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The Blue Jackets Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After taking a day off to celebrate Xander’s 4th birthday, my dad hit the road again for a quick trip to the east coast to make wishes come true in Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh & Cleveland.

I dropped him off at the train station at 4:15am Friday morning so he could catch his 6:10 greyhound bus to Columbus.

Snow & ice delayed the trip a little but, but he arrived in Columbus at 3:45pm, just in time to meet up with the warriors for dinner at Gordon Biersch before the game.

Today we had the honor of hosting Army Sgt Joe Schiefer & Marine Ryan O’Connor at the Blue Jackets game. We had hoped to host more, but the dangerous road conditions prevented all the warriors from attending…

Gordon Biersch once again provided a delicious pregame meal for the warriors. They had hosted us last year in Columbus & we are thankful for their partnership! We encourage you to stop by the next time you’re in town. It’s the perfect place to fill up before and after all Blue Jackets games!

My dad enjoyed getting to know Ryan & Joe over dinner. Both of them have been doing a lot of work for veterans here Ohio and even had worked for a local Congressman. My dad also congratulated Joe after he learned that he will be getting married in 2 weeks! Before making their way into the stadium, My dad presented the warriors with new Blue Jackets caps along with thank you cards & letters from school children.

They stopped to take some pictures outside the stadium and noticed the snow was really coming down. My dad checked the forecast which was now calling for 3-5 inches!

Ryan & Joe got to celebrate an early goal by the Blue Jackets but not much else… the Canucks scored 4 unanswered goals in the final 2 periods to put the game “on ice.” They went on to beat the Blue Jackets by the score of 5-2.

Despite the loss, it was a great night. The warriors enjoyed the experience even though their team fell short.

As they left Nationwide Arena my dad realized that he may have to spend the night at the Columbus Greyhound Station and was concerned about our warriors driving home in a blizzard… my dad was supposed to be taking an overnight bus to Philadelphia to make wishes come true at the Eagles playoff game tomorrow, however, there were cots all over the greyhound station & he quickly found out his bus was in fact cancelled….

The good news is that Joe & Ryan both made it home safe!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Gordon Biersch for providing the Pre Game meal, New Era for providing Blue Jacket Caps and the kids of Clinton and Ridge View Schools for providing letters to the warriors.

Most importantly, thanks to Army Sgt Joe Schiefer, Army Sgt Tony Robinson, Army Sgt Aaron Barnhardt and Marine Ryan O’Connor for their service to our country!

Stay tuned to see if my dad gets out of Columbus in time to make wishes come true at Sunday’s Steelers game!

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The Blue Jackets Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

My dad has been on the road making Warrior Wishes come true since last Thursday.  He’s made stops in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, Boston & Washington DC.  

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For the 7th time in 8 days, my dad took another overnight bus & arrived in Columbus, Ohio on Friday afternoon.  


This is our first ever visit to Columbus to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Blue Jackets game!

We have done a couple Ohio State games in the past, but neither were home game in Columbus.  One of them was the BCS National Championship Game in 2015.


Upon arrival after his 10 hour bus ride, my dad had some time to explore the “new city” and figure out where he was going, since he had never been there before.  He stopped by the Ohio State campus & found his way to Nationwide Arena, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets.


This was the first day in the past 9 days that my dad got a “day off” as the Blue Jackets game wasn’t until Saturday.  But if you recall a few days back, when my dad was making wishes come true at the Rangers game, my dad learned that the USA Warriors hockey team was going to be in Columbus playing a game today!


So instead of just getting a hotel and resting up, he spent his “day off” cheering on the USA warriors hockey team!  He enjoyed watching Army CPL Johnny Laursen defend the goal!  

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In addition to seeing Johnny again, My dad also got to see Kevin Gatson as well.  Kevin was our guest to the Penguins game last week.  He too plays for the USA Warriors sled team.  My dad enjoyed seeing them, as well as all of the players on the USA Warriors team who we have come to know over past few years.


