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Warrior Wishes Come True At The Atlanta Braves Game!

So far today, warrior wishes have come true in Chicago at the Cubs game & in Boston at the Red Sox game!

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For game 3 of our Quadruple Header, my dad is back in Atlanta making Wishes come true at the Braves new stadium, SunTrust Park.

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It has been a crazy week for my dad this week as he has hosted warriors at the Rays, Lightning, Heat, Marlins & Braves games.  

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Last night for the first time all week, he actually let me get him a hotel & he slept in an actual bed!  For those of you who haven’t been following our mission that long, you can usually find him sleeping at the airports or on a park bench…  

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Anyways, he was refreshed and ready to go for a second straight night of baseball at the new SunTrust Park.  Before meeting up with today’s guests, my dad caught up on some work hanging out poolside under the Georgia sunshine.  At around 2pm, my dad headed out to the stadium to meet up with Army Sgt Donald White and his wife Chrissy.  

SGT White joined the Army in 1996 fresh out of high school.  He proudly served our country for 20 years!  See his Bio below.  

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While waiting for Sgt White & his wife to arrive, my dad took in all the festivities going on around the stadium.  He scored an awesome Braves commemorative “First Game Ever at SunTrust Park” shirt.  And also got to meet former Brave, Brian Jordan.

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SGT White and his wife arrived for dinner around 4:45 at the new Sport & Social Club located just steps away from the stadium entrance. 

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Sports & Social is a one-of-a-kind sports bar, gaming parlor and social lounge soon to hit in Atlanta. The two-level space features a 30-foot diagonal high-definition LED screen as a backdrop for social games and activities throughout the venue. Equipped with skeeball, table tennis, shuffle puck, air hockey and a golf simulator, Sports & Social also serves an eclectic menu with plates for sharing, beer cocktails and a well-appointed cocktail menu. Combining the traditional elements of a sports tavern with classic interactive games, Sports & Social is the perfect destination for groups, professionals and all those whose competitive spirit thrives.

Rob, the GM, provided a VIP experience to Sgt White & his wife.  He personally  greeted them at the door & thanked Donald for his service. He then escorted them to their table and promptly got them a drink.

My dad enjoyed getting to know our guests over a delicious meal courtesy of the Sport & Social Club. He also gave them brand new Braves caps courtesy of our friends at New Era.   

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As game time approached, everyone thanked Rob for the meal & headed inside to watch the Padres take on the Braves.

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During the game, our friend, and previous Warrior Wish recipient Ron Rodriguez stopped by the seats to present Sgt White with gift bags. Ron now works with the Braves and has helped us make wishes come true over the past few years.  

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Thanks to a couple of Braves home runs, the Braves went on to beat the Phillies by the score of 4-2.  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Rob from Sport & Social for providing the pregame meal, The Marriott Marquis Atlanta for the “Suite” room for SGT White, Ron from the Braves for providing the awesome gift bags & New Era for providing the Braves caps for our guests.  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Sgt Donald White for his dedicated military service to our country!  

Stay tuned to see what happens what the puck drops between the Predators & Blackhawks for the 4th game of today’s Quadruple header! 

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As for my dad, he’s now off to catch a bus to Nashville to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Grand Ole Opry with Adam Sandler!!!!

