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Game 4 – Warrior Wishes Come True at the Panthers Game!

After making Warrior Wishes come true at an unbelievable game in New Orleans…

My dad made his way back home to spend a day with the grandkids before catching his 5am flight back to Charlotte for the 2nd time this week (he had a layover there Monday morning on his way to New Orleans).

We have made some unforgettable memories in Charlotte throughout the years. Personally I will never forget meeting David & Frank at our first Panthers game ever. We had a blast hanging out together.

It’s been a true honor to host so many amazing warriors throughout the years. We’ve had fun on the sidelines, enjoyed pregame fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and always enjoy tailgating with our friends!

My dad touched down in Charlotte just after 8am and spent the morning working on setting up a few future events. Eventually he made his way downtown to meet up with the warriors.

Today we had the honor of hosting Army Sgt Ralph Pruitt and USAF Senior Master Sgt Kelly Gabard at the Panthers game.

Sgt Pruitt was wounded while serving in Iraq on Feb 8th, 2011. He was nominated to us by his wife who said he is a “HUGE” Panthers fan! Her wish was to send him to a game and we are happy to finally make that wish come true!

SMSGT Kelly Gabard proudly served our country for 26 years! Kelly was nominated to us by her daughter, Brittany, who says she wanted to show her mom her appreciation for her dedicated service and all that she has done for her and her daughter. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to show our appreciation to her too!

The group met up at the Mecklenburg county Sheriff department where they got a police escort to the stadium!

After snapping a few pictures in front of the stadium the group made their way over to meet up with our friend, Joe Scaldera. Joe and his tailgate crew have been helping us make Warrior Wishes come true since 2013! Panther super fans and the warriors enjoyed the tailgate experience before heading inside the stadium to watch the Bucs Kick things off against the Panthers.

We surprised the warriors with front row seats!

Unfortunately, they had to evacuate the seats in the 1st quarter due to severe weather in the area.

Once the rain stopped the game started back up. Unfortunately the Panthers came up a little short, literally… With 1:25 left in the game, trailing by 6, the Panthers failed to convert on 4th and 1 from the 2 yard line. The Bucs took over on downs and ran the clock out to seal the deal.

Despite the loss, the warriors had “a day to remember forever.”

We couldn’t have made this experience possible without the support from the Mecklenburg county Sheriff’s dept, our friend Joe Scaldera and his tailgate crew, and everyone who has helped support our mission throughout the years! We are thankful for all of you!

Most importantly, we are thankful to those who selflessly serve our country especially Army Sgt Ralph Pruitt and USAF Senior Master Sgt Kelly Gabard. Thank you for your service!

My dad will be spending the next few days in Charlotte before taking a $1 megabus to Atlanta for the Sunday night showdown between the Eagles & Falcons. Stay tuned for more details!

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Game 17 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Panthers Game!

After a wild week 5 of making wishes come true in Tampa, Houston & Chicago, my dad got some much needed rest.  

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After a few “days off” he was back in action!  As we have mentioned before, we do everything we can to keep expenses down so we can give back to more warriors.  So instead of paying for an expensive flight to Charlotte, we found airfare for $40 to Atlanta & booked a $1 megabus from Atlanta to Charlotte.  

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My dad started his adventure to Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon.  He took a bus to catch a train to the airport & flew to Atlanta.  He arrived just before midnight & spent the night at the airport.  

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He then took a train from the airport to catch his bus downtown.  He officially arrived in Charlotte around noon on Thursday giving him plenty of time to explore downtown charlotte & he tied up some loose ends before meeting up with the warriors to tailgate before the game.

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Today we are honored to be hosting Marine Sgt Patrick Brown & Army SSG Cody Fowler at the Panthers game.

Over the years we have made some unforgettable memories and amazing friendships while making wishes come true at the Panthers games.  Here are some of our favorite memories!