 After the game, my dad joined the USA warriors at their “after party” where he met up with our friend Shawn “Whodeybaby” Moore. Shawn himself is a veteran.  He is the Cincinnati Bengals most iconic Super fan.  He and the Bengal Bomb Squad have been making warrior wishes come true since 2012.   They have also raised money for our mission.  Shawn lives in Columbus & couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet up with some of the Warriors and my dad.  My dad said he hardly recognized him without his face paint & bengals gear.

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After the party, my dad finally got to sleep in a bed at a hotel.  Yes, you read that correctly, he actually got a hotel for the first time in 10 days…  I got lucky & “named my own price” to get a hotel for $60. My dad couldn’t pass it up.  Needless to say, he slept like a baby!

He woke up the next morning & made his way down to the lobby to realize he was actually staying at the Flyers hotel.  He was able to talk to a few of the players and coaches about our mission.

Thanks to our friends at Gordon Biersch, located right outside the stadium, My dad met up with all the Warriors & a very special Gold Star family before the game.  


We were honored to be hosting Army warriors,  Sgt Aaron Barnhardt, Sgt Tony Robinson, Sgt Joe Schiefer, and Sgt First Class Daniel Jensen along with the Gold Star family of Army Sgt Arthur Mora.


Lunch was awesome as everyone had a great time getting to know each other over a delicious meal.  My dad also distributed some awesome patriotic Blue Jackets Caps from our friends at Ner Era.  We can’t thank Gordon Biersch & New Era for their continued partnerships!


After everyone finished lunch, they made their way to “Nationwide Arena” in their new Caps to take a few pictures in front of the stadium before heading inside.  


Once inside the stadium, everyone made their way to great seats provided by the team & they watched a defensive battle between the Flyers & Blue Jackets.  Despite the lack of scoring, there was no shortage of action as both teams fought early and often.  Everyone enjoyed watching the teams “duke it out.” In the end, the Blue Jackets came out on top scoring the only goal of the game and sent everyone home happy!

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I think it’s safe to say, our inaugural Columbus trip to see the Blue Jackets was an incredible success!  My dad said the city of Columbus was great & he looks forward to making more wishes come true there again in the future!  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank, the Columbus Blue Jackets organization for providing an unforgettable experience at Nationwide Arena!  We also want to thank Valerie & Stuart at Gordon Biersch for providing the pregame meal & New Era for hooking up the Warriors with the awesome Blue Jackets caps!  



Most importantly, we want to thank Army Warriors Aaron Barnhardt, Tony Robinson, Joe Schiefer & Daniel Jensen as well as the Gold Star Family of Army SGT Arthur Mora.  Your service and sacrifices are appreciated, they have not gone unnoticed and will never be forgotten!  

After the game, My dad said his goodbyes to both our guests and the USA Warriors hockey team, who were also at the game.  Thankfully for my dad, it was an early game which meant my dad could catch an early bus home and sleep in his own bed after being on the road making wishes come true at 11 games in the past 11 days!   He will have a week off before heading back out on the road to kick off our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!  Stay tuned for more details!

2017 Battlefields To Ballfields Schedule




SGT Arthur A. Mora, Jr. of Fort Stewart, GA, and formerly of Pico Rivera, CA.  SGT Mora made the Ultimate Sacrifice on October 19, 2005, while serving on active duty in the U.S. Army in Balad, Iraq, where he had been deployed since July 2005.

He was born March 16, 1982, in Monterey Park, CA, to the late Arthur A. Mora, Sr. and Sylvia M. (Ramos) Mora, and a 2000 graduate of El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA. Arthur enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2000 and was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA. –

He grew up on the rough and tough streets of East Los Angeles. All around him were gangs, drug addicts, alcoholics, and trouble. Knowing that this was not the life for him he made his choice at the young age of 5 to join the Army and be a soldier like his Grandpa.” – submitted by family.

