates the program

It was an honor to host these brave warriors and make their Warrior Wishes come true. If you know a deserving warrior who would love to attend a game on our “All32in17” mission please nominate them today!

2017 All32in17 Mission Schedule (2)

Make sure to follow our mission live on Facebook Twitter & Instagram @WarriorWishes.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
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Game 41 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Cincinatti!

After traveling over 35,000 miles since September 12th & making warrior wishes come true at 40 Regular season games, it was time for my dad to focus his efforts on the playoffs!
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Yea, we’re talkin bout playoffs!

It’s always a little more challenging to make warrior wishes come true during the playoffs because you typically don’t know which teams are making it to the postseason  & the NFL doesn’t release the playoff schedule until the week before the games.  So with less than a week to book travel, confirm Warriors and secure tickets, it’s a challenge!

We are very conscious on how money is spent on our mission.  The less money paid for travel means more wishes come true, so thankfully the Bengals had a home playoff game

So instead of paying hundreds of dollars in airfare to go to Washington DC or Houston.  We had to choose between freezing our butts off in sub-zero temperatures in Minnesota or hosting heroes in Cincinnati.  We decided to make warrior wishes come true at the Bengals game.
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Our friend Bill offered to donate his time & gas money, so he & my dad drove 5 hours to Cincy early Saturday morning.

Once in Cincinnati, they met up with Marine CPL Joshua Sust to make his warrior wish come true!

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As always, the guys tailgated with WhodeyBaby, Big John and the Bengal Bomb Squad.  The Bengal Bomb Squad tailgate is a gathering of Bengal fans like no other!  With games, food galore, great people, superfans, and of course their traditional Bengal Bombs … it’s a Who Dey gameday experience everyone loves!  The Bengals ultimate tailgate took time to recognize CPL Sust and his friend, fellow Marine Kevin Dickerson for their military service.

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Our other guest, Army SSG Paul Brondhaver, actually works for the Bengals setting up military programs, so he joined CPL Sust inside Paul Brown stadium on the field for Pre Game warm ups.  Not only did they get an up close look from the sidelines, they also greeted and “high fived” the players in the tunnel as they entered the field for start of game .

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The game itself was one of the best games you will ever see – unless you are a Bengals fan . The Bengals had the game in hand – leading 16-15 and intercepted Ben Rothlisberger pass with just 1:36 left in the game.  Plus they were already in field goal range.  The game should have been over. However, on the Bengals first play of the drive, Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball giving the Steelers one last chance.

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The clearly injured Rothlisberger completed a couple short passes, followed by two huge personal foul penalties, allowing Steelers to score a game winning field goal as time expired.  It was a tough loss for Cincinnati.

But thanks to Bengals Tight End, Tyler Eifert and his parents, our night wasn’t going to end with the loss.  The Eifert family invited the warriors to join them to meet Tyler & some of the players after the game.

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Despite the loss many of the Bengals players, including Tyler Eifert, AJ Hawk & Andy Dalton, stopped by to thank the warriors for their service.  in fact, we think they were as excited to meet our warriors, as our warriors were to meet them.

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Corporal Sust had some of the Bengals players sign his new prosthetic – he just had his foot amputated four months ago and has adjusted to it very quickly.

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We want to Thank the Eifert family for the post game passes & all theBengals players who stopped to thank the guys for thier service and sign some autographs. We also want to thank Bob at the Bengals for the field pass, New Era for the Bengals Caps, Whodey, Big John & the Bengal bomb Squad for an ultimate tailgate experience & most importantly, THANK YOU to Paul, Josh, Rob and Kevin for your service to our country!!!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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Tomorrow, Warrior Wishes come true in DC!  However, my dad will not be there to host them because he & Bill will be driving back home overnight in order to get back in time to celebrate X man’s 2nd birthday!

MEET THE WARRIORS

MARINE CPL JOSHUA SUST

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Joshua Sust was born in January 20,1987 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Colerain High School in June 2006. 2 weeks after his graduation he was on a bus to the one and only Parris Island MCRD. After 13 grueling weeks he finally accomplished his greatest achievement becoming a United States Marine. Upon completion of boot camp PVT Sust was headed to SOI East at camp Gieger, NC. After another grueling 3 months PFC Sust graduated SOI and was headed to the Fleet Marine Force with 2nd battalion 4th marines at Camp Pendleton, CA

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Cpl Sust spent a total of 6yrs with 2/4 and 3 deployments with them. His first two were the 31st and 11th MEU on his last and finally deployment CPL Sust was deployed to Helmand Provence, Afghanistan in September 2011. On a day he will never forget which has come to be known as many others a his alive day. Nov 12, 2011 at around 0830 Cpl Sust was on a mounted patrol when his Vic hit an IED causing his door to be blown off and ejected. His injuries are: shattered tib/fib left foot and open fractures to both bones in his left arm. After years of therapy and 9 surgeries later Cpl Sust was medically retired from the Marine Corps in Aug 2013.

