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The Indians Roll Out The Red Carpet!

After hosting warriors at the Cincinnati Reds game on Thursday…

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My dad hitched a ride with Jason from VETS inc. & stayed overnight in Wooster, OH.  He spent Friday morning helping Jason distribute flags all over the town in preparation for the upcoming Flag day & 4th of July celebrations.  After distributing the flags, Jason & my dad hopped in the car & made their way to Cleveland.  On the way they made a pit stop in Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.   

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They took a quick tour of the Hall & got to see the new stadium.  It looks a lot nicer than the high school stadium they used to use…

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We will be back in Canton in August to make Warrior Wishes come true during “Enshrinement Weekend.”  Nominate your hero today!

My dad wishes they could have stayed at Hall of Fame longer, but they had to get on the road to meet warriors at Rock N Roll Hall of Fame by 1pm.  

Upon arrival at the Rock and Roll hall of fame, my dad & Jason met up with Army Sgt Josh Geartz, Air Force Sgt Roger Strade and the Gold Star Family of Army Cpl Stephen McGowan.

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While touring the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, everyone got to know each other.  My dad learned more about Sgt Geartz mission.  He has been riding a bike 22 miles a day for the past few weeks in support of 422 for 22, a songwriting retreat organization. You can follow his mission by clicking on the image below.  

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After learning a little about music, each other and listening to some iconic tunes, everyone walked down the street to Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. Josh and Lauren from the Indians met us at the Media Gate.  They went above and beyond to provide the warriors & their families an unforgettable experience & displayed incredible hospitality the entire night!  

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Once everyone checked in & got their credentials the group was escorted down onto the field. They parked us in a special area located directly in front of the dugout!  This made it very easy for players to stop by to say hi and show their appreciation for the warriors service and sacrifices.  

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Almost every player stopped by, including Cody Allen, Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Francisco Lindor!  Many signed autographs and took pics with the group.  It was an incredible experience!  

The group got to watch Batting Practice from the field before  getting escorted to the seats.

My dad snuck out of the stadium during the game to meet up with Corwyn Collier, an inspirational warrior that we were honored to be hosting at game 4 of the NBA finals next door at the Quicken Loans Arena. 

Read his story here!

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In the 3rd inning, the Indians recognized the group on the Jumbotron & shared pictures and video of them enjoying their time hanging out with the players on the field before the game.  

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The team put the icing on the cake when they beat the white Sox by the score of 7-3 and everyone got to enjoy fireworks after the game!

My dad stuck around outside to watch game 4 of the NBA finals on the big TV located in between Progressive field and the Quicken Loans Arena.  It was a What a crazy sports night in the City of Cleveland as both the Indians & Cavs won their games.  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Josh, Lauren & the Cleveland Indians for rolling out the red carpet & providing a truly amazing unforgettable experience that these warriors and their families will never forget!  We also want to thank Greg & Ryan at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for giving us the opportunity to “rock out” with the warriors before the game, Jason at Vets Inc for partnering up with us to make these wishes come true & New Era Cap for providing Indians caps to the warriors & their families! 

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE! 

Most importantly, we want to show our appreciation to Army Sgt Josh Geartz, Air Force Sgt Roger Strade and the Gold Star Family of Army Cpl. Stephen McGowan. We are forever grateful for your selfless service & sacrifices.  We will never forget!

After a great night in Cleveland, my dad and Jason made their way back to the parking garage where they parked & found that the garage had closed up until Monday.  Jason’s car & my dad’s belongings were stuck inside.  But the show must go on…  my dad had to leave his stuff behind & made his way to the bus station, while Jason called a friend to pick him up.  My dad will be in Pittsburgh tomorrow to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Pirates game.  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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WWII Warrior Wishes Come True At The World Series!

Having the opportunity to see your favorite team win a championship is often a once in a lifetime experience.  Especially if you’re a Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians fan.  

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There are probably not any Cubs fans in the world who can honestly say they have witnessed a World Series championship.  The last time they won was in 1908, 108 years ago!  To put this in perspective, Tickets to the game cost $1 each, which was expensive considering the average worker only made only $200-$400 per year!   In 1908 the population of Las Vegas Nevada was 30, only 8% of households had telephones & the maximum speed limit in most cities was only 10 miles per hour!  It’s amazing how the times have changed!

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The Cubs did manage to make it to the World Series in 1945, but lost to the Tigers in 7 games.  

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Cleveland Indians fans have waited 68 years to see their team hoist the Commissioners trophy.  They too have been to the World Series since their last championship, but lost the world series in 1954, 1995 & 1997.

With both teams playing agains each other in the 2016 World Series, we made the decision to seek out a WWII veteran who has waited their entire life to see the Cubs or Indians win a World Series Title & be a part of history!

Meet Marine CPL Peter Scaffidi.  

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CPL Scaffidi was born and raised in Cleveland.  He grew up an Indians fan.  At the age of 17 he joined the United States Marine Corp & proudly served our country from 1943-1946 in World War II. While the Cubs competed for the championship in 1945, CPL Scaffidi was preparing to serve as a good will ambassador in occupied Nagasaki, Japan, where he remained for 6 months after the war until he was honorably discharged, as a Corporal, in May, 1946.  Peter eventually moved to Chicago in 1963.  He quickly became a Cubs fan & has been cheering them on for more than 50 years!

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CPL Scaffidi was nominated to us by his daughter.  She said it would be a dream of a lifetime to her dad watch his 2 favorite teams play against each other in the World Series!  

Operation Warrior Wishes was about to make this WWII Warriors’ dream a reality!  