Source –


SFC Jensen is a native of Minneapolis, MN and graduated from Lehigh Senior High School in 2003. He attended The University of South Florida and Graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in History in 2011. He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2003 as a 92A Automated Logistical Specialist and graduated BCT from Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and AIT from Ft. Lee, Virginia. SFC Jensen’s assignments have been 212th Quartermaster Company in Arden Hills, MN, 810th Military Police Company in Tampa, FL as the PLL Clerk, Minneapolis BN as a Recruiter and now in Highland Ridge as a Center Leader.

SFC Jensen’s Professional Development and Schools are as follows: Senior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, Center Leader Course and the Army Recruiting Course.

Among his military awards and decorations are: Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (“M” Device and Bronze Hourglass), Iraq Campaign Medal (3 Campaign Stars), Overseas Service Ribbon Numeral 2, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Drivers Badge (Wheeled), Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge and The Army Recruiting Badge.



My name is Tony Robinson at the age of 18 I was living with my best friend Joe we weren’t really going anywhere in life one day we were sitting around and we watch recruiting videos for the Army we seen one video in particular that caught our eye it was the video for a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout we both thought that sounded really awesome so within the next few days we are at the recruiter’s office and then off to MEPS before we knew it We join under the Buddy program but it didn’t end up going that way and i would leave just a few weeks before Joe we would later run into each other again at Fort Knox Kentucky where we were doing our osut training that was the last time we would see each other during our Enlistment. From there I went to the 2nd Infantry Division 8th Squadron 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis Washington I’ve been deployed to Afghanistan as part of the first-ever Stryker Brigade there that was in 2009 I was there until July of 2010 and I got out of the army December 31st 2010 completing my 4 year contract from there I become a security guard not really sure what I wanted to do in life and once again I was bored sitting around watching TV and I found myself watching a show called lock up and I decided I wanted to be a corrections officer and that was back in 2011 I’ve now been a corrections officer for the state of Ohio for five years.

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The Nationals Make Warrior Wishes Come True For The 2nd Day In a Row!

For the second time in the past 9 days My dad didn’t have to wake up on an overnight bus. Since he is spending 2 days in DC, he had the “luxury” of sleeping at UnionStation instead…LOL .


In all seriousness though, anyone who has not visited Washington DC should put this place on your bucket list. There is so much history in D.   So much to learn, so much to see.  And being here on Memorial Day Weekend is very special, inspiring and emotional , especially when hosting Gold Star families & visiting both Walter Reed Medical Center and Arlington National Cemetery.

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Today we had the pleasure and the honor of hosting the Gold Star Family of Army Warrior Michael Sweeney – His mother Donna Sweeney and his twin brother, Billy who also served 8 years in the Marines.


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The Washington Nationals Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After making Warrior Wishes Come True at the Mets game, my dad took his 4th overnight bus in the past 5 days.  He arrived in Washington DC early Saturday morning to make Warrior Wishes come true for the 7th straight day.  This past week, he has hosted heroes in Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New York (Yankees), Boston, New York (Mets) & over the next 2 days he will be honoring Gold Star families and keeping their loved ones legacies alive thanks to the Nationals.   

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When we created our Battlefields to Ballfields schedule, we planned to be in DC the final weekend in May because it’s  Memorial Day Weekend, which is obviously a very special & emotional weekend for many of our nation’s heroes and their families – especially in DC.

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As soon as my dad got in town, he made 2 special stops that have become tradition each year for us during our DC visit. The first stop was Walter Reed Hospital.  My dad was able to see a few old friends and meet a few new ones. Thanks to Josh for getting my dad in for the visit.


The second stop – Arlington National Cemetery.  Arlington is one of the most powerful places we have ever been, especially during Memorial Day weekend.  The cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House.  Over 400,000 people have been laid to rest at Arlington & its home to the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”.  The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days per year (see some interesting facts here).  Over 4 million people from around the world visit the national cemetary every year, especially during memorial day weekend.  As a tribute, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, nicknamed “The Old Guard,” placed American flags in front of the more than 230,000 Soldiers laid to rest in Arlington.  Its a place that every American should see. Needless to say, it was extremely crowded and my dad did not get to visit as many heroes as he had planned. He said “It was very special and emotional being there on Memorial Day.”