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MEET SGT DONALD WHITE

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History

  • High school graduation – May 1996
  • Enlistment into the United States Army – August 1996
  • Attended and Graduated US Army basic training at Ft Leonard Wood Missouri  – October 1996
  • Attended the advanced individual training in Fort Huachuca Arizona for US Army Military Intelligence Analyst – October 1996
  • Attended 2nd Advanced Individual Training in Ft Sill Oklahoma for US Army Field Artillery Cannon Crew Member – March 1997
  • August 1997 – Assigned to Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Polk Louisiana – Accomplishments include, Promotion from PVT – SGT, 4 time NTC Deployment with Hero of the Battlefield twice earning the Honorable Order of the Wolf Award, Earning the Air Assault Badge
  • September 2000 – Assigned to Echo Battery, 1st Battalion 22nd Field Artillery Regiment, Ft Sill Oklahoma – Assigned as a field artillery instructor – Accomplishments – graduated instructor certification course, Master Gunner Course, Paladin Commanders Course, instructed over 1000 soldiers to become Cannon Crew Members, Married Chrissy Lyn White
  • February 2003 – assigned to Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion 29th field artillery regiment, Fort Carson Colorado – Duty positions held, Gunner, Ammunition Team Chief, Section Chief, Battalion Master Gunner – Accomplishments, two tours to Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, Saved the life of a child staged as a road side bomb resulting in being awarded the Bronze Star. Led over 300 combat patrols, fired over 2000 Artillery rounds. Hunted, detained, arrested and convicted over 50 High Value Targets in the Iraq court system, accepted into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara ( patron saint of the field artillery) 
  • May 2007 – Assigned to Quincy Illinois Recruiting Station, 5th Recruiting Brigade Indianapolis IN – Duty positions – Detailed Recruiter, Assistant Station Commander, Accomplishments – Enlisted over 200 future soldiers into the United States Army, Earned the Gold Recruiter badge with 3 Safire’s, selected as recruiter of the year twice in a row in 2007 and 2008. Completed BS in Forestry from the University of Oklahoma
  • September 2009 – Assigned to Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Ft Carson CO. – Duty positions – Section Chief, Chief of Firing Battery, Gunnery Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant. Accomplishments –  selected as the Battalion Modern Army Combatives Instructor, 2 time winner of the Field Artillery Top Gun competition, selected as Battalion Close Quarters Combat instructor. 
  • August 2012 – Assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Position – 2nd Brigade Taskings NCOIC. Accomplishments – made lead tasking NCO issuing operation orders to over 4000 soldiers daily, Daughter and son both graduating High School, Daughter Graduating college, son beginning college at Georgia Southern University, birth of First Grandchild,   
  • August 12 2016 – RETIREMENT! 
  • September 2016 – Begin the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department Academy
  • February 2017 – Began working as a Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Officer in Savannah Georgia.

Awards

National Defense Service Medal, Non-commissioned officer development ribbon x 2, NATO Service medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal,Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army commendation medal x 7, Army Achievement Medal x 9, Good Conduct Medal x 8, Bronze Star, Meritorious service Medal, Army service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal

Badges

Drivers Badge – Mechanized, Drivers Badge – Wheeled, Recruiters Badge with 3 Safire’s, Air Assault Badge, Combat Action Badge

Nominate your Hero for an upcoming game on our “Battlefields to Ballfields” mission.  

2017 Battlefields To Ballfields Schedule

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Warrior Wishes Come True At The First Game Ever At SunTrust Park!

After honoring the legacies of Army SFC Larry Vaquero, Army PFC Marius Ferrero & Air force MSGT Martin Gonzales at the Braves -Marlins game in Miami, I told him he should just hitch a ride on the Braves team bus back to Atlanta for our next mission.

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My dad said he would be on the bus, however, not that bus.  He was on the $1 Megabus…  my dad had the “day off ” which gave him an extra day to get from Miami to Atlanta, which turned out to be a good thing since megabus doesn’t have a direct route between those 2 city’s.  So we had to get creative.  He took a bus from Miami to Orlando first & then a 2nd bus from Orlando to Atlanta.  It cost us an extra $1, but worked out perfectly!  Especially since he had a layover in Orlando which gave him time to have lunch with SGT Timothy Bosch, a warrior he has hosted in the past.  

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My dad was humbled & honored that Tim drove over 2 hours there & back just to meet him for lunch!  He definitely enjoyed & appreciated the company during his 8 hour layover in Orlando.   

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After a long lunch, Tim dropped my dad back off at the bus station to catch his 2nd  8 hour bus ride on this 16 hour trip.  While on the bus he conferenced into our board meeting to discuss plans for our 4th Annual Warrior Wishes Scramble in July.  

