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Game 12 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Buffalo!

After kicking off week 4 of our 8th Annual “All32in17” mission in Green Bay…

My dad made his way back home to meet up with Army Sgt James Fawbush and his wife for lunch at Giordano’s. They arrived in town early and are our guests for the Sunday afternoon Bears game.

Eventually my dad made his way back home to get a good night sleep before heading back to O’Hare airport Saturday evening to catch his flight to Buffalo.

We have made some unforgettable memories in Buffalo throughout the years. My personal favorites include taking a tour of New Era, Watching Marcel Dareus hug one of the warriors on the sidelines and tailgating with Jim Kelly!

Upon arrival at the Buffalo/Niagra airport, my dad found a comfortable bench to rest up on and got a “good night sleep.”  First thing in the morning he grabbed an Uber to New Era stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, to meet up with the Warriors at Danny’s South for breakfast.

Today we had the honor of hosting Army Veterans Trendon Choe, David Timmerman and Jordan Brenden at the Bills game.

Sgt Trendon Choe served as a 13F, Fire Support Specialist for over 6 years in the US Army with the 2nd Battalion 22nd Infantry Unit,10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, NY. As a fire support specialist his primarily responsible was for the intelligence activities of the Army’s field artillery team. His rank was Sergeant, where he led a COLT Team and Fire Support Team in support of combat operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He now works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Syracuse, where he lives with his Wife Valarie, and children Amara and Aspen.

Trendon actually nominated his Hero, his mom, for this experience! Trendon reaches out and said “ my mother has been my rock since joining the US Army. She has been there to support through deployments, and post deployments. She is a HUGE Buffalo Bills fan. I would love the honor to be able to provide a ‘special day’ for her, with her, at ‘The Ralph’ (now New Era) Stadium.” It’s an absolute honor to make this wish come true!

Army SSG David Timmerman was nominated for this experience by his brother in law, who says David is his Hero! SSG Timmerman proudly served our country for more than 18 years!

SSG Timmerman actually nominated SSG Jordan Brenden for the Bills experience. I’m David’s words “Jordan is preparing for his retirement from the Army. He served admirably, and is the epitome of great leadership. SSG Brenden is always there for his Soldiers on or off duty. He holds a special place in my heart because he saved my son’s life.”

It was an absolute honor to hast these amazing men and make their Warrior Wishes come true!

The group got to know each other over a quick meal at Danny’s South before heading over to a very special tailgate surprise. Danny’s South is the best place to hang out before and after Bills games. They have been helping us make Warrior Wishes come true since 2013 and we cannot thank them enough for their support!

Before making their way into the stadium, my dad led the group to Jim Kelly’s Tailgate! Jim Kelly is the Buffalo Bills legendary Hall of Fame Quarterback! He has been helping us make Warrior Wishes come true since we started our mission in 2012!

Jim is an inspiration, he never gives up and always takes his time to show his appreciation to those who sacrifice and serve. Today was no different. We presented the warriors with authentic Jim Kelly jerseys and Jim personally signed each of them for the warriors!

The group had the opportunity to hang out at the tailgate for a while before the game and also got to meet one of Jim’s friends, Bills Hall of Fame Running Back Thurman Thomas!

Eventually they made their way to their 2nd row seats behind the Bills bench to watch the undefeated Patriots kick things off against the undefeated Buffalo Bills!

Things didn’t look good for the Bills early on, as the Patriots jumped out to a very early 13-0 lead after a blocked punt TD. But the Bills defense stepped up and shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots. They only allowed 3 more points the rest of the game! Unfortunately the Bills offense couldn’t come thru and the Bills fell short losing to the Patriots by the score of 16-10 and suffered their first loss of the season.

Despite the loss, it was an unforgettable day for everyone involved.  In SSG Brendan’s words it was an “Opportunity of a lifetime.”

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Army SGT Trendon Choe, Army SSG David Timmerman and Army SSG Jordan Brenden for their selfless service and sacrifices. You guys are appreciated and will never be forgotten!

After the game we “named our price” for a hotel so my dad could get a good night sleep before catching his early morning bus to Pittsburgh to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Steelers game.  Stay tuned for more details…

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Game 25 – Jim Kelly & The Buffalo Bills Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

We kicked off week 8 Making wishes come true in Baltimore at the Ravens game, the 24th game of our 2017 “All32in17” mission.  

