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“Suite” Warrior Wishes Come True at the Blackahawks Game Again!

On a day where my dad was in Miami hosting warriors at the Dolphins game…

And Warrior wishes were coming true at the Redskins game…

We also had the opportunity for the second straight Sunday to make Warrior Wishes come true in a suite at the Chicago Blackhawks game!

Our friend, Dave, donated his suite to make wishes come true at the last minute.  Dave also donate a suite to “Da Bulls” game this past Tuesday. We cannot thank him enough for these opportunities. Because of his generosity we have been able to make over 20 warrior wishes come true at the United Center in the last week!

 

We met the warriors in front of the Michael Jordan statue about 45 minutes before game time and made our way up to the suite.

Today we had the honor of hosting Air Force Cpt Kyle Radke, Marine CPL Valerie Reynoso, Air Force Airman Annette Roberts , Navy Petty officer 1st Class Derek Bugbee, Navy petty Officer Kevin Finizio, Navy petty Officer 2nd Class Larry Taing and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Guadalupe Miranda in the suite!  Dave’s son stopped by to thank the warriors for their service before the game.

Just like last week, the Hawks jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. We all danced to “Chelsea Dagger” all night long.  The warriors enjoyed chicken fingers, a nacho bar & the sweet cart throughout the game.

The Hawks went on to beat the Sabres by the score of 4-1.

And if you recall, last week Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy stopped up in the suite to personally thank warriors, deliver gifts, signed autographs and took pictures…

Thankfully, he was not able to do that again. Because he’s off injured reserve and back on the ice. But that did not stop him from making wishes come true! He invited the group to come down by the ice after the game and took his time to meet the warriors! Unfortunately Connor took a puck to the knee and was walking with a limp, but not even that could stop him from showing his appreciation.

Connor also brought a gift for one lucky Warrior. He grabbed the game winning puck after the game had ended and gave it away to one of our warriors. Navy veteran Derek Bugbee, who plays goalie for the Blackhawks warriors hockey team, guessed the lucky number and won the puck!

Connor stayed to take pictures and sign autographs before making his way back into the trainers room. We hope his knee feels better soon and are thankful for all he has done to make wishes come true!

Another mission accomplished!

We want to thank Kyle, Valerie, Annette, Derek, Kevin, Larry & Guadalupe for your service and sacrifices. We hope you all made some memories you will never forget!

While we were at the Hawks game, Warrior wishes were also coming true at the Bears game in LA! Stay tuned…

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Warrior Wishes Come True at the Blackahawks Game!

Operation Warrior Wishes celebrates veterans all year round, not just on Veterans Day, but as Veterans Day approaches we always try to go above and beyond and do more to give back to those who serve.  That’s why we jumped at an opportunity to make Warrior wishes come true in a suite at the Chicago Blackhawks game on the Marines birthday, the day before Veterans Day!

To celebrate the Marine’s birthday, we hosted 7 Marines in the suite! Chad Watson, Michael Abragan, Chad Dumont, Diego Armendariz, Ramon Whittar, Gene Keyser and fellow board member Mark Toppel enjoyed connecting with eachother and watching the Hawks in the penthouse suite!

It was the perfect game to make Warrior wishes come true at because the Blackhawks were celebrating Military Appreciation night!  The National Anthem was amazing! Nineteen Purple Heart recipients lined up on the ice as Jim Cornelison belted the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner!

The Blackhawks gave us a lot to celebrate as they scored 4 goals in the 1st period!

We had a surprise guest visit our suite during the 2nd intermission. Blackhawks defenseman, Connor Murphy stopped by to thank the guys for their service and sacrifices! Unfortunately Connor is on injured reserve recovering from an Injury, but hopes to back in the lineup next week.

We met him last year at Brent Seabrook’s bowling event where the warriors and Connor won the title!

Connor brought the warriors Blackhawks military themed shirts, signed autographs, took pictures and sincerely thanked everyone of our guests in attendance!

We also invited a Korean War Purple Heart veteran who was out on the ice during the National Anthem to join us when Connor stopped by.

We cannot thank Connor Murphy enough for going above and beyond to make this a very special night for our guests!  To show him our appreciation, we presented him with a Marines print designed by Jason Bullard (NoGreaterLoveArt.com) and had all the Marines sign it for him.

Everyone lined up to get dessert and really enjoyed the delicious treats from the sweet cart during the 3rd period!

In the end, the Blackhawks went on to beat the Maple Leafs by the score of 5-4!  Another mission accomplished!

Operation Warrior wishes would like to thank Marines; Chad Watson, Michael Abragan, Chad Dumont, Diego Armendariz, Ramon Whittar, Gene Keyser and Mark Toppel for your service and sacrifices! And we want to wish all the veterans out there a very Happy Veterans Day!

My dad will be back in action Monday night at the 49ers game, our 38th NFL game this season! Stay tuned for more details.

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Warrior Wishes Come True At The Hawks Game In Dallas!

My dad made his way to Dallas to make wishes come true at a Blackhawks game less than a week after having the once in a lifetime opportunity to “Bowl with the Hawks” thanks to our friends at the Inner City Education Program.