Now as a retired Marine Joshua Sust finds the best therapy for him is being around his combat brothers and hunting and fishing and also riding his motorcycle. For him nothing is better than being outdoors at a lake or in the woods. He feels at peace were everything kind of slows down and he can relax and enjoy his life. He is also a board member of The wounded Marine Fund that helps other wounded vets.

Cpl Sust awards are: Purple Heart, Combat action ribbon, Good Conduct Medal x2, Afghanistan Campaign medal, sea service deployment ribbon x3, meritorious mass, letter of appreciation x2, certificate of appreciation, and cercom.

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Josh is a die hard Bengals fan and it was an honor to make this Warrior Wish come true!!!

ARMY SSG PAUL BRONDHAVER

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Staff Sergeant (SSG) Paul Brondhaver is a native of New Richmond, Ohio, a small town located 20 miles east of Cincinnati on the banks of the Ohio River. Paul joined the United States Army at age 17, before graduating from New Richmond High School in May 1986.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Science from the University of Cincinnati. Paul has earned his Master’s in Business Administration in 2013 from Indiana Wesleyan University. Paul has been a Red Cross volunteer and instructor for 31 years.  Paul retired from the United States Army in 2007 with 21 years of service. 

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SSG Paul Brondhaver has traveled all over the world through his military service to places such as Honduras, Germany, Panama, Kuwait, and Iraq.  His state and country called on him to serve on active duty for 19 different missions and operations.  He served with the 216th Combat Engineer Unit and the 1st Infantry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 through 2005. SSG Brondhaver’s tour ended early when his combat patrol was attacked with small arms fire and a rocket propelled grenade that exploded near his Humvee in Summara, North of Baghdad, Iraq in July 2004.  Paul’s body was riddled with over 300 pieces of metal shrapnel in the attack, while a fellow soldier and friend was killed in the explosion. Paul has hearing loss severe nerve damage, a traumatic brain injury, and severe post traumatic stress disorder.  Paul credits the Lord, prayer, his fellow soldiers, the military and his American Red Cross training for saving his life. 

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SSG Paul Brondhaver’s military awards include:  

Paul’s family currently reside in Cincinnati.  Paul enjoys spending time with his three beautiful children: Tanner, Morgan and Conner.  Paul knows firsthand the needs military families have after returning home from deployment, so he started his own 501 (C) 3, non-profit foundation.  The “Paul Brondhaver Foundation for Military Families” rescue dogs, trains them, and provides veterans with companion service dogs.  His foundation also assists local military families with dental, counseling, home repairs, food and other important expenses that cause the military family undue hardship.  He feels it is a true honor to serve his country, the United States of America.

SOURCE – http://www.helpingahero.org/our-heroes/ssg-ret-paul-brondhaver

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Game 22 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Cincinnati!

After making Warrior Wishes come true in Atlanta & Charlotte over the weekend my dad was able to come home for a few day before getting back on the bus and heading out to Cincinnati to honor the legacy of PFC Zachary Salmon at the Bengals game. (See his story below)

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Here are some of our favorite memories from making warrior wishes come true in Cincy.