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My dad got flew home Friday morning & was back on the road Saturday to get ready to host warriors in Buffalo on Sunday morning.

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He was looking forward to making more once in a lifetime memories today with Army SGT Mark Thompson as well as Air Force Veterans Claire & Matt Carrell (husband & wife).  My dad arrived in Buffalo late Saturday evening after getting a couple of hours of sleep at the airport before heading out to New Era Stadium meet up with the warriors for breakfast Danny’s south restaurant.  

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Danny’s south has been helping make wishes come true in Buffalo for the past few years.  They serve delicious food in a casual atmosphere. Located just outside New Era Stadium in Orchard Park, Danny’s is the spot to be before during & after all Bills games!  Army Sgt Mark Thompson and his wife were the first to arrive.  They enjoyed breakfast while waiting for Air Force veterans Matt & Claire Carrell to arrive.  

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After brunch they headed over to the Hammer Lot to tailgate with some Ultimate Bills fans – Pinto Ron, who hasn’t missed a Bills game in years and cooks food on his old Ford Pinto, along with Captain Buffalo & Pizza Pete.  

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They eventually made their way to the Ralph Wilson Field house to have some more pregame fun & meet up with Matt & Claire.  

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The field house was a fun place to hang out and get to know everyone. Best of all it was inside, out of the cold & rain.  My dad presented the guys with Thank you letters & new Bills caps, courtesy of New Era & they headed back outside to meet Bills Hall of Fame QB, Jim Kelly!

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Jim has been helping make wishes come true since 2012.  Every game we host warriors in Buffalo, he always takes the time to hang out with the warriors and sincerely thank them for their services & sacrifices!

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We cannot thank him enough for his support!  The warriors had a lot of fun hanging out with this Bills legend!  

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Matt got his Jim Kelly jersey signed & was afraid the signature would get ruined in the rain.  So they stopped at the car to drop it off before the group made their way inside to watch the Bills kick off against the Oakland Raiders.

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What seemed like a tough matchup against a good Raiders team, ended up being a blowout by the Bills.  Costly fumbles gave the Bills plenty of scoring opportunities & gave the warriors plenty to cheer about. LeSean McCoy trampled the Raiders for 150 rushing yards on the day & the Bills won 34-14! 

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Operation Warrior wishes would like to thank Scott & the Buffalo Bills for providing tickets & for their years of continued support.  We also want to thank Danny’s south for hosting the warriors for breakfast. Captain Buffalo for hosting the guys at your tailgate, New Era for providing Bills Caps & Jim Kelly for always taking time to make the warriors experience special!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Army SGT Mark Thompson & Air Force veterans Matt & Clair Carrell for their service & sacrifices to our country!  We salute you!

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My dad will be spending the night in Buffalo & plans to stop by New Era tomorrow to thank them for their continued support throughout the years.   He will be back home Monday night & plans to go trick or treating with the grandkids before making wishes come true at the Jets game Thursday night!  Stay tuned for more details!

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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 4 – Jim Kelly & The Buffalo Bills Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

 

Don’t forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2016 “All32in17” Mission!

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

Contact Craig for more information about the mission (630) 339-6714

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Game 23 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Buffalo!

After honoring the legacy of PFC Zachary Salmon at the Bengals game on Thursday night, my dad made his way to the bus station for a few hours of rest before catching an early morning megabus for $1 to Buffalo.