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For the past few years, Joe & Lori Scaldera have hosted warriors at their tailgate & helped us make Wishes come true in Charlotte.  This year was no different & they helped us secure a couple of tickets too!  First to arrive at the tailgate was Marine Sgt Patrick Brown who brought along his expecting wife, Blake & his service dog, Tank.  They were excited for the game & all decked out in Panthers gear, even Tank!

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Army SSG Cody Fowler and his wife Leah also arrived shortly after. They too were decked out in their panthers gear & excited for the game. 

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(MEET THE WARRIORS BELOW)

After everyone was introduced, they all got to know each other while having fun hanging out at the tailgate.  Since the Panthers were playing the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe and Lori prepared “Philly cheesesteaks” for dinner and as they always do, invited the warriors to go thru the line first.  

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Everyone had a great time meeting new friends over great food & some “Panther Juice.” Before heading over to the stadium to watch the Eagles & Panthers kickoff week 6!

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Both Panthers & Eagles have only lost 1 game on the season and lead their divisions in the standings.  I know it’s still early in the season, but this was a big game for both teams!  Despite the media reports of NFL ticket prices & attendance dropping. This was a sold out game & a tough ticket to get!

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My dad escorted the warriors into the stadium & had planned to try to get a cheap ticket outside the stadium for himself.  But unfortunately wasn’t able to find anything for less than $200 even after the game started.  So while the warriors had fun inside the stadium, my dad waited outside & wathed the game at a tailgate.

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The Panthers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, but did not give the warriors much to cheer about after that.  Two Cam Newton Interceptions led to 2 Eagles TD’s the panthers did their best to claw their way back, but in the end fell short & lost to the Eagles by the score of 28-23.

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Despite the loss, the warriors had a great time at the game!

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My dad met back up with the warriors at the tailgate after the game to thank them one last time before saying goodbye.  The Fowlers dropped him off at the airport on the way back to their hotel.  

Operation warrior Wishes would like to thank Joe & Lori Scaldera for their continued support & for providing an awesome tailgate experience!  We also want to thank Emmet Howle for donating 2 tickets, New Era Cap for providing Panthers caps, Hilton Garden Inn North for providing accommodations & the NASCAR Hall of Fame for donating admission for the warriors to use at a later date. We couldn’t have made this all possible without your generosity & support!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Marine Sgt Patrick Brown and Army SSG Cody Fowler for their service!  It hasn’t gone unnoticed, it’s appreciated & will never be forgotten.  We Salute you!

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My dad is spending the night at the Charlotte airport & will be on an early morning flight back to Chicago.  He will be back in action on Sunday making Wishes come true in Minnesota & on Monday hosting warriors in Tennessee.  Stay tuned for more details!

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MEET THE WARRIORS

MARINE SGT PATRICK BROWN

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On September 7th, 1989 Patrick Brown was born in Hanau, West Germany where his father (Richard Brown) was stationed in the United States Army. Patrick was raised in the small town of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina where he was involved in many sports throughout his childhood. Patrick graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School in 2008.

After graduating high school Patrick joined the United States Marine Corps which had been a dream of his since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Patrick went to Bootcamp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina in December 2008 and was assigned to 3rd training Battalion, Company K. Patrick graduated Marine Corps Bootcamp in March 2009, and was then sent to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for his Military Occupational Specialty School. Patrick attended school to become a Military Police Officer, and graduated MP school in July of 2009. Upon graduation of MP school Patrick was then stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 27. Later in 2009 Patrick would pick up the rank of E-2 (Private First Class), then to the rank of E-3 (Lance Corporal).  Shortly after beginning his career at Camp Lejeune Patrick began preparation for deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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Patrick deployed to Afghanistan in August of 2010 to February 2011. During his deployment Patrick stepped on 1 IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and was in 4 different vehicles who hit IED’s, totaling 5 IED blast exposures in about 3 months. Patrick was Medevac’d on two different occasions during his deployment.