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My dad finally arrived in Atlanta early Friday morning and stopped by Hampton Inn for breakfast. He spent the next hour or so trying to figure out the best way to get to Cobb County, the suburban area where the new SunTrust Park was built.  

Since this was the first game ever at the new stadium, no one was totally sure and my dad got a bunch of different answers.  Eventually he figured out how to get there taking the MARTA train and Cobb County bus. Luckily a couple employees were on that Cobb City bus and showed him where to go.

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Tonight we had the honor of hosting Marine Cpl Sean Adams & his cousin.  Sean was one of our guests at Super Bowl LI.  He is a big Atlanta sports fan & excited to be a part of the opening day festivities! 

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Over the years,the Braves have helped us make warrior wishes come true at multiple games.  Today they gave us a great deal on the “last 2 ADA seats available.”   

My dad set up dinner dinner for CPL Adams at the Terrapin Taproom, just outside the stadium.  It’s one of the new hotspots at “Battery Park” – Sports and Social. This “village” concept was built by the same company who has done Xfinity Live in Philly and Ballpark Village in St Louis.  The concept is awesome and really enhances the fan experience!  

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My dad ran into Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred while Waiting for Cpl Adams to arrive.

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Unfortunately, Sean was running late due to bad traffic from the detour around the bridge that was severely damaged earlier in the week. So they missed dinner and barely made it in time to see the first pitch.  Luckily my dad was waiting at Parking garage with a Parking Pass or they probably would have missed the first few innings.  

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Sean enjoyed watching the Braves win their first ever game in SunTrust Park!  

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Immediately following he game, my dad met back up with CPL Adams and had a post game meal at the Terrapin Taproom since he wasn’t able to make it in time before the game.  My dad enjoyed catching up with Sean over a delicious meal.  Cpl Adams invited us to his house dedication in May – The Gary Sinise Foundation built him a Smart Home & we’re hoping to attend!  

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My dad said that they were the last ones to leave the restaurant. They snapped a few more photos outside the stadium with the lights on since they didn’t have much time before the game. 

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Sean gave my dad a ride to his hotel, yes, I said hotel…  it was the only hotel he got on this 10 day trip and I had to twist his arm to take it.  We named our price and got it for $60.  He thanked Sean for the ride and his service one more time before heading up to his room to get a good night sleep.  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Anthony at the Terrapin Taproom for providing dinner & New Era Cap for providing Braves caps!  We also want to thank Jarrod and Ryan at the Braves for helping us secure great seats on opening day for a reasonable price.   

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

most importantly we want to thank Cpl Sean Adams for your service & sacrifices.  We look forward to seeing you again soon & wish you the best of luck in your new home! 

After a good night sleep, my dad will be back in action tomorrow to make more wishes come true at the new SunTrust park!  Stay tuned for more details!

MEET CPL SEAN ADAMS

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USMC corporal Sean Adams grew up in Gainesville, Georgia. The attacks of September 11, 2001 left a profound effect on him and he enlisted in the Marines after graduating from high school. On the morning of February 10, 2012, Sean was in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on a reconnaissance patrol. In an area known to be laden with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Sean spotted the indicators marking one nearby. He was unaware, however, of the IED two feet in front of him. The blast took both of Sean’s legs above the knee, injured his right and left hands as well as his right arm. He also lost partial vision in his left eye. Sean considers the Navy Hospital Corpsmen and Marines who helped him in the field that day true heroes.

Sean began his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The things that kept him pushing forward were his family, friends, his brothers overseas, and a 1960 Chevelle SS. Sean loves American muscle cars.

Currently, Sean lives with his parents. Their home is not conducive to Sean’s injuries, leaving him with a lack of independence and minimal privacy. A new specially adapted smart home will allow Sean to move forward with his life and focus on his ultimate goals: To have a muscle car garage, to help other wounded veterans with similar passions, and to one day raise a family.

https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/projects/rise/sean-adams

Nominate your Hero for an upcoming game on our “Battlefields to Ballfields” mission.  