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My dad arrived in Cincinnati around 1pm & made his way over to Cafe Barista to have lunch with Zach’s family.
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Before the game the WhoDey Baby & the Bengals Bomb squad went above and beyond to help us honor PFC  Salmons legacy.  Honor Americas Valor provided a customized piece of artwork to provide to his family and we had a moment of silence to reflect on the sacrifice made and remember Zachary Salmon.  Our friends from ESPN Chris & Rick also stopped by to say hi and show their support.
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With ticket prices at $170 a piece for the game, my dad didn’t plan on attending the game.  He planned to  escort PFC Salmons family into the stadium & find a place to watch the game across the street.  As they made their way over to the stadium from the tailgate they heard one of Zach’s favorite songs playing & moments later found a ticket on the sidewalk.  Without hesitation, PFC Salmon’s mom said to my dad “Zach left that for you.”
Maybe it was just a coincidence?  But we like to think that Zach was there at the game with his family.  Look at this orb surrounding the family in this picture!
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Those we love don’t go away; 
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard but always near. 
Sill loved, still missed, and very dear.
The bengals went on to beat the Browns by the score of 31-10 thanks to a 3 TD performance by Andy Dalton & Tyler Eifert.
It was an honor to host this Gold star family at the Bengals game and share the legacy of PFC Zachary Salmon.
We would like to thank Cafe Barista for hosting us for breakfast, the Bengals Bomb Squad for helping us honor Zach’s legacy at your tailgate, New Era Caps for providing Bengals Caps & Honor America’s Valor for providing the custom artwork for Zach’s family,  most importantly, we would like to say thank you to PFC Salmon’s family for giving us the opportunity to share his legacy.
My dad will be spending the night in Cincinnati before heading out on a bus to Buffalo in the morning.  This will be by far his craziest stretch of our mission.  He will be making warrior wishes come true in Buffalo Sunday, Philadelphia at the Flyers game on Tuesday & In Boston at the Bruins game on Thursday.  Then he comes home Friday to hop on a bus to Nashville Saturday to make warrior wishes come true at the Titans game Sunday.  He will wrap up the madness is Cincinnati the following Monday and honor warriors at the Bengals game for the 2nd time in  12 days.

ARMY PFC ZACHARY SALMON

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Army Private First Class Zachary S. Salmon made the Ultimate Sacrifice on January 12, 2011 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom after insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire.  Pfc Salmon was twenty-one years old.  PFC Salmon was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

In his mothers own words;

Zack was truly a one of a kind young man.  Never in his 21 years did Zack let life pass him by.  If one thing can be said about him, HE LIVED!  For those of us that love him, he still does.  He would NEVER allow someone to feel sad, bad or unhappy if he could help it!  His silly antics were synonomous with his name.  There was nothing he wasn’t willing to do to bring a smile to your face!  

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He had the biggest and most caring heart of most anyone I know and he never knew a stanger.  In the economy that we are living in, he came to me and said , “mom, I’m going to join the Army.  I have to be able to give my son a life and it’s just not going to happen making 8, 9, 10 dollars an hour with no insurance.  I want to do something to not only make him and you and everyone proud, but I want to help protect our country so that my son may be safe and have a chance at a life where he can lay down his head at night and not be afraid!”

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 Zack loved his family!  He comes from a small immediate family but a very large extended family and that was where his core values came from.  He understood that family will always be there!
 
His son was his life.  Noah is what motivated every thought that he had.  He was proud to be a daddy, and understood all that came with that responsibility! 
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Zack and his sisters were best friends.  Often times I wondered where one ended and the other began!  They are all so much alike with that same silly attitude!  I wouldn’t have it any other way!
 
In highschool, Zack played football and ran track.  Athletics were second nature to him.  There was nothing he did not excel at!  After highschool, he became a registered boxer at Golden Gloves gym in  Knoxville  ! 

Loyalty and respect….two words that he lived by!  His friends, well they where his brothers!  I became Momma Fish to so many!  LOL  In particular, when he joined the Army the brotherhood bond became a way of life.  There is in particular a young man, Joseph Frank, who is not only his Army brother, battle buddy…..he is a “brother” to Zack.  I was blessed to be there when Zack came into this world and Joseph was blessed to hold Zack as he left this world.  For that I will always be grateful.

There is never a second of any day that my heart does break all over again, but there is also never a second that I don’t think of my son and smile!  We do not live without Zack, nor do we say he is “dead”, he just physically isn’t here!  We live with him everyday and in our hearts he lives!!!”

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When Zachary was KIA, he was at the rank of Private First Class and was promoted posthumously to Specialist.
 

His decorations include: The Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, The Army Good Conduct Medal, The National Defense Service Ribbon, The Afghan Campaign Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Army Service Ribbon, The Overseas Service Medal, The NATO Medal & the Combat Action Badge

 He was survived by
his Son – Noah Salmon
Mother – Sonya  Renee C ross and Step father
Father – Steve Salmon
Sisters – Kelsi Salmon and Kaitlin Maurer
Brother – Steven Salmon
Grandparents and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
 
Right before Zack deployed he got a tattoo of a bible verse that Zachary believed with all his heart.
 James 4:14 “Life is but a vapor that appears and vanishes that quickly”
 
I love my son with all my heart, all that I am and never could there be a mother more proud.
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