Operation Warrior Wishes was proud to honor the legacies of Army Lt. David Johnson & Army PFC Jacob Gassen and hosted surviving family members at the Brewers game in their honor. It was also an honor to host Marine Cpl. Jeremy Stengel at the game. Read their stories below.
The Brewers invited everyone to watch batting practice from the field & Provided awesome club level seats behind home plate! They almost pulled off a comeback win, but lost the game on an extra innings home run. Despite the loss, everyone had a great time!
AMRY 1ST LT DAVID JOHNSON
About 1 month into US Army 1st Lieutenant David Johnson’s deployment, he made the ultimate sacrifice & lost his life to an IED while serving in Afghanistan on 25th January 2012.
Johnson’s parents, Andrew and Laura Johnson, said:
“We are very proud of our son. He is a hero. He first was a man of God. He has been a strong leader at Mayville High School, at Evangel University and to the men in his unit. David had no fear of adversity; he lived life to the fullest. There are no regrets. He is an American hero. We love him very much and miss him very much.”
David is remembered as an outstanding cadet in every aspect of military training…He was destined to serve in the Infantry. David was a kind, well mannered, fun young man.
Operation Warrior Wishes was honored to host Lt. Johnson’s family at the Brewers game in his honor and help keep his legacy alive.
ARMY PFC JACOB GASSEN
PFC Jacob Gassen joined the Army a year after graduating high school. He was serving as a medic in his first tour of duty when he was killed Nov. 29 in Afghanistan with five other soldiers when a border policeman turned his gun on his American trainers.
Gassen had just turned 21 years old and was looking forward to coming home to celebrate his recent birthday and the holidays with his family.
Jacob’s father recalls talking to his son before the cowardly attack. He said “I can’t wait to come home, Dad.I really miss you guys. I can’t wait to get home. I’m homesick. Jacob was one of those guys when you were in a room he was always the peacemaker … always the guy who everybody looked up to and he was that type of guy, if you were out of line, he would straighten you out,” Greg Gassen says of his son.
Jacob Gassen enjoyed helping people, whether it was teaching his Army buddies how to play guitar, tending tosoldiers’ wounds or working as a lifeguard at the Beaver Dam YMCA and other pools. He even put a splint on the leg of a limping dog he encountered in Afghanistan. He took pride in serving our country and he cared for a lot of people!
It was an honor to host PFC Jacob Gassens family at the Brewers game in his honor and help keep his legacy alive!
MARINE CPL JEREMY STENGEL
Jeremy joined the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) for the United States Marine Corps on June 20, 2003. After completion of Marine Corps Boot Camp on Sept 10, 2004 he then went to the School of Infantry (SOI) where he learned to become a machine gunner.
Stengel deployed to Afghanistan with his unit on May 31, 2005 and successfully returned home on Jan 21, 2006. Later that year Jeremy deployed to Iraq on Sept 11, 2006.
5 months into his 2nd deployment in Iraq, On January 31st, 2007, Marine Corporal Jeremy Stengel’s HUMVEE struck a pressure plate IED. The explosion launched Cpl Stengel 35 yards away from the Humvee; the driver sustained 3rd degree burns over 80% of his body, and the blast took the lives of Navy Corpsmen Doc Matthew Conte and Platoon Sgt Gunnery Sergeant Terry Elliot.
Jeremy stayed in a medicated coma for nine weeks in the Intensive Care Unit while his family stood by his side. Doctors only gave him a 10% chance of pulling through. Cpl Stengel suffered a left leg below the knee amputation, broken left femur, broken right foot w/ nerve and muscle damage in his lower right leg, massive internal injuries, an extensive broken back that required 6-inch rods and screws, a traumatic brain injury and several shrapnel wounds. Thankfully Jeremy survived. He spent 4 and a half years at Walter Reed rehabilitating before being welcomed home to a new home in Wisconsin thanks to Homes for our troops.
Today Jeremy attends school at Marquette University, he is a member of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team, enjoys playing golf with his friends, scuba diving, going to Packer and Brewer games, and spending time with his family and wife Georgia Lynn Stengel.
It was a true honor to host this brave Marine at the Brewers Game!