2017 Battlefields To Ballfields Schedule

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The Braves Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

Thanks to my dad’s awesome “travel coordinator” my dad was able to make Warrior Wishes come true at 2 Braves games on this leg of our Battefields to Ballfields mission.  one on the way to Miami and Tampa, and one on the way back.  So after making Warrior Wishes come true in Tampa, thanks to the Rays, my dad was on an overnight bus to Atlanta to host heroes at the Braves game.  

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Thanks to the Braves we were able to host and honor 8 more veterans and Gold Star families tonight at Turner Field. 

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My dad got into town around 9am and had some time to grab a quick bite to eat & catch up on some work at his “office” in the Westin  Peachtree Hotel.  After breakfast, and a couple hours on the phone, my dad made his way to Jimmy Johns in Atlanta to meet the Warriors for dinner before heading over to the stadium to take the field for BP.  

Tonight my dad hosted a great combination of warriors and Gold Star families, nominated by some great organizations. Team Red White and Blue, and IAVA (Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America) nominated our warriors – Army Veterans Phil Hudson,Nate Smith and Tim Thon , along with active duty Eric Sapp . 

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And of course our partner for past couple years, SOS ( Survivor Outreach Service) – nominated our Gold Star families of Army PV2 Torre Grady, A1C Michael James Hill & Air Force Sr Airman Kacey Ruiz.

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The group started out on the field at batting practice, thanks to the Atlanta Braves, and had the opportunity to meet some of the players and get some great photos. Phil even did an interview on the field, as he works for the Atlanta Business Journal.

After an hour and a half or so on the field in the hot sun, they were happy to see that their seats were actually in a nice shaded area of the stadium. 

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And my dad had another little surprise for them – Ron Rodriguez was one of our guests at the Miami Marlins game last year – one of his dreams was to work for a Major League Baseball team . Well he is now doing that, in the Promotions  Dept for the Atlanta Braves.  Thanks to him and the Braves, he brought Gift Bags with T-Shirts, hats, tomahawks and much more, to the seats for everyone. 

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It was a memorable night for the Warriors and their families thanks to Jimmy Johns for providing pregame subs,  New Era for providing Braves caps, & Jarrod, Ron and the entire Atlanta Braves Organization for their incredible hospitality – not just tonight – but for all of our Braves games during this year’s 2016 Battlefields to Ballfields Tour.

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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After the game, my dad spent all night hanging out all night at the 24 hour Metro Diner (watching Karaoke).  He thankfully stayed awake long enough to catch his 6am $1 Megabus back to Chicago.  

Although  he is heading home , this leg of the 2016 Battlefields to Ballfields Tour is not over.  Operation Warrior Wishes made a Father’s Day wish come true for a warrior in Florida who loves the Tigers & served on 9 Deployments!  

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To thank him for his service & sacrifices, we provided Army SSG Tim Sanders with Front Row seats in Tampa to watch his tigers take on the Rays!  Stay tuned for details!

In total we proudly hosted 24 warriors/families at 8 games in this 4th of 5 legs of 2016 Battlefield to Ballfields Tour.  My dad will be back in action on the west coast next week.

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Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

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www.WarriorWishes.org

Dont forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!

Click here for more information.

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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The Braves Make Warrior Wishes Come True Again!

After making Warrior Wishes come true in Cincinnati, my dad walked a mile & a half to catch an overnight bus to Atlanta to make Warrior Wishes come true again at the Braves game.

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In my dad’s own words – ” I don’t even remember the bus ride ” He said he woke up in Atlanta at about 11 AM, just as the bus was pulling into the station.

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As my dad does on every stop in Atlanta, he walked down the street a couple miles to Westin Peachtree which is what he calles his “Atlanta office.”  There he spent a few hours setting up specifics for Miami this weekend and Tampa Monday and Tuesday.

Today in Atlanta he was hosting 3 Army warriors thanks to the Atlanta Braves.  SGT Chris Barrett, SGT Sean Gannon & Special Ops Marshall Brown.  Two of the 3 are retired but Sgt Gannon still active duty serving his 8th year.