At that event, warriors teamed up with Blackhawks defenseman, Connor Murphy to win the 10th Annual ICE Bowl Championship.

Earlier this year we received a nomination from Stephanie Bass.  Her husband served 7 years in the Air Force, 1 year in the National Guard, and 4 years in the Army.  Richard Bass grew up going to Blackhawks games with his dad, who also served our country.  Unfortunately his dad has passed away, but Richard Bass is a Die Hard Hawks fan, even though he now lives in Dallas.

After my dad hosted warriors in the Stars suite on Thursday he looked to see what other events were going on while he was in town before the Mavericks game on Sunday.  When he saw the Hawks were playing in Dallas on Saturday night, he knew it would be the perfect opportunity to make wishes come true at the game for Richard!  And our new friend, Connor Murphy helped us make it happen!

We would like to thank Connor and all of his Blackhawks teammates for stopping by to thank Richard for his service and sacrifices.

Based on the reaction below, I think it was a night that Richard Bass will never forget!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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Inner City Education and the Chicago Blackhawks Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Inner City Education and the Chicago Blackhawks for helping make Warrior Wishes come true at the 10th annual Brent Seabrook Celebrity Ice Bowl!

Veterans Tony Thomas, Mark Toppel, Vinnie Trentz and DJ Hale had the once in a lifetime opportunity to “Bowl with the Hawks.”

In fact, their team paired up with Hawks defenseman Connor Murphy and won the tournament!

Marine Master Gunnery SGT Michael Abragan, Marine SSG Angelica Jaime and Army Veteran Mike Way also had the opportunity to join us and meet some of their favorite Hawks players too!

It was an unforgettable experience for all of the warriors!  We couldn’t have made it all possible without Brad from the Inner City Education Program.

The Inner City Educationm (ICE) Program is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.  ICE was established in 2003 to help low income children obtain educational and hockey opportunities not otherwise available to them.  They are doing some amazing things for some amazing children!  It was an absolute honor to have had the chance to meet some of the kids in the program.  We encourage you to support and learn more about their mission at www.innercityeducation.org.

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

 

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Warrior Wishes Come True At The Blackhawks Playoff game!

We have had a wild day of wishes coming true at the Cubs, Red Sox & Braves games. 

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For our 4th and final game of our first ever “Quadruple header,” we are making wishes come true at game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators & the Chicago Blackhawks!

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Thankfully I was able to score the hard to get Hawks playoff tickets the day they went on sale at face value.  When we originally purchased the tickets, we certainly didn’t expect the Blackhawks Playoff game to fall on a day when we already had 3 other events… but it did & we still made it work.  

Tonight we had the honor of hosting LT Commander Knute Ostrem.   

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LT Commander Knute Ostrem, has served in the United States Navy for 19 years,  nine of which were active duty including deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning two Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medals. Lt. Commander Ostrem was a Pilot and Naval Instructor Pilot on the P-3 Orion, and is currently a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Still in the reserves, he leads funeral honors in for fallen servicemen and is the Quarter Master for the Wheaton VFW Post 2164. He is married to his wife of 18 years, and has three children.  He was nominated to us by Thomas Page, Thomas helped us set up a surprise homecoming on Mother’s Day in 2014.  His daughter came home to surprise her mom at the White Sox game as she threw out the first pitch of the game!  It was a day we will never forget! 

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Thomas said Knute is a “Hockey Nut” & would love to attend a Hawks game.  We made this wish come true to show him our appreciation for his 20 years of dedication to our country.

When we called the Ostrem’s to tell Knute  Thomas had nominated him for this weekend’s Playoff game, his wife answered the phone & had one big concern. She said “he is probably gonna want to take his son and not me…”  She knows her husband well as he invited his son to be his guest to the game.  

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With the Predators up 1-0 in the best of 7 series, the Blackhawks hoped to take game 2 & even thing up.  

Unfortunately, for Dawn, her husband, her son and any other Blackhawks fan, the Predators had other ideas & did not give Hawks fans anything to cheer about.  Ryan Ellis put the Preds up 1-0 just 3 minutes into the game & they never looked back.  They scored 5 unanswered goals and shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0!

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Despite the blowout loss, Knute and his son had a memorable father-son evening, sharing good times together, but I’m sure they would have enjoyed a Hawks win much more!  

We want to thank Knute Ostrem the warriors from all 4 of our events today, for their service and sacrifice to our country!  It’s appreciated, it has not gone unnoticed & it will never be forgotten!  

My dad is currently on an overnight bus from Atlanta to Nashville to make Warrior Wishes come true at tomorrow’s Adam Sandler Comedy show at the Grand Ole Opry!  Stay tuned for more details!

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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 Thanks To The Blackhawks!

If you have been following our mission for a while, you know my Dad has slept in a lot of random places while on the road making Warrior Wishes come true.

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I told him that he should have just slept over at the United Center on Saturday night after the Bulls game and watch them convert the basketball court into the hockey rink as he had to be back there first thing Sunday morning to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Blackhawks game.  He liked the idea, but made the decision to come home to sleep in his bed before making his way back to the “Madhouse on Madison” at 6am Sunday.

