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Game 12 – Making Mile High Memories At The Broncos Game!

We kicked off week 4 of the NFL season in Green Bay this Thursday & the warriors even got to meet Aaron Rodgers after the game!

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On Friday, we hosted our first annual “Turkeys for Troops” bowling fundraiser & raised more than $4,000 for our mission! Thanks to Mark & everyone who came out to make the event a big success.

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Saturday morning my dad flew out to Denver & immediately made his way to Coors field to make Wishes come true at the Rockies game!

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He spent the night at the Denver airport last night & is back in action today making Warrior Wishes come true at our 12th game of our 2017 “All32in17” mission!

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Needless to say, my dad was a little tired from a wild week of wishes coming true, but nothing slows him down.  

As you can probably imagine, we receive a lot of nominations throughout the year.  We do our best to fulfill as many wishes as we can.  Sometimes it takes us a while to fulfill the wishes due to the number of requests we get.  For example, we received a nomination from Army E-4 Curtis Dimas’ wife a couple of years ago.  She told us about her husbands service, his sacrifices & told us how big of a Denver Broncos fan he is.  Today, we are honored to be fulfilling this wish.  

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Denver is one of our favorite city’s & we have made some magical memories in the “Mile High” city!

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First thing Sunday morning, my dad made his way downtown to Elway’s Restaurant to meet up with Curtis & his wife for brunch.  He arrived a little early & set up the table before they arrived.  

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Elway’s restaurant is a must do when visiting Denver.  Especially when you’re in town for a Broncos game.  The upscale restaurant is owned by Broncos Hall of Fame QB, John Elway.  It’s Located in the heart the Mile High City & is the ideal setting for any occasion. Their menu boasts USDA Prime, hand-cut steaks, Colorado Lamb, raw bar selections with fin fish, crustaceans and much more.  

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Elway’s restaurant has been helping us make Warrior Wishes come true & providing unbelievable dining experiences to the warriors in Denver since 2013.  We cannot thank them enough for their continued support!

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Over lunch, my dad got to know a little about Army E-4 Curtis Dimas.  Curtis served 8 years in military.  He enlisted in 2002 & deployed to Iraq from February 2003- August 2004. He got injured in an IED explosion towards the end of deployment.  He now suffers with a back injury and PTSD and is medically retired.  As I mentioned before, Curtis is a big Broncos fan & Today’s game will be both his & his wife’s first NFL game ever!  

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After a delicious meal, everyone made their way to Sports Authority Field, Home of the Denver Broncos.  Before heading inside, they stopped by Rescue Rob’s ultimate tailgate. Rob is a firefighter in Colorado who bought an old fire truck and turned ii into a Broncos Orange & Blue Fire Truck.  Rescue Rob is a member of Ultimate Fan association & has been hosting warriors at his tailgate for the past few years. 

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As game time approached, my dad escorted Curtis & his wife inside the stadium to watch the Broncos kick things off against their AFC west Rivals, the Raiders.

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The Broncos jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. It looked as if it was going to be a high scoring blow out, but both offenses stalled & the game became a defensive battle.  In the end, the Broncos came out on to & won the game by the score of 16-10.

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Curtis was beyond excited to see his Broncos get the win.  After the game Rescue Rob gave Curtis & His wife a ride back to their car which was still parked downtown at Elway’s restaurant.  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Elway’s Restaurant for their continued support, as well as the Ritz Carlton hotel for providing Valet parking.  We also want to thank New Era Cap for the new Broncos caps & Rescue Rob for the ride back on the Fire Truck.

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Curtis for his service and sacrifices to our country. 

My dad plans on spending the night at the Denver airport again & will be flying to Kansas City first thing in the morning to make Wishes come true at tomorrow night’s Chiefs game!  Stay tuned for more details!

It was an honor to host this brave warriors and make his Warrior Wish 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 20 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Denver!

If you remember, we kicked off our 2016 mission to honor Military Warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in one season back in September when we hosted heroes opening night in Denver.  

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Since then, we have made Warrior Wishes come true at 19 NFL games in only 7 weeks!!!  

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

We have made some unforgettable memories hosting heroes in Denver at Mile High Stadium!

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My dad and I have never big fans of the quick trips in and out of cities, because it really doesn’t give us enough time to get to know the warriors. But unfortunately this 2nd trip to Denver is one of those.  My dad’s flight to Denver didn’t land til after 2:00 PM on Monday afternoon.  From there he had a 40 minute train ride to get downtown to Elway’s where he met up with Army SGT Lucas Oppelt.  