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                                   SGT Gannon

My dad headed to Turner Field about 3:30 to meet Sean and Chris – Marshall had to work late, and unfortunately missed the opportunity to watch batting practice from on the field.

All 3 of our VIP guests were nominated by different organizations or sources.  Chris arrived first with his wife Tasha, so my dad was able to get to know them a little bit before Sean arrived. Sean brought his 10 year old daughter,Destiny, who was all decked out in her Braves gear and her baseball glove – she was ready for the game.

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But first – photos in front of stadium, and the Hank Aaron statue of course ,especially considering this is last year Braves are playing here. The Braves had provided us with OnField PreGame BP passes so we headed to the Museum entrance and were then escorted down to the field .

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This was the first time any of our guests had ever been in the field, and it is so cool to watch the priceless reactions. – They had smiles from ear to ear walking through the tunnel and then onto turner field . As always, a few of the players stopped by to say hi and thank our warriors for their service. 

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Tyler Flowers  and Jeff Francoeur were extremely cool with our guests, signing autographs and taking photos. 

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We stayed on the field a little over an hour and the guys also got to meet Jarrod from the Braves front office.  Jarrod has been instrumental in helping our heroes for last 3 years.  We are thankful for his help!

As the game got ready to start, it gave my dad  time to just hang out and learn a little bit more about our guests . And talk about coincidence – we were talking about their kids and found out both Sean and Chris both have kids that were born on exact same day!!! One was born at 1700 and the other at 1741 – of course military time but only 41 minutes apart !!

The game itself was a strange one as the New York Mets stormed out to a 5-0 lead early , and the 8-0 in the 5th and didn’t look like much of a game . However , a 6-run 5th inning by the Braves made it interesting , but that was as close as they would get , losing by that 8-6 score . Unfortunately, Sgt Brown did not get there until after the game started, but was there in time for the fireworks and concert after the game too, so it made it a great night for everyone involved.

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We would like to thank Jarrod and the Atlanta Braves for tickets and field passes, as well as their continued support over last 3 years We would also like to thank New Era Cap for providing hats as usual and for their continued support for every single season since we started our mission in 2012.

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But of course – and always – biggest THANK YOU goes out to Sgt Sean Gannon, Sgt Chris Barrett and Sgt Marshall Brown for their service to our great country!!! 

My dad is hopping on his 3rd straight overnight bus for a 15 hour ride to Miami to host and honor Gold Star families of our fallen heroes at Marlins games on both Saturday and Sunday.  Stay Tuned for more details!

 Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

Dont forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!

Click here for more information.

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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The Atlanta Braves Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

 

After making warrior wishes come true at the Braves game, my dad spent the night at the airport hotel, literally, the airport was his hotel, haha.  

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He woke up early, refreshed and ready to make more warrior wishes come true at the Braves game for the second day in a row. 

We were honored to be hosting Army Sgt Jason Nichols and Air Force Veteran Daniel Wiggley, along with their kids, for the 1:30 Game at Turner field.   We met up with the Warriors in front of the famous Hank Aaron statue. 

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The Warriors & their kids loved their new New Era Braves caps 

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The Braves provided tickets for the game.  Unfortunately they were off to a rocky start to the season and their losing streak continued as they lost to the Cardinals 12-7.  

After the game the fun was just beginning, as the Warriors kids were encouraged to go out on the field and run the bases.  It was the highlight of their day & put huge smiles on everyone’s faces.  

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We would like to thanks Jarrod at the Atlanta Braves for providing tickets and an unforgettable experience and New Era Cap for providing new Braves caps for everyone!  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

After 10 straight days on the road hosting and honoring 16 warriors and 34 family members in 8 different cities it was time for my dad to come home and catch up on lost sleep in an actual bed.  

He will be back in action on our Battlefields to Ballfields Tour making warrior wishes come true at every Major League Baseball stadium in The U.S. beginning Apr 24 in Detroit. 

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

Dont forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!

Click here for more information.

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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Warrior Wishes Come True In Atlanta!