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We had the honor of hosting Marine Corporal Jacob Wunder at his first ever Blackhawks game to thank him for his service & sacrifices.

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Jake served our country for 5 years in the Marines.  He was deployed twice to Afghanistan in his military career.  Jake’s wife nominated him for this experience.  She says “Jake is the hardest working man she knows.  He strives to help others loves his fellow veterans & his country.”  She also mentioned that he is a HUGE Blackhawks fan & had never been to a game.

If you have ever had the opportunity to attend a Blackhawks game in person, you know what an amazing experience it is.  There is an energy inside the stadium unlike any other sports arena in the country.  From the most Patriotic National Anthem presentation in the country (that will give you goosebumps) to the final horn, the Blackhawk experience is incredible!  We were excited to have the opportunity to thank Jake for his service by providing this experience to him for the first time.

Before the game, My dad met up with Jake & his wife at the World Famous Billy Goat Tavern.  Needless to say he was pumped up for the game!

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With full stomachs they walked a few blocks to the United Center where my dad snapped a few pics with Jake & his wife in their new New Era Blackhawks caps outside the stadium before they made their way in to watch the Hawks face off against the Bruins.

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The Hawks gave Cpl Wunder plenty to cheer about as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead.  Patrick Kane had a hat trick before the end of the 2nd period!  Chelsea Dagger was on repeat… (if you’re a hawks fan you will understand)  The Bruins shut down the Hawks from there on and scored 4 goals of their own but it was too little too late and the Hawks won the game 6-4.  Needless to say Jake had a great time at his first ever hawks game & his experience isn’t over yet!  The Blackhawks invite Cpl Wunder to their morning skate on Tuesday!

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Corporal Wunder had an unforgettable time at the Blackhawks morning skate as he had the opportunity to watch the team practice from the Front Row!!!  It was incredible how fast and skilled these guys are on skates!

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After practice many of the Hawks players stopped by to sign autographs and show their appreciation for Jake’s service & sacrifices.  Including team captain Jonathan Toews!

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The smile on his face said it all, he had a great time & we can thank the Blackhawks  enough for giving us the opportunity to host him at the practice.  It was a once in a lifetime experience that he will never forget!

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We would like to thank the Billy Goat Tavern for providing a delicious meal before the game for the 2nd straight day, New Era Caps for the awesome Blackhawks Caps & The Chicago Blackhawks for an unforgettable experience at the Morning skate Tuesday morning!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

After my dad got Jake & his wife inside the stadium, he made his way back home & I put him to work to help me clear out some bushes & trees around my deck.

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He will be on the road for the rest of the week making stops in St Louis, Memphis, Dallas, New Orleans & Atlanta to make Warrior Wishes come true!  Make sure to follow the mission all year long!

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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Toews & The Blackhawks Help Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After 2 straight days of making Warrior Wishes come true at Baseball games and seeing the home teams score a total of 0 runs combined, we hoped to change our luck and hosted Marine LCpl Kyle Moser at the Blackhawks game in Chicago for game 5 of our#BattlefieldsToBallfields mission

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank the Blackhawks once again for going above and beyond to help us make warrior Wishes come true!  Thanks to Tony & the Blackhawks, Marine LCpl Kyle Moser had the opportunity to watch the game from the 12th row!  After the game they invited us into the locker room where Kyle had the opportunity to hang out with some of the players.  The highlight of the night was getting to hang out with Blackhawks team captain Jonathan Toews.

 Despite the Blackhawks loss, the night was filled with unforgettable once in a lifetime memories!

See all the photos from this event here 

It was an honor to host Kyle at the hawks game.  We are thankful for his service and sacrifices.  Learn more about his story below.

This is Operation Warrior Wishes 5th game of our 54 game mission to honor heroes from the “Battlefields to the Ballfields.”  Learn more about the mission at warriors.thriveground.com

Meanwhile while Matt was making warrior wishes come true at the Hawks game, Craig was on an overnight bus to Detroit to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Tigers & Pitsons games & Ralph will be making his way to Milwaukee to make Warrior Wishes come true thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers!

Marine LCpl. Kyle Moser

Moser grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oswego & joined the Marines after high school.  On November 22nd, 2011, At the young age of 19, Kyle was serving our country in Afghanistan.    his life changed forever.  He was on ground patrol securing a village and searching for IED’s.  Moser located one of the homemade bombs and asked his commanding officer to exam it. He was told to slowly back away from the device and as he did, he stepped on another IED.

“I got blown up,” he said.

“Everything was black and I literally remember flying through the air before I landed. I fractured my pelvis. My legs and hands had no feeling. I couldn’t feel anything.”

Kyle knew what was going on. He looked down and saw that his legs were gone. He saw the blood and bone.

Kyle “thought I was gonna die.”

When Kyle gave up on himself, his brothers in arms wouldnt give up on him.  They saved Kyles life!

For the past 3 and a half years, Moser and his wife, Alex. have lived at Walter Reed in Bethesda Maryland.  Kyle is set to retire from the Marines on April 29th and plans to move back to the Chicagoland area, where he will attend school for film production.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet This brave young man, ask him to show you some of his mind boggling card tricks!