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Ticket prices in Chicago were fetching more than $2000 each just for a standing room only ticket.  Therefore, we looked to Cleveland and were able to find 2 tickets in the 10th row of the bleachers for less than $1k each!  It worked out perfectly as CPL Scaffidi was originally from Cleveland & was going to go “home” to see the game!

Ralph, one of our directors, joined us on this mission.  I was scheduled to work early Thursday morning & knew I would need help driving and hosting CPL Scaffidi.  My dad would have joined us, but he is busy on with our 2016 “All32in17 mission, so we dropped my him off at the airport to catch his flight to Nashville to make warrior wishes come true at the Thursday night Titans game, on the way to Cleveland. 

Xander also tagged along to give mommy some time to relax with baby Quinn.  

We all met up with CPL Scaffidi & his family at the Cubs team hotel. Unfortunately, we pulled up as their team bus pulled out to take the players to the stadium.  There is no doubt in my mind that the players would have stopped to thank this WWII veteran for his service as they boarded the bus, it’s too bad we missed them…

Xander, Ralph & myself walked from tower station to the stadium, while CPL Scaffidi drove with his family.  Due to heavy traffic, we beat them to the stadium & attempted to exchange our 10th row tickets for an accessible seat to accommodate the warrior who was in a wheel chair.  With ticket prices soaring, we never expected to have the opportunity to get into the game.  Ralph & I just planned to make sure CPL Scaffidi was able to get into the stadium with no issues and we were going to stand outside with Xander or find a restaurant to watch the game at.  But when we attempted to trade out the tickets we asked if there were any tickets available.  We got lucky and we’re able to buy standing room only tickets at the box office for $100!  I made sure to buy a ticket for CPL Scaffidi’s daughter and and tickets for us.

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Thankfully we were able to get in since they would not allow me to trade out the tickets for ADA seats outside the stadium.  After we went in I immediately made my way to customer service to trade out the seats and was eventually able to get Peter & his family great seats down the 3rd base line.

Needless to say, this WWII warrior took it all in & had the experience of a lifetime!  

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The Cubs had lost game 1 and had yet to score in the World Series. That all changed quickly as scored quickly in the first inning and never looked back.  The Cubs beat the Indians by the score of 5-1 & won their first World Series game in 71 years!

It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to host CPL Scaffidi and make this Warrior’s wish come true at the World Series!  

The Indians went on to win the following 2 games to take a 3-1 series lead, but the Cubs fought their way back and never gave up!  They ultimately won their first World Series Title in 108 years and officially broke the curse!  We can’t wait to get CPL Scaffidi his 2016 World Series Champions Cap!  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to take a minute to thank all of our supporters across the country.  From those who have donated tickets, meals, money & their time.  You are all the reason we have the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of all these Warriors and we seriously couldn’t have made it all possible without you!  THANK YOU!!!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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The Indians Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After making Warrior Wishes come true at the Buffalo Bills game on Tursday night, my dad jumped on the bus and made his way to Cleveland to host heroes at the Indians & Browns games.

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Check Back Soon For More Details!

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

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Another Walk Off Warrior Wish Come True in Cleveland!

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After an unforgettable day of making Warrior Wishes Come True in Philadelphia, my dad got a few hours of sleep at the luxurious “Greyhound” Hotel.  He arrived in Cleveland around 11:15 AM. The City of Cleveland was abuzz – with the NBA Finals starting tomorrow.  Crews were putting up huge banners at the Quicken Loans Arena, stages for watch party and getting the city ready for the big event. 

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We had hoped that Oklahoma City would have beat Golden State because then the Cavaliers would have had a home game tomorrow.  My dad would have stayed in Cleveland to host heroes at Game 1 of NBA Finals…

My dad was honored to be hosting Marine CPL Daniel Hanson and his family  at tonights Indians game.  CPL Hanson served over 7 years & was deployed on 4 combat tours.  Daniel and his family were nominated a couple years ago for a game in Cleveland, but unfortunately did not work out then.  Thankfully we keep nominations on file for future games and were happy to finally host them tonight.

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My dad met the family for finner courtesy of Hard Rock Cafe. Hard Rock Cafes across the country have been supporting our mission making warrior wishes come true over the past 3 years.  We can’t thank them enough!!!  The kids favorite part of the mean was eating dinner off the awesome guitar shaped plates.

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After dinner, everyone stopped by Quicken Loans Arena to take a quick picture before heading into Progressive Field to watch the Indians take on the Rangers.  My dad bought 4 good tickets for the Hanson family & former Cleveland Brown Felix Wright had an extra ticket and offered it to my dad.

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My dad bought Felix’ son a hot dog and a drink to thank him for the ticket, and went to sit with the Hanson family. Little did they know that CPL Hanson and the kids have a little surprise coming.  

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Earlier in the week my dad reached out to the Indians and set up a surprise “seat visit” – in which they bring Gift Bags to their seats.  It was so cool to watch as both Daniel and the kids really appreciated this – going through the bag and seeing baseballs and jerseys for the kids, Indians Camo hats for all 4 and much more!!   

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The game itself was very exciting too – back and forth the entire game and eventually going extra innings.  In the bottom of 11th Inning, the Indians got the walkoff win thanks to an RBI single by Gomes.  This was the 3rd walkoff win my dad had seen on this 3rd leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.  

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

We want to thank Hard Rock Cafe for their continued support & the Pre Game meal, New Era Cap for the Indians Caps and the Cleveland Indians for Gift Bags/Seat Visit. But most importantly, THANK YOU  Marine Corporal Daniel Hanson for your service to our great country!!!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

After the game, my dad hopped on another overnight bus to head home &make warrior wishes come true at the Cubs Game.  He will also get to sleep in an actual bed tomorrowe & get a much needed break.  Stay tuned for details!

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

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