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Needless to say, We are extremely proud to have hosted and honored over 1800 military heroes, wounded vets and fallen hero families now. A couple other things we are proud of is constantly sharing stories of our previous guests, and now friends, inspiring others – and how we try to stay in touch as much as possible with our warriors all across the country.  Today we have a cool story that is example of that – Last Year Navy Veteran Steve Daigle was our nominated Guest Warrior for Braves game. Unfortunately, due to delay in bus from Miami, where we were hosting 8 warriors including Army Sgt Ronald Rodriguez at Miami Marlins game, we missed the game at Turner Field – bus arrived half hour AFTER the game. Turn the clock ahead a year – since we did not meet Steve Daigle and wife Patti, we invited them back for tonight’s Braves game to finally meet and host them. At the exact same time we were meeting the Daigle’s for the first time, Sgt Rodriguez ( from that same Miami Marlins game) came out to say HI and also met the Daigle’s for the first time – you see, he has since obtained a job with the Atlanta Braves. So it was a little reunion of sorts…kind of… You can’t make this stuff up!!!  It was great to see Ron again, and to finally meet the Daigles. It was a little chilly but we had a great time – but the Braves are still looking for their first win of the season, losing 12 – 2 in a sloppily played game in which both teams made 3 errors.

Thank you to New Era Cap and the Atlanta Braves

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2016 “Battlefields to Ballfields” Schedule Released!

After a successful 2015 “All32in17” mission completed, we are proud to announce our upcoming schedule for our 2016 “Battlefields to Ballfields” Mission.   We are currently accepting nominations.

NOMINATE YOUR HERO!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank everyone for their support and look forward to seeing you all on the road this summer as we honor our Nations’ Heroes from the “Battlefields to the Ballfields”

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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The Atlanta Braves Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

The Marlins did an amazing job helping us honor Gold Star families & wounded warriors at back to back games.  Unfortunately My dad had to leave the marlins game early last night to start making his way to Atlanta to make warrior wishes come true at the Braves game.

The plan was to take a bus from Miami to Orlando which was supposed to arrive at 4am, then jump on a connecting bus from Orlando to Atlanta which departed at 6am.  With a 2 hour window we thought we would have plenty of time to spare, however, there was an altercation on the bus to Orlando which delayed it and my dad missed the connecting bus to Atlanta.

Eventually he was able to get on a bus thru Tallahassee that took much longer than a direct trip to Atlanta.  Having said that, he spent the entire day riding on the bus and did not make it to Atlanta in time to host the warriors at the braves game, on the bright side at least his bus was still on all four wheels.  More importantly, the hiccup did not stop us from making Warrior Wishes come true!

Today the Atlanta Braves are helped us honor Navy warrior Steve Daigle & the legacies of SSG Christopher Smith & CW4 Clifford Branson.  (See their stories below)

Since my dad’s didn’t make it to Braves game in time to host, we would like to thank Michelle, the survivor outreach coordinator in Atlanta for stepping in to help coordinate everyone.  We would also like to thank Jarod and the Atlanta braves for going above and beyond to provide the warriors & their families a once in a lifetime Braves experience & helping us honor these brave soldiers by providing tickets and Batting Practice field passes, New Era Caps provided Braves caps for the warriors & their families, and Whole foods for provided lunch before the game!

The highlight of the day came when Washington Nationals Star outfielder. Bryce Harper gave Army CW4 Clifford Branson’s son, Jayden, his bat after he took Batting Practice!  He also collected autographs from a few Braves players and got batting gloves from Ian Desmond!

 It’s now midnight on the east coast and my dad has officially arrived in the ATL.  He plans to sleep over at the Bus station & work overnight and I’m hoping that his phone doesn’t get stolen again like the last time he was in Atlanta sleeping at the bus station.  He will be honoring a few warriors &Gold Star Families at the Braves game again tomorrow at our 31st game in 29 days on ourBattlefields to Ballfields Mission!