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SGT Oppelt & his 10 year old son had just started eating when my dad arrived. He quickly learned how big of Broncos fans they were as they were both wearing Peyton Manning jerseys.  SGT Oppelt’s sons name was Peyton!  They enjoyed getting to know each other over a delicious meal at Elway’s restaurant, which is the one and only place in Denver to go to before or after a Broncos game!  

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After dinner, Once they found Lucas’ truck, they made their way to “Mile High” stadium.  Upon arrival, my dad immediately went to the box office to swap out our tickets for accessible seating. The tickets we bought were not bad, 4th row in the upper deck.  Because there is limited ADA seating, they gave SGT Oppelt the only seats they had available which were in the FRONT ROW!!!

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Needless to say, Lucas and his son had the experience of a lifetime watching their Broncos from the Front Row behind the Texans bench!  My dad went down there and sat with them for a few minutes a couple of times and said that they were clearly some of the biggest Broncos fans he had seen, cheering & yelling for Home Town team.  

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The Broncos dominated the entire game & gave the father & son plenty to cheer about as they held Houston, and former Bronco QB Brock Osweiler to Field Goals while Denver scored touchdowns . The Texans were really never in it and Denver rolled to a 27-9 victory. 

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Ethan and The entire Customer Service Dept for the Broncos has been amazing all 4 years of our Warrior Wishes mission.They always go the “extra mile ” for the Warriors.  Just like they did for Sgt Gabe Martinez earlier this year, Sam from customer service provided Lucas a Free jersey coupon from Team Store.

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My dad met back up with SGT Oppelt & his son After the game.  They hung around until the field cleared, watching players and cheerleaders head to the locker room.  My dad eventually walked Lucas & Peyton to their car, thanked Lucas for his service one last time, and then headed for the train to the airport for “a good nights sleep” before flying back to Chicago in morning.  

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SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THIS EXPERIENCE HERE!

Operation warrior wishes would like to thank Elways Restaurant for the Pre Game Meal , New Era for the Broncos caps, The Chive for the KCCO shirts and the Denver Broncos for their great customer service, Jersey & seat upgrade!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!  

But course, the BIGGEST THANKS goes to Army Sgt Lucas Oppelt, and his family, for his service & sacrifices!  

My dad flies home in the morning to get ready to make a WWII Warriors Wish come true at the World Series & prepare for next weeks games in Nashville, Indianapolis & Chicago.  Stay tuned for more details!  

MEET ARMY SGT LUCAS OPPELT

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Sgt. Lucas Oppelt is a airborne combat line medic with the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg North Carolina. He was injured in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan May 26, 2012 while on a dismounted foot patrol with his company. Lucas stepped on a pressure plate IED(Improvised Explosive Device), detonating it and suffered a traumatic right leg amputation below the knee. He also sustained serious injuries to his left leg and minor injuries to both arms. This was Lucas’ second deployment, with a 15 month tour in Iraq 2006-2007 with 3-4 Cavalry out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, 25th ID.

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Lucas is from Mishawaka, IN and attended Mishawaka High school. He met his wife, Amy while they were both serving in the Army. They have two children, Peyton and Lily. The family is residing at Walter Reed NMMC through the duration of Lucas’ inpatient and outpatient recovery. They are adjusting to their new life in Maryland.

SOURCE: http://lucasoppelt.org/

Lucas is currently a full-time college student pursuing his Bachelors in Engineering. He is an avid hunter, fly fisherman, and archer. He loves sports, especially football.  He was nominated by his wife to go to the Broncos game.  She Said he He is a dedicated fan that never misses either team’s games.  It was a true honor to have the opportunity to host this inspirational young man.  We hope he had an experience with his son that he will never forget!

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

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www.WarriorWishes.org

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

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Game 10 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Denver!

After making Warrior Wishes come true in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, my dad flew home to Chicago for just a few hours before heading back to the airport and takinging off to Denver to make Warrior Wishes come true in the Mile High City!

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Over the past 3 years we have made some amazing memories making Warrior Wishes come true at Broncos games.

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Today we were honored to host Marine SSGT Randy Hulse, Army SGT Franz Walkup & Army SGT Jason Watkins at the 10th game of our 2015 “All32in17” mission to honor military warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season for our 4th straight year! (Read the warrior’s Bios below)

My dad got a good night sleep at the Denver airport while the Warriors got a great night sleep thanks to our friends at the Westin Downtown Denver.  The luxurious Westin Was Located just one mile from Sports Authority Field at Mile High, & in the heart of the action on the famous 16th Street Mall in the core of downtown.