After Patrick’s return from Afghanistan he was assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Camp Lejeune as a result of the injuries he obtained in Afghanistan. Patrick suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI), bruised right hip bone, ruptured ear drums, and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Upon completion of his five-and-a-half-year enlistment contract Patrick received an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps at the rank of E-5 (Sergeant) in 2014.

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Due to the injuries from his deployment Patrick has been awarded two Purple Heart medals, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO-ISAF Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, and Sea Service Deployment ribbon.

            In 2014 Patrick started Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC. After graduating BLET Patrick applied to different Law Enforcement Agencies around North Carolina. Unfortunately, before Patrick’s Civilian Law Enforcement career could begin it was ended. In July of 2015 Patrick began having severe seizures. After many months of medical examining and testing Patrick was diagnosed with Epilepsy secondary to his TBI. This diagnosis accompanied by his other ailments and injuries from deployment has rendered Patrick disabled. Patrick is now recognized as a 100% permanent and totally disabled Wounded Warrior and Veteran.

Patrick still currently lives in Jacksonville, NC with his wife of 6 years, his five-year-old daughter, and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their second child. Patrick finds strength in many ways but the most important is through the assistance of his service dog Tank. Tank is trained to assist Patrick with his epilepsy as well as Depression and PTSD.

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ARMY SSG CODY FOWLER

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Cody Fowler was born in Charlotte NC and graduated from West Meck in 05. He enlisted in the United States Army in June of 04 at 17 years old. He deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan but after a series of unfortunate events was unable to continue his service and was medically discharged in 2012. He’s been married to his wife since 2009 and they have a one year old son together.

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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!

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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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Warrior Wishes Come True At Superbowl 50!

After traveling over 30,000 miles and hosting more than 150 Warriors at 43 NFL games in 4 months, it was time to make warrior wishes come true at Super Bowl 50!  

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My dad spent all week in San Francisco making warrior wishes come true at events all over the city, leading up to the big game. I was able to honor heroes at some of those events the last few days.

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Throughout the week it was an honor to host over 20 Warriors at 11 different Super Bowl events. Now it is showtime …Super Bowl Sunday!  Our final game of the 2015 season honoring Army Sgt Joel Tavera, his dad (served 25 years in both Marines and Army) and Army MSgt Cedric King.

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This Super Bowl Sunday was one of our biggest logistical challenges – although we had flown Cedric in earlier in the week, Sgt Tavera and his dad couldn’t get a flight until Sunday AM arriving at 12:30 for a 3:30 kickoff 45 minutes away.

Everything had to be perfect – the flight had to be on time, we needed an uber driver nearby & most of all, little to no traffic.  

My dad went to airport at 7am to trace all steps necessary to make sure everything went perfect . He made arrangements to have bags stored at airport til after the game, called police to get special parking spot for Uber to pick us up , made arrangements for late checkin at hotel, etc. That effort paid off – thanks to a little help from Me back home.  For this of you who have been following us for a while, you know my dad isn’t very tech savvy.  So I had to get him an uber because he was clueless to how it worked…

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Thankfully the flight landed right on time.  My dad Met Sgt Tavera at the baggage claim & took his bags 50 feet to storage, walked another 50 feet to the Uber waiting for them right outside, and we were off . Surprisingly traffic was not bad cuz officials urged everyone to take public transportation and most did.

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My dad got to know Joel & his dad on the 45 minute drive from San Francisco to Santa Clara.  (You can see Joel’s Bio below.). 

They arrived at Levi Stadium with time to spare.  My dad walked them as close to the stadium as he could to take a few pictures before they headed inside to watch their Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50!  

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Our plan worked perfectly!  Now that they were inside enjoying themselves, My dad made his way down the street to watch the game at a local hotel.  

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Cedric had arrived to the stadium much earlier and was already inside enjoying the Super Bowl atmosphere.  Excitement was all around – clearly Broncos fans outnumbered Panthers fans 3 to 1, but the Warriors were all rooting for Panthers, so we were too. It didn’t look good early, as Carolina fell behind 10-0 early, but were able to hang around most of the game even though they never were able to take the lead – this was ironic as they rarely trailed the entire season.