Learn more about our MissionNominate Your Hero for an upcoming gameFollow Our BlogGet involvedMake a Donation & Buy Warrior Wishes gear at http://warriorwishes.org/

RETIRED NAVY PO1 STEVE DAIGLE

Retired PO1 Stephen Wayne Daigle was born in Pasadena Texas on July 20, 1964 and seventeen years later before he had even graduated from high school he had signed up to join the Navy.  Leaving home just a few months after graduation to go to Great Lakes Illinois for basic training.  PO1 Daigle found a career that was filled with many adventures that included 10 years at sea on five different Aircraft Carriers and a Destroyer as a Jet Engine Mechanic.  He has traveled to Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and North and South America.  While serving as a Navy Recruiter in Council Bluffs Iowa in the summer of 1999 Stephen met his wife; Patricia and her daughter’s Alexandria and Shannon, and they were married and became a family the following spring.

In August of 1999, while deployed on the Aircraft Carrier Harry S. Truman during training exercises for a major battle group deployment; Stephen and four other airman were manually loading an external fuel tank onto an F-18 Super Hornet when there was a miss step; PO1 Daigle stepped up to save his fellow airman from getting crushed by the weight of the tank.  In doing so, PO1 Daigle suffered multiple fractures to his vertebrae and ligament tears in both ankles.  After being medevac’d off of the Aircraft Carrier; he reported to Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth Virginia where he had his first of four surgeries; the first one on his back, the next two on his ankles and then the last on his back that resulted in having a titanium rod and screws placed for added support along his spine due to the fractures and degeneration.  It was made very clear to PO1 Daigle from the beginning that he would not be able to return to working as a jet engine mechanic; and thus he spent his time while recovering from his four surgeries on light/limited duty as the Chief Safety Officer at the Wing Command at Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia.  In September 2003 after serving 20 years in the Navy PO1 Stephen Wayne Daigle was medically retired.

Since his retirement PO1 Daigle has worked as a travel agent and for the past seven and a half years he has been working for Department of Homeland Security with TSA as a Behavioral Detection Officer in Birmingham Alabama.  He and his wife Patricia enjoy traveling when their schedules permit as well as being major supporters of their college football team at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville Alabama.  When they aren’t rooting for JSU they are splitting their time rooting for University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles where their older daughter is in Graduate Studies; or Mississippi State University Bulldogs where their younger daughter will be receiving her Undergraduate Degree on May 8th.

While PO1 Daigle’s injury was not in the heat of battle, he showed his fellow service men and woman what it means to put yourself before others no matter what the cost.  He would rather have taken the pain then watched someone else get hurt; he says that it is what he would expect any of his fellow sailors to have done if they had been in his shoes.  His recovery from his injuries was not an easy journey, and at times he felt very lost and without support; but leaning on his family and close friends helped get him through.  While he is unable to do many things he enjoyed doing before his injury, he is grateful that he is still here to be able to enjoy his life with his wife and daughters.

SSG CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Christopher graduated early as a Senior in January 2006.  He immediately joined the Army in February 2006.

Christopher didn’t put people down he always lifted them up.  Which he felt it was a proud privilege to be a soldier (leader).

As an Army Soldier Christopher was Disciplined, Fierce, Loyal, Respectful, gave Selfless Service, fulfilled his Duty with Integrity, Honor,  Pride in his unit and his country.

SSG Smith’s awards and decorations include, Army Commendation Medal 2, Joint Service Achievement Medal 1, Meritorious Unit Emblem 1, Army Good Conduct Medal 2, National Defense Service Medal 1, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Cluster 2, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal 1, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon 2, Army Service Ribbon 1, Overseas Service Ribbon 1, Parachute Badge 1, Driver/Mechanic 1.

CW4 CLIFFORD BRANSON

CW4 Cliff A. Branson was born April 06, 1962 in Montgomery, AL.  He attended college at University of Florida and University of Southern Mississippi where he also played football for the universities.  In 1984 he moved to Hillsdale, MI to spend some time with his dad’s family.  There he met Debbie LoPresto and they dated for a month and a half before he joined the Army.