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Today, we had the honor of hosting the Gold Star Family of Army SPC Christopher Horton.  SPC Horton made the ultimate sacrifice just 3 months into his first deployment on September 9th, 2011 while serving in Afghanistan (see his Bio below). His widow Jane and his parents, David and Sherie, were our special guests for the day.


My dad met up with the Horton family for dinner at the Gordon Biersch Restaurant near Nationals Park.  Located in Southeast Washington, south of the Capitol, along the fast-developing Capitol Riverfront and only one block from Nationals Park, Gordon Biersch is the place to be in the Navy Yard neighborhood. The restaurant provided an inviting space to get to know the Horton Family, learn about Chris & their efforts to better the Gold Star Community.


Jane and her in-laws had a busy afternoon, as she does a lot of work to improve benefits , and the lives, of families that lose loved ones to war.  In fact, she did a Fox TV interview right before they arrived today. It was a pleasure getting to know her, her family & more about Christopher.  She was also joined by one of her friends who works for a charity here in DC .  They educated my dad a little about how DC works, and the efforts they make to enrich the lives of fallen heroes families.


 After dinner and giving the family their new Nationals New Era Caps, everyone headed over to Nationals Park for the game. My Dad as he always does, snapped a few photos outside the stadium before making their way inside to incredible seats thanks to the Nationals!  Despite 2 Homers by Zimmerman and a 428 foot home run blast by Bryce Harper, the Nationals lost to the Cardinals 9-4.  Win or lose, everyone had a great time & enjoyed keeping the legacy of Army SPC Christopher Horton alive.  


We want to thank Dave at Gordon Biersch Restaurants for the delicious PreGame meal, New Era for the Nationals Caps, and the Washington Nationals for helping us Make Warrior Wishes come true by providing an awesome Experience at the game!

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Thank you to Jane Horton for giving us the opportunity to share your husbands legacy & for all the work you do to improve the lives of Gold Star Families. And of course – and especially on this Memorial Day weekend – THANK YOU to all of those fallen heroes for their ultimate sacrifice and to their families for keeping their legacies alive.  My dad will be back in action again tomorrow hosting another family at the Nationals game.  Stay tuned for more details.  

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

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

Click here for more information.




Specialist Christopher D. Horton died in Paktia, Afghanistan on September 9, 2011, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked using small arms fire. He was 26 years old. Specialist Horton was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 279 Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Oklahoma National Guard, based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Specialist Horton graduated from the Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri. He enlisted in the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2008. While serving his time with the Oklahoma National Guard, he became an infantryman, received his SWAT certification, and became sniper qualified. His extensive marksman awards included: The Gus Hadwiger Award in 2009, 1st place Novice Pistol in the Oklahoma National Guard Sergeant Major’s match in 2009, 1st place novice pistol in the Governor’s Twenty Matches in 2009, 2nd place in the Old Fort Shootout in the Unclassified Production Division in 2009, 2nd place Pistol in The State of Oklahoma Governor’s Twenty 2009, Oklahoma State International Defensive Pistol Association’s Champion High Military in both 2008 and 2009, 3rd place in the Carolina Cup Enhanced Service Pistol Sharpshooter in 2008 as well as many others. Specialist Horton was also a professional sponsored shooter through the United States shooting Academy in Owasso, Oklahoma.

In his spare time, he worked on numerous political campaigns including President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, Governor Romney’s 2008 Presidential primary. Specialist Horton enjoyed fishing and playing basketball. He leaves behind his wife, Jane Horton, who he met at King’s College in New York City. Specialist Horton also leaves behind a brother, Nicholas, and a sister, Tenley. He was the son of Reverend David and Cherie Bonnema Horton of Tulsa, Oklahoma.