At halftime Cedric made his way through the crowd to meet up with Joel & his dad.  He said it wasn’t easy, but he was able to send us we a great photo of them together laughing it up and having a good time while enjoying the Super Bowl .

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Unfortunately for them, the Panthers could never quite get going and a late 4th qtr fumble and a Broncos touchdown pretty much sealed their fate.  The Denver Broncos went on to win Super Bowl 50 By the score of 24-10.

Although disappointed, Sgt Tavera , his dad and MSgt King all had a great time and wished the Broncos congratulations- and who would have expected anything less from some true American heroes!!!

After the game the Tusca Restaurant, in the Hyatt hotel nearby, hosted everyone for a post game meal before heading back to the airport to pick up their luggage and check into the hotel.

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our friends at ESPN for helping us secure tickets to the Big Game, Tusca For providing the post game meal,  Staybridge Suites in San Bruno for providing accommodations for SGT Tavera  and his dad, our friend Lou for letting us stay all week and helping us get around town.  most importantly we want to thank SGT Tavera, his father & MSGT King for your service, sacrifices & your inspirational never give up attitudes!  It’s a true honor to call you friends.  

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We also want to thank everyone who helped us make this Super Bowl Week Special for all the Warriors & everyone who helped make our entire 2015 season a huge success!  We were able to make Warrior Wishes come true at 44 NFL games this year!  We could have never made it all possible without all the support!  

My dad will be taking a few weeks off to catch up with the family & to set up our spring “Battlefields to Ballfields” mission.  Stay tuned for the schedule & don’t forget to nominate your hero!  

2015 All32in17 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Meet the Warriors

Army SGT Joel Tavera

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Army SGT Joel Tavera followed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the military.

On March 12th 2008, while serving in Iraq, Joel was riding in an SUV with four other soldiers when he felt a sense of fear like none he’d ever experienced. He opened his back door right before the rocket landed on the vehicle. Three of the other soldiers died in the blast. He thinks that open door saved his life.

His last memories of sight: light, blue sky, the sun and the face of Capt. Kevin Lombardo, who came to his rescue.
Lombardo kept Tavera alert as he put on a tourniquet by talking about family, baseball and a tattoo on Tavera’s right arm: “Hebrews 4:12,” under a cross, signifying two blades. It’s one of his favorite verses.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

The blast stole four fingers on Army Sgt. Joel Tavera’s left hand, destroyed his right leg, caused brain trauma, burned more than 60 percent of his body and left him blind, but It didn’t take his life.

Tavera isn’t sure how he lived, how he pulled through 81 days in a coma or 60 plus surgeries that patched him together. He leans on God’s word and figures the Lord must have plans for him.

“Not every soldier is like that,” he said. “Some choose to give up, but … my life is not over with.”

Joel says “Who I was then did die, but the new Tavera is, in many ways, better.” And, he believes, blessed.

Tavera received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service, but he barely talked those first two years and got around in a wheelchair. These days, he’s making up for it. He is asked to speak at events often. He writes poetry and is working on a book. He wrote an inspirational song, Just to Be With You, soon after he learned that he was blind.

Being blind is a challenge he embraces.
“I see people for who they really are,” he said. “There’s no going back. If there were, I don’t know if I would.”

We are honored to be hosting Army SGT Joel Tavera & his dad, who also served our country for over 25 years, at the Super Bowl to cheer on their favorite team.

 

Meet Army Master SGT Cedric King

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On July 25th 2012 Cedric was serving in Afghanistan. At the time he was a platoon Sargent & As usual, he received the coordinates of where to go, just like every day, setting out 10-15 minutes later and getting fired upon, which was nothing new. The only thing different on that particular day was that this was a new sector.