 In Sept 1985 while in flight school at Ft Rucker, AL, Cliff flew to MI to marry Debbie.  After finishing flight school, the couple moved to their first duty station at Ft Lewis, WA (1986-1989).  While there they welcomed their first child, Jeremy Alan.  From Washington they moved to Garlstedt, Germany (1989-1992).

In 1990 while in Germany, their second son, Jordan Terry was born.  Shortly after the birth of their second son, Branson was assigned to Desert Storm where he flew missions every day and was awarded the Bronze Star for his mission.  After a three year tour in Germany the family was assigned to Ft. Ord, CA (1992-1993). On driving out to California, the family stopped in Hillsdale, MI and gave birth to their third child, Kaitlyn Taylor.

The family ended up in Georgia in 1993, stationed at Ft.Gillem.  After three years at Gillem, Branson transferred from the Army to Active Duty National Guard and was stationed at Dobbins AFB where he actively participated in the GA RAID.  Thirteen years after the birth of their third child, the family had a welcomed surprise in Oct 2005 with the birth of their fourth child, Jayden Asher.

CW4 Cliff Branson died on Active Duty July 22, 2006 and was honored with a burial in Arlington Cemetery. His viewing and memorial showed the impact he made on so many lives. He flew the OH-58 helicopter and loved what he did.  He would volunteer for missions at home and abroad.  He was a Christian and was actively involved with the youth and playing the drums for the church band.  Branson’spriorities were God, Family and Country.  His greatest accomplishments were his four children and flying helicopters for the United States Army.

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The Atlanta Braves Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

My Dad finally arrived in Atlanta to Make Warrior Wishes come true.  Unfortunately he missed out on hosting yesterday, but thanks to the Atlanta Braves, Warrior Wishes still came true!

After spending the night at the Greyhound station, my dad was ready to host heroes at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves.

Today we had the honor of hosting Army Warrior Paul Van Drie & the legacies of SSG Alan Shaw & SPC Phillip Findley.

Thanks to the Atlanta Braves for helping us honor these heroes and their families at the game.  The BRaves provided tickets and pregame on-field batting practice passes.  Players from both teams stopped by to sign autographs and show their appreciation!  We would also like to thankWhole foods Midtown for providing lunch and New Era for providing Atlanta Braves caps for everyone!

My Dad will be on a bus for the next 15 hours making his way to Dallas to make Warrior Wishes come true at our 32nd game in the past 30 days at the Texas Rangers game tomorrow night!  Will he make it in time?  stay tuned…

SSG Alan Wayne Shaw was born Nov. 10, 1975, in Little Rock, AR to Jarrell and Noramae Shaw and was the third of seven children. He and his family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was a 1994 graduate of Wilbur D. Mills High School in Little Rock, AR. Alan then attended Arkansas Tech University before joining the U.S. Marine Corp in 1998. While assigned to 1st BN 5th Marines in Camp Pendleton, CA., Alan served two overseas tours and one sea service tour. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2002 and proceeded to attend University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Alan and Sharrell were married on Oct. 23, 2003 and in October of 2004 he decided once again to serve his country by joining the US Army. Six weeks later he was serving his first combat tour in Baghdad, Iraq. Alan was reunited with his family in March 2005. He left for his second tour in support of OIF II Oct. 4, 2006 and selflessly gave his life for his country on February 9, 2007 during combat operations in Baquabah, Iraq.

Alan exhibited great pride in his military career and was an outstanding leader and friend to his fellow soldiers. He was always among the first to volunteer, as he believed wholeheartedly in his mission as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Alan died a hero to an entire nation as well as to his family and friends.

Anyone who knew Alan will remember his passion for life and his ability to create an environment of happiness for those around him. He was adamant about his beliefs and his plan for the future. Those who were fortunate enough to know him will never forget him and all who loved him will live forever with him in their hearts. He was a loving son, brother, husband, friend and, most of all, daddy. The legacy he has left behind will continue to enrich the lives and loves of all.

Alan is survived by his wife, Sharrell, and three children, Austin, Jourdan and Davyn.