SPC Horton’s Act of Heroism

My name is Jane Horton and I am the wife of SPC Christopher Horton, and Army sniper killed in action on September 9, 2011. Christopher put his career on hold as a professional sponsored shooter, business owner, and political consultant to serve his country, and unfortunately he didn’t come home. Chris could have done anything he wanted to do, but he chose one of the most dangerous jobs in the military, and one of the most wanted targets, and was killed because he was hunted for carrying a sniper rife. Christopher loved his country more than anything, and truly believed in the values that America was founded on. He didn’t want to do anything else until he served his country. He felt an honor and duty to protect us on the home front, and join the ranks of the many American patriots that fight for our freedom. Freedom isn’t free, and it was bought with Christopher’s blood.

My Hero

Chris answered the call to serve his country and was willing to lay down his life. He was truly a fearless patriot, and a valiant warrior. Chris was well known for loving his country and for his incredible shooting skills. He was offered jobs by many government agencies, and told them they could call him back when he was home from Afghanistan, but unfortunately he never came home. As an American Army sniper, he knew that he would be in serious danger, but it honestly never phased him nor did it distract him from his call to duty, and it ultimately cost him his life.



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The Nationals Make Warrior Wishes Come True For The 2nd Day In a Row!

After an “Amazing Time” at the Nationals game last night, my dad made his way over to the DC bus station to spend the night as I expected.  My dad would rather save money to make more warrior wishes come true instead of getting a hotel for himself…. .

My dad woke up early to visit warriors at Walter Reed before making his way over to the stadium to meet up with the warriors.

The Washington Nationals did such an awesome job helping us make Warrior Wishes come true yesterday.  Today we are back at Nationals Park honoring the legacy of Army SFC Michael Frank and hosting his wife and daughter at the Nationals game in his honor.


At the young age of 20, Michael Frank enlisted in the Army in January 1990.  He served the United States Army for over twenty-one years as an Administrative Specialist and as a 42A, Human Resources Specialist. SFC Frank served multiple overseas assignments including tours in Saudi Arabia, Panama, Korea, Kuwait, and Iraq. Four of his assignments were in support of combat operations during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Operation Warrior Wishes is proud to be honoring the legacy of Army SFC Michael E Frank at today’s game thanks to the Washington Nationals.


Stephone Carmichael began his military career on April 15 2013. He anxious and full of motivation when he went to basic training to be an infantryman,  Carmichael completed the rigorous training as a part of echo 2-54, and graduated proud along with his peers. Stephone was sent to Fort Carson, his first duty station. There, he met many soldiers of dog company 1-12 4th infantry division & gained a mutual respect of his fellow soldiers, through fraternization and more intense training.

Carmichael deployed to Afghanistan in March 2014. He endured many rough experiences. Stephone said “Things were bad but on July 24th of that year, things took a turn for the worst.”

While on a routine patrol of Miragul Kulay Afghanistan, Sephone was in the lead truck with 4 other soldiers when the vehicle struck an IED containing 500 to 700 lbs of HME. The truck was decimated, killing SSG Prange and PFC William; and injuring SGT Sozerman, SPC Hale and Carmichael. SPC Hale  and Carmichael were Med-evacuated to Landstuhl Germany. They are currently recovering from their injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Unfortunately Stephone got into a minor fender bender on his way to the game & he was unable to attend, however, we plan on hosting & honoring SPC Carmichael at a future game.

Operation Warrior Wishes was honored to be host The frank Family at their 1st Nationals game in SFC Michael Frank’s honor at the Nationals game today!

It was also great to meet up with Army SGT Mike Goodrich at the game too.  SGT Goodrich was our guest at the New Orleans Saints game during our 2014 “All32in17” Mission.

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank The Washington Nationals for providing tickets to make warrior wishes come true at yesterday & todays games.  We would also like to say thank you to Gordon Biersch for providing the pregame meal as well as New Era Caps for providing each of the warriors with Nationals caps for the game!