Cedric’s team happened to be covering for another platoon. They were bringing a group of guys to cover when Cedric’s right foot stepped on an IED.
He didn’t know what had happened. In fact, he thought at first that he had just been blown back by the blast. The men around him were hurt too, but Cedric received the majority of the injuries, although at the time, he didn’t realize it.

He said, “I was really upset that I didn’t get a chance to finish getting the guys who were shooting at us,” but he said that wore off soon and started gasping for air. He looked at his body and quickly realized that it was mangled. Soon, the helicopter arrived to take Cedric and the other injured men to the closest base, Kandahar. Cedric said that once at the army base, he had no recollection of anything until he woke up a week later on August 1 at Walter Reed.

Cedric lost both of his legs above the knee in the blast. He credits his Family and faith for motivating him to always push his limits and never give up. “These two elements helped me when I didn’t want to get up. Faith helps me believe in a brighter future. Faith keeps me going—this didn’t happen for nothing. I believe in a higher power who loves me enough to say, I’m not doing this to hurt you, I’m doing this to help you.’”

His family, which includes his wife and children, is there for him constantly. Cedric says, “There are people around me who love me, not because I had legs, not because I was strong, not because I could pick up my kids. They love me for the part of me that you can’t see. They love me for what’s on the inside. That’s the part of you they can’t smell, they can’t see.”
Cedric wants to live life the way that He did before or better, as if nothing ever happened. “I’ve got every excuse to say ‘Its too much,’ but I won’t. To me, it’s not awe-inspiring like it is to everyone else. To me, it’s a frame of mind that separates me between now and who I used to be. The injury is big in other people’s eyes. To me, it’s not that big of a deal (any more). It’s a shift in consciousness. The reason why this happened was to make me better…to make me stronger…to expose my best part in me. By not complaining, it makes it better.”

If that doesn’t inspire you, this will. MSgt Cedric King lets nothing stand in his way! On November 2nd, 2014, Cedric set his sights on crossing the finish line at the New York City Marathon. During the grueling 26 mile trek, one of Cedric’s prosthetic legs broke. He lost invaluable time as he waited to get it fixed.

King knelt down and prayed. He put one foot in front of the other & never looked back. After all the crowds had gone home & clean up crews were sweeping the streets, Cedric King crossed the finish line 10 hours after starting the race.

So what if he was one of the last people to cross the finish line? He did it, he displayed strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril, and the willingness to stand up and fight no matter what the cost.

Master Sgt Cedric King recently retired from the army and moved out of Walter Reed back to North Carolina with his family. Cedric is a huge Panthers fan! He is a motivational speaker, a mentor and a true inspiration.

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Warrior Wishes Come True At Superbowl 50 Opening Night!

My dad spent months planning to make warrior wishes come true in San Francisco during Super Bowl week.  He was able to set up events to host heroes almost every day of the week leading up to the big game. 

In past years what is formerly known as “Media Day” was always on Tuesday.  So I booked my dads flight for less than $100 round trip leaving Tuesday morning in order to get him in town before media day began.  The only problem was that they changed “Media Day” to “Superbowl Opening Night” this year & they changed it to Monday instead of Tuesday. 

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But that didn’t stop us from making warrior wishes come true!  Thanks to the NFL & the SAP center, we were able to send Army SPC Alex Vega, Navy Warrior Sal Duenas, Army SGT Christian Valle & their families to Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday. 

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The Warriors got to watch & listen live as media outlets from all over the world asked Broncos & Panthers players questions.  It was a great way to kickoff the week!

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My Dad will be flying in first thing Tuesday morning & will be making Warrior Wishes come true all week long!

MEET THE WARRIORS

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Alex served from 2001-2004.  He served on a peace keeping mission in kosovo in 2002 & then on a deployment to Iraq in 2003.  He now works full time & enjoys spending time with his family.