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The guys met up before the game for a delicious lunch thanks to Elway’s restaurant.  Located in the heart the Mile High City, Elway’s Downtown was the perfect place to have lunch before a Broncos game.  There was John Elway’s memorabilia throughout the restaurant & plenty of tv’s to watch the early games.  Their menu boasts USDA Prime, hand-cut steaks, Colorado Lamb, raw bar selections with fin fish, crustaceans and much more.

After lunch the Warriors got a big surprise from the Denver fire department & were escorted to the game on a fire truck!

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This was each of the Warriors first Broncos game ever!  Unfortunately tickets for the Broncos game were extremely expensive, so the seats were not the best, but there really isn’t a bad seat in the stadium.  Plus When you sit in the upper deck of Mile High stadium you can literally feel the ground shake beneath your feet.  It’s an awesome experience!

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The Broncos were able to hold off the surging Vikings and won the game by the score of 23-20.

We would like to thank Westin Denver Downtown for providing accommodations, Elway’s for providing a delicious meal before the game, the Denver fire department for providing transportation to & from the game & New Era for providing Broncos caps to all the warriors.  Most importantly we want to thank these brave warriors for their service & sacrifices!

My dad is headed back to the airport to sleep for his 2nd straight night and will be catching an early morning flight to Seattle to make warrior wishes come true at the Monday Night Seahawks game for the 11th game of our 2015 Mission to honor warriors at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season for our 4th year in a row.

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

MEET THE WARRIORS

Marine SSGT Randy Hulse

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Randy was nominated to us by friends of his from Indianapolis.  So when my dad was in Indy making warrior wishes come true 2 weeks ago, he surprised Randy with the opportunity to see his first ever Broncos game!  Randy was almost in tears when he learned he was nominated for the game & his warrior Wish was going to come true!

Randy’s story begins when he graduated high school in 1983. He turned down a football scholarship to Nebraska in order to join the military and serve his country. It was his dream to be a Marine. Randy served 14 years in the Marine Corp before leaving the service to focus on his family. After the attacks of 9-11, Randy was pulled between a six figure manager position and re-enlisting. He gave up the manager position and joined the Army to live his dream of becoming a combat medic. At the age of 42, he accomplished that goal and planned to make the military his career. Unfortunately, a severe injury made him hang up his boots for good.

18 years of military service, and 7 deployments later, Randy still wanted to help people. While being processed out of the Army in Knoxville he became an EMT and drove an ambulance for several years. Then he moved to Colorado (a huge Broncos fan) and worked as a civilian driving the ambulance for an Army hospital.

Army SGT Franz Walkup

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Franz Walkup’s brother, Army 1st LT Frank B Walkup IV, made the ultimate sacrifice in June of 2007 while serving in Iraq. After his older brother passed, Franz was inspired to join the military.

On September 29th, While deployed in Afghanistan, Franz was shot 5 times by Afghan National Army soldiers that turned on US forces.

Sgt Walkup spent time recovering at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, MD. He has endured over 7o surgeries and had to have one of his legs ampitated.  Franz works hard every day to heal and won’t stop until he is able to walk again.

Sgt Walkup wants to to lead, inspire and train other soldiers.  He has never given up and continues to strive for the future with his wife and two dogs. After being turned down by many home-building organizations and being told he’s not wounded enough, Franz was finally approved by the VA for an adaptive grant of nearly $70,000 to help build the adaptive home so his wheelchair can easily move around.

Walkup also raised money through fundraisers and other organizations that assist wounded warriors.  nearly two dozen non-profits and businesses are making his adaptive home become a reality. The Gary Sinise Foundation, through its Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment program, has taken the lead.  Franz was recenly on Ellen sharing his inspiring story and road to recovery. He is an inspiration.  His never give up attitude is contagious and we were honored to host him at his first ever Denver Broncos game!

Army Medevac Pilot Jason Watkins

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Jason has proudly served our country in the Army for the past 12 years.  He has Deployed 3 times, twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan.  In 2004 Watkins Graduated from Air Assault school & continued his education attending flight school in 2010.  Jason is currently stationed at Fort Riley and now Fort Carson as a Blackhawk pilot.

2 years ago, Operation Warrior Wishes mailed care packages to warriors serving in Afghanistan.  Jason was one of those warriors.  In the care package was an invitation to join us to a game & Jason took us up on our offer before he heads out on his next deployment.

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It was an honor to host Jason, Franz & Randy and show them that their service and sacrifices are appreciated and have not gone unnoticed!