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Friday night, he splurged & booked a hotel for $49 to get a good night sleep.
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Saturday morning roles reversed & my dad was invited to attend the Sabres game with Tim Payne, one of our guests for the Bills game Sunday afternoon.   Tim was honored by the Sabres & got to drop the puck at the game.
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My dad declined a hotel for the 2nd straight night & opted to sleep over at the airport before heading out to Orchard Park in the morning to meet up with Tim & the other warriors at the Bills game.
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We were honored to be hosting Army SGT Tim Payne & Army SGT Hackett at the game plus we met up with Army SPC Mike Jarvis & Army SSGT Kevin Miller who were both die hard bills fans.  They already had tickets, but we had a little surprise for them. (meet the Warriors below)
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My dad did his best to coordinate everyone to meet at a very special tailgate.  Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame QB, Jim Kelly, has helped us make many warrior wishes come true over the past 3 years.  This year all 3 warriors had specifically requested to meet him.  Jim took time away from his tailgate to show his appreciation to the Warriors & personally thanked each one for their service & sacrifices.  It was an experience they will never forget.
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The Buffalo Bills, the Provided the warriors a once in a lifetime opportunity to take the field at Ralph Wilson stadium before the game.  They also provided tickets to the game for each of the Warriors.
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With Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins & Karlos Williams all returning back to the lineup after injuries, the Buffalo Bills got back in the win column & beat the Dolphins by the score of 33-17.
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We would like to thank the Buffalo Bills for going above and beyond to help us make warrior wishes come true for these brave warriors by providing tickets & field passes.  We would also like to thank Jim Kelly for taking time to show his appreciation to the Warriors & New Era caps for providing Bills caps to each of our guests. Most importantly, thanks to the Warriors for your service & sacrifices.  We hope you guys had a great time in Buffalo & made some unforgettable memories along the way, it was an honor to host you.
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My dad spend a 2nd night in a row sleeping at the airport & found a local gym to work out & clean up at in the morning.  He had all day in buffalo before catching an overnight bus to Philadelphia to host warriors at the Flyers game Tuesday night.
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For those of you who have been following our mission since 2012, you may remember we were invited to take a tour of the New Era Cap factory in Buffalo, where they make each 59/50 on field cap!  since then, New Era has played a key role in making warrior wishes come true by providing financial support & caps for all the Warriors!  We truly cannot thank them enough for their support!
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So since my dad had an extra day in Buffalo before heading out to Philly, he found a local bakery to make a cake with our logo on it and hand delivered it to the New Era front office to personally thank them for their generosity.  Special thanks to Missy at Embassy Suites and Jeannie at Tops Grocery Bakery for helping out with cake.
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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
My Dad will be taking a break from football over the next few day to host heroes at the Philadelphia Flyers game on Tuesday & the Boston Bruins game on Thursday before coming home Friday.  Safe Travels dad!

MEET THE WARRIORS

ARMY SGT RYAN HACKETT

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On April 5, 2006, while on routine patrol in Iraq, the Humvee Ryan was driving was struck with an IED. The shrapnel was strong enough to penetrate the vehicle, and caused injuries to both the gunner and Ryan. A large piece of shrapnel came through the door and passed through both of his legs. The truck lost control and began to swerve on the road. The vehicle finally came to a stop after it struck the wall of an Iraqi residents home. A tree was pinning the door of the Humvee shut, and because of his injuries he wasn’t able to be carried out the other door. Some other members of his unit arrived and were able to hack away enough of the tree to get the door open.

   Ryan was able to be evacuated from the area by helicoptor. After several hours in the emergency room, the doctors and nurses were able to stabilize him. Due to the severing of both of his femoral arteries, he received over 200 blood transfusions during the operation.  A few days later Ryan was  transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC where he remained for the next year and a half doing physcial therapy.

Since his injury: Ryan got married in 2013. He enjoys spending time with his English bulldog, skiing, and going to concerts and movies.   He earned his masters degree in English education in December of 2014. 

Ryan was nominated by his wife Sarah who told us he is a die hard Bills fan who would love to meet Jim Kelly.  Mission Accomplished.  It was an honor to host Ryan at the Bills game and make their Warrior Wishes come true!

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ARMY SSG TIMOTHY PAYNE

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Timothy Payne was inspired to join the Army after the events that took place on 9/11.  He enlisted right out of High School.

In July of 2011, Tim was serving on his 3rd deployment when the 32-year-old Army veteran lost both his legs and severely injured his left hand after an improvised explosive device detonated under him during a combat mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.

“I was making my final check with the soldiers and that’s when I got blown up – it was pretty intense. I remember everything I thought I was blown in half. recalls Tim.

SSG Payne was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center where he spent a year and a half recovering from the blast.  After enduring more than 100 surgeries his spirit remains unbreakable.

“It’s been a rough road, but I can’t thank the American people enough on their dedication to give back to the soldiers and just pay it forward,” said Payne.

Tim now travels the country promoting his new book “The Squad Leader’s Bargain” and hopes to inspire others by sharing his story and showing them that nothing is impossible.  He works hard every day to always be the best he can be.

“You just adapt to your limitations and just keep on going,” he said.

Tim is a true inspiration.  You can get inspired by his story and buy his book here.

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SSG Payne was nominated by his mom who told us Tim was a die hard bills fan & his favorite player was also Jim Kelly.  It was an honor to make this warrior wish come true!

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www.WarriorWishes.org

Twitter @WarriorWishes

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Thank you for your support!

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