ARMY SGT CHRISTIAN VALLE

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On Oct. 23, 2005 Army SGT Cristian Valle was on patrol performing a vehicle checkpoint in Balad, Iraq when a mortar round with a grenade attached was thrown out the window of a passing vehicle. The grenade exploded a few feet away from SGT Valle, tossing him into the air. He lost one of his legs immediately and the other was so severely damaged it was eventually amputated. He also sustained a pelvic fracture, burns and significant blood loss.

After SGT Valle was tossed into the air and landed on the ground, through the dust and smoke, the first thing that caught his eye was his wedding ring and he says that is what pulled him through. He spent 13 months at Walter Reed, where he had multiple leg cleaning surgeries and months of physical therapy. Today he is continuously adjusting to his condition.  

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Game 21 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Carolina!

My dad made his way to the Atlanta airport after making Warrior Wishes come true courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons.  Funny thing is, he didn’t go there to fly anywhere, he made his way to the airport to get some rest before catching his 6:30am bus to Charlotte.

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He arrived in Charlotte around noon & promptly made his way over to the NASCAR Hall Of Fame to meet up with the warriors & take a tour of the museum.
We were honored to be hosting Army SPC Christopher Trumbull Jr, Army SSG Christopher Price & Army Master SGT Cedric King at the Carolina Panthers game & make their Warrior Wishes come true!  (Meet the Warriors below)
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Here are some of our favorite Carolina memories making Warrior Wishes come true.
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 As I mentioned before, we toured the NASCAR Hall of Fame with the Warriors before the game.  Past guest Army warrior Frank Thompson joined us on the tour as well.
The Hall of Fame is a 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue is designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike.  It opened May 11, 2010 and includes artifacts, interactive exhibits, and a 278-person state-of-the-art theater.  The goal of the facility is to honor NASCAR icons and create an enduring tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners and others that have impacted the sport in the past, present and future.  It was an awesome meeting place to get to know the Warriors.
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The weather was not very cooperative as it was pouring down rain pretty much all day, but that didn’t put a damper on the fun.  Thankfully our friend Joe, who is now our “Official Charlotte Tailgate” host, came prepared with tents so everyone was able to stay dry while filling up on food before the game.
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Joe organized “VanMan” to pick us up from the tailgate & escorted the warriors to the stadium in a custom Panthers autographed vehicle.  It was a great way to arrive in style & definitely added to the overall experience.
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Over the summer we congratulated Charles “Peanut” Tillman on Twitter for graduating with his masters degree & wished him the best with his new team. Tillman was traded in the offseason from Chicago to Carolina & as a Bears fan it was tough to see him go.  He is one of the best both on and off the field.  In fact, Tillman was named the 2014 “Walter Payton Man of the Year.”  The award is the only league honor that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.
Tillman quickly responded to our message on Twitter & offered to help us make Warrior Wishes come true in Carolina & boy did he ever!  His father in law served our country for more than 30 years, Charles has great appreciation for our nation’s military & thanks to him & his wife’s generosity the warriors had the opportunity of a lifetime by getting to watch the game from a luxury suite!
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Tillman is no stranger to making dreams come true, he & his wife, Jackie, are the founders of the Cornerstone Foundation.  An organization with a mission to provide opportunities and resources to children and their families who are in need. Since 2005, Charles Tillman’s charitable efforts have impacted the lives of thousands of critically and chronically ill children and their families.
It was an incredible experience for the Warriors & he wasn’t done yet.  During the 1st quarter of the game, Tillman got his first interception as a Carolina Panther & gave the Warriors something to cheer about!
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The Panthers dominated the game as the rain kept falling, but let their lead slip away late in the 4th quarter.  The game ended up in overtime.  After teams traded field goals in OT, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted an Andrew luck pass to give the panthers great field possession and set up a game winning field goal!
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We would like to thank The NASCAR Hall of fame for providing the pregame tour, New Era Cap for providing Panthers caps for the Warriors, Joe & his tailgate crew for hosting us & providing transportation to the stadium, and thanks to Charles Tillman & his wife for not only making warrior wishes come true in a “suite way” but for all they do to make the world a better place & inspire others by their actions.  Most importantly of all, thanks to the Warriors for your service & sacrifices, we truly hope you enjoyed the day & the memories last a lifetime!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
My dad is back on the bus heading to Atlanta to jump on a flight back to Chicago before heading out to Cincinnati to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Bengals game for our 22nd time this season!