I’m hoping my dad doesnt sleep in the bus station for the 2nd night in a row, but I know he will be on a bus heading for Pittsburgh at 7am to surprise a lucky warrior and make his warrior wish come true!  We will see you in Pittsburgh!

See more Baseball Warrior Wishes coming true, Learn more about our missionNominate Your Herosee our upcoming schedulesee how you can get involved, make donations, and buy warrior wishes gear to help make Warrior Wishes come true at

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The Nationals Hit It Out Of The Park & Made Warrior Wishes Come True!

We had an amazing time making warrior wishes come true at the Boston Red Sox & Celtics gamesover the past 2 days.  My dad spent 10 hours sleeping on an overnight bus last night traveling from Boston to Washington DC to make warrior wishes come true at the Nationals game today at our 17th game on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.

Today, we had the pleasure of honoring Army SGT Chad Longell, SPC Jack Moneymaker, and Richard Pert, as well as the legacy of Marine SGT Michael Peterson thanks to the Washington Nationals!



SGT Chad Longell, first joined the army at Georgetown University ROTC in 2005. While in college,

Longell Says “I joined the military after seeing the tragic events on 9/11 and realized the only way I was going to see positive change was to put my money where my mouth was and get involved and commit to action. So many have brave citizens before me have served and sacrificed when history and circumstances have required good men to take an active stand against the evil side of humanity. I am no exception to that duty to both the conviction in my faith and my patriotism. Serving along side of some many brave citizens united in a common cause has been the greatest honor of my life and it is a privilege to defend such a great nation.”

 He enlisted into the Army Reserves in 2008 and deployed to Iraq in 2009 and Afghanistan in 2013.  SGT Longell is also involved with various non-profit support organizations at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and quickly became a coordinator for various efforts in support of wounded warriors.  SGT Longell currently serves as President/COO of Cooking With The Troops and Chairman/CEO/Founder of the Global War On Terrorism Memorial Foundation,  Cooking With The Troops is an organization dedicated to providing culinary opportunities for service members and culinary support to military themed events. The Global War On Terrorism Memorial Foundation is an organization dedicated to contructing both a national museum and memorial to remember and honor the sacrifice and service of the veterans of the Global War On Terrorism.


SPC Jack Moneymaker joined the United States Army in 2011 and went to Fort Benning, Georgia for basic training, Infantry school, and Airborne school. Afterwards, he was moved to Fort Bragg and started training at the JFKSWCS. He was assigned to the 4th BCT in the 82d Airborne Division and has deployed with them twice to Afghanistan. On November 24th 2014 SPC Moneymaker was injured when a roadside explosive device hit his truck. He has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since December 2nd for recovery surgeries and physical therapy. Jack plans to return to full active duty at Fort Bragg in July. His goals include, Ranger School, Sniper School, and receiving a commission as an officer and continuing his career.


 Army Warrior Richard Pert born in the city of Brockton Massachusetts February 9 1989 ever since he can remember he wanted to join the army.  At the age of 18, Richard went to basic training and has served on 2 deployments to Afghanistan in 2010 & 2014.


Operation Warrior Wishes was honored to host these warriors & their legacies tonight thanks to the Washington Nationals.  We would also like to thank New Era for providing Nationals Caps for the warriors & Gordon Biersch for providing the pregame meal!


If you are keeping track, this was our 17th game in the last 15 days! (see week 1 recap here) I’m not positive, but I have a feeling that my dad will probably sleep over at the bus station tonight instead of getting a hotel, but I am positive that he will be back in action first thing tomorrow morning to make more #WarriorWishes come true at the Nationals game for the 18th game in 16 days on our #BattlefieldsToBallfields Mission!

Learn more about our missionNominate Your Herosee our upcoming schedulesee how you can get involvedmake donations, and buy warrior wishes gear to help make Warrior Wishes come true at

Operation Warrior Wishes is a registered 501c3 organization.