Follow our mission at www.WarriorWishes.org

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Follow Us On Twitter @WarriorWishes

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Warrior Wishes Come True From The Snowy Streets Of Denver To The Sunny Streets of Phoenix

After honoring over 100 warriors at 39 professional sporting events in 37 straight days, we finally got rained out. But thank’s to Elway’s restaurant in downtown Denver, we were still able to host warriors Cpl Long, Sgt Hagan, SPC O’Niell & the Gold Star family of Army CW2 Joshua Silverman for dinner.

Rain later turned to snow and a winter storm warning went into effect jeopardizing my dad making it to Phoenix in time to host & honor heroes at the D’Backs game.  Thanks to the Westin Downtown Denver & our friend Joey for donating his credit card points, my dad didn’t have to spend his 2 nights in Denver sleeping at the freezing cold bus station.

The forecast was calling for up to 10 inches of snow, so My dad made his way to the Denver Airport early expecting his flight to be delayed.  He was pleasantly surprised to find out the flight was only delayed an hour and he would be in 90 degree weather in a few short hours.

My Dad spent the 2 days in Phoenix honoring Army Sgt Josh Goddard, Army E4 Cpl Joel Steinmann, Army Sgt Joaquin Torres & the legacy of Army Sgt Jonathan Walls thanks to theArizona D’Backs

SGT JOSH GODDARD

Sgt Josh Goddard joined the Armyshortly after graduating high school in 2000 to become a tanker (19k).  Goddard served in the Army from 2000-2014.

In 2007, while serving on his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq, Josh was injured.  He has sustained nerve damage throughout his lower extremities making walking very difficult and has had to endure many surgeries since.

Sgt Goddard was permanently medically retired from the Army in 2014. Joshua is now married and has 3 little girls.  He is a huge sports fan.  Josh is a due hard St. Louis Blues fan, enjoys watching NASCAR & since moving to Arizona he has become a D’Backs fan.  This will be the first D’Backs game he has ever attended.

ARMY E4 CPL JOEL STEINMANN

Joel Steinmann served in the Army as an infantryman, radio operator, and combat lifesaver. He served all over the world including 3 combat tours in Iraq (2003-2005).

While serving in Iraq he was involved in several IED blasts.  Joel was injured both Physically & Mentally in the attacks.  The injuries sustained in Iraq caused him to no longer be able to serve as an infantryman in the Army.

In 2005 Joel began his journey in and out of VA hospitals for treatment of PTSD, TBI, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, migraines, depression, anxiety, and so much more. Joel continues treatment to this day.  He recently got a service dog to help with PTSD and his TBI.

Joel truly loves his country and served it well. He was nominated by his wife who says he is her hero.

ARMY SGT JOAQUIN TORRES

ARMY SGT JONATHAN WALLS

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Jonathan Walls was born in San Diego, Ca, and raised in Reading, Pa. He knew from the time he was a little boy he wanted to serve. After the attacks of 9/11, Jonathan decided it was time. He completed Basic Training in 2005, then continuing into Ft. Lewis, Wa.

Sgt walls deployed to Iraq in 2007.  He was home for a total of 10 months after his first deployment before he was called into action in Afghanistan.

On August 1st, 2009, insurgents attacked Sgt Walls patrol with bombs & Rocket propelled grenades.  He & 2 other soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in the attack.

All 3 men are remembered as some of the bravest & finest soldiers.  Walls specifically was remembered as a family man and loyal friend who was quick to joke if he thought it would lighten the mood.

Sgt Walls is survived by his wife, Meghan, daughters Lily and Allahna, and stepson, Hayden Fecteau.  Meghan says “we were and always will be so blessed for the time we got with this amazing man. He was an amazing person, my best friend and love.”

(The Wells family was unable to attend due to illness in the family)

Operation Warrior Wishes was extremely honored and humbled to host these Heroes at the D’Backs games over the past few days.

The warriors had the opportunity to go down on the field & get autographs & some pretty cool memorbilia including a game used signed bat from their favorite players.  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we would like to thank the Arizona D’Backs organization for going above and beyond to helping us honor These brave soldiers for their service and sacrifices!

These were the 40th & 41st games of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.  My dad will be California dreaming tonight as he sleeps on the bus to Los Angeles to make Warrior Wishes come true tomorrow at the Angels game!

Learn more about our MissionNominate Your Hero for an upcoming game, Follow Our BlogGet involvedMake a Donation to help us honor warriors & Buy Warrior Wishes gear at http://warriorwishes.org/