MEET THE WARRIORS

ARMY SSG CHRISTOPHER PRICE

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SSGT Christopher Price was born in Flushing New York & moved to Durham, North Carolina when he was 5.
Christopher joined the Army in Feb 2003 and served a total of 9 ½ years. After completion of infantryman school at Fort Benning. SSGT Price was assigned to 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. SSGT Price served 2 tours in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan.

On August 22, 2003, while on patrol in IRAQ. SSGT Price and his platoon stop to investigate a grenade being thrown at one of their vehicles. While interviewing the locals SGT Price and SPC Tyrone were both shot by a sniper. The bullet travelled through SPC Tyrone’s arm before hitting SSGT Price in his Kevlar helmet. SSGT Price spent one year recovering from the injury before being cleared to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan.

Due to his injury’s SGT Price retired on September 23, 2012. He is currently attending Carolina School of Broadcasting to become a radio sports broadcaster and videographer.

ARMY SPC CHRISTOPHER TRUMBULL JR.

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SPC Christopher Trumbull Jr was born and raised in North Carolina. After the events on 9/11, Chris made the decision to join the Army and defend our country. Trumbull served in the United States Army for 8 years until he was medically retired on April 15th, 2014.

He served on deployment to Afghanistan from 2009-2010 & has been stationed at Ft. Bragg, Korea, Ft. Irwin and Ft Benning.

Trumbull is now a full time student at FTCC in the I-Car program & loves anything Carolina Panthers. He enjoys spending time with his kids, watching movies, the walking dead and playing video games.

In Christopher’s nomination, we were told that his favorite thing in the world is Football. He loves the Carolina Panthers & his wardrobe is all Panthers clothing. Trumbull had never been to a panthers game, Until now. It was an honor to host him at his first ever game and thank him for his service by making his Warrior Wish come true!

ARMY MASTER SGT CEDRIC KING

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Master Sergeant Cedric King has been serving in the United States Army since 1995.

On July 25th 2012 Cedric was serving in Afghanistan. At the time he was a platoon Sargent & As usual, he received the coordinates of where to go, just like every day, setting out 10-15 minutes later and getting fired upon, which was nothing new. The only thing different on that particular day was that this was a new sector.

Cedric’s team happened to be covering for another platoon. They were bringing a group of guys to cover when Cedric’s right foot stepped on an IED.

He didn’t know what had happened. In fact, he thought at first that he had just been blown back by the blast. The men around him were hurt too, but Cedric received the majority of the injuries, although at the time, he didn’t realize it.

He said, “I was really upset that I didn’t get a chance to finish getting the guys who were shooting at us,” but he said that wore off soon and started gasping for air. He looked at his body and quickly realized that it was mangled. Soon, the helicopter arrived to take Cedric and the other injured men to the closest base, Kandahar. Cedric said that once at the army base, he had no recollection of anything until he woke up a week later on August 1 at Walter Reed.

Cedric lost both of his legs above the knee in the blast. He credits his Family and faith for motivating him to always push his limits and never give up. “These two elements helped me when I didn’t want to get up. Faith helps me believe in a brighter future. Faith keeps me going—this didn’t happen for nothing. I believe in a higher power who loves me enough to say, I’m not doing this to hurt you, I’m doing this to help you.’”

Master Sergeant King is a recipient of the Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and more.  He hails from North Carolina, is married and loves being a dad to his two daughters. We were honored to host Master SGT King at the ESPY awards this summer. He is one of the biggest Panthers fans & most inspiring people we have ever met. It was great catching up with him and an honor to host him at the Panthers game!