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Game 51 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Chiefs Playoff Game!

After making wishes come true at 48 NFL games this season, it’s time to kickoff the postseason!

My dad assumed that his travel itinerary would get a little easier once the regular season wrapped up. However, over the next 10 days, my dad will be making Wishes come true in Kansas City, Chicago, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh & Cleveland!

He made his way to KC via overnight bus in the below zero temps on Friday night. Unfortunately the heat stopped working on the bus while heading towards St Louis, thankfully he switched busses on the way, but the cold ride made for a long ride…

Upon arrival in Kansas City, my dad took an uber to the stadium to meet up with our guests for the day, Army Sgt Preston O’Neal and his 12 year old son Preston IV.  Our friend Don Munce, who has been making Wishes come true for the past few years, once again hosted everyone at his tailgate before the game.

Everyone enjoyed getting to know each other over some delicious food and drinks before the game.   Sgt O’Neal shared with my dad that he proudly served our country for 16 years as Military Police Officer. He retired after 4 deployments and it was very clear, to my dad, that his son was glad to have Dad home for good now!  Sgt O’Neal’s wife also served our country, that’s how they met.  Both he and his son were HUGE Chiefs fans!

Before escorting the father & son into the stadium, my dad presented them with new Chiefs caps courtesy of New Era, thank you letters from some students & he surprised them with 6th row seats!  Not only did they personally tell me how excited they were, but even Sgt O’Neal’s wife back home told us via Facebook.

The Chiefs jumped out to an early lead giving the O’Neals a lot to be excited about.  Unfortunately, Travis Kelce took a shot to the head placing him in the concussion protocol.  Despite losing one of their best players, the Chiefs took a 21-3 lead into halftime & looked as if they would cruise to an easy playoff victory.

But the 2nd half was a different story…  the Chiefs were shutout.  The Titans held the Chiefs to 51 yards of total offense and won 22-21 to complete one of the wildest playoff comeback wins in NFL history.  Although disappointed with the final score & outcome of the game, Preston and his son enjoyed their father-Son Chiefs experience! It was an honor to host them.

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Don Munce & his tailgate crew for once again helping make wishes come true in KC.  We also want to thank New Era for providing New Chiefs caps!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank the O’Neal family for their service & sacrifices to our country!

My dad will be back on the overnight bus to Chicago to host a terminally ill Vietnam Veteran at the Blackhawks game before making his way back home.  Stay tuned for more details!

 

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Game 45 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Chiefs Playoff Game!

Last week we kicked off making wishes come true in the playoffs hosting warriors in the “Frozen Tundra” of Lambeau Field!

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This week we are honored to be hosting Marine CPL Christopher Lee at his first ever Kansas City Chiefs game!

 Marine Cpl Christopher Lee served 9 years with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea.  He was nominated by his stepmom and dad.  

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For the second straight bad weather prevented my dad from being at the game to personally host Cpl Lee & his father at Arrowhead stadium.  Despite the fact that the National Weather Service was calling a threat of severe Ice storms throughout the Kansas City area, Chris & his dad braved the weather.  

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Thankfully, the NFL changed the time of the game from noon to 8:20 & hoped that the ice storm will have already passed thru the area. Their plan worked perfectly!  

My dad did his famous “radio show contest” to surprise CPL Lee with the playoff tickets.  His stepmom said she wish she had his reaction on camera.  Needless to say, Chris was very excited and We think his dad was just as excited when his son asked him to go with.

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We have said it before and will say it again.  we love the father-son experiences the best for obvious reasons.  There is nothing better than seeing a father and son get to experience their first game ever together!  Those memories last a lifetime!  

Fortunately, the weather never got as bad as they thought it was going to be.  It rained most of the morning but was not cold enough to freeze over.   It gave Chris & his dad time to get to The stadium early to experience some Pre Game activities.

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The Chiefs played well all season long.  They clinched their division & a first round bye in the final week of the regular season.   The only problem is that they were facing a red hot Steelers team who has looked unstoppable over the past few weeks.  Earlier in the season, the steelers steamrolled the Chiefs 43-14.

Thankfully the Chiefs did not get blown out this time.  In fact, the Chiefs did not allow a Touchdown the entire game!  Unfortunately A 4th down penalty Late in the 4th quarter with the Chiefs up 16-15 cost them the game… The Steelers went on to win 18-15 by scoring 6 field goals in the game.  

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Despite the tough loss, Cpl Lee & his dad said they “had the time of our lives.  Scott told my dad that the time he spent with his son was “so special.”  We do our best to make sure that EVERY “Warrior Wish” is memorable and special, and love to hear that it was!

Since we were not able to personally host Cpl Lee and his dad, we will be inviting them to the Royals game this summer on our Battlefields to Ballfields Mission.  

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We want to thank CPL Christopher Lee for his 9 years of selfless service & sacrifices to our country.  We are glad you had a good time with Dad!

Next week, weather permitting, my dad will be back in action making Warrior Wishes come true at the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta thanks to the Falcons! Stay tuned for more details!

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Game 44 – Playoff Wishes Come True At Lambeau Field!

For the 5th straight year we completed our “All32in17” mission by making Warrior Wishes come true at 43 NFL games throughout the 2016 regular season!   

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

With the regular season behind us, it was time to focus on making wishes come true at one playoff game each week leading up to the final game of the 2016 mission at the Super Bowl in Houston!  

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One of the most important pieces of our mission is to provide an experience at each game.  For us, it’s more than just a game.  We want to personally thank each warrior for their service & sacrifices.  We do our best to provide each of them with a stress free day filled with memories.  That’s why my dad is typically on the road to host each warrior even though he doesn’t always go to the games with them, especially when tickets are expensive.  

We decided to make wishes come true during Wild Card Weekend in Green Bay.  We have received a lot of nominations for Packers games over the years & are still working to make every wish come true.  Plus Green Bay is only a 3 hour bus ride away.  

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Unfortunately, inclement weather prevented my dad from traveling to Green Bay for the game.  Thankfully, our friends, the Tompa’s, stepped in to host the Warriors! 

Unbeknownst to each other, Jeff Mumm nominated his wife Army SPC Alissa Mumm for the Packers game.  Coincidentally, Alissa had nominated her dad for a Packers game!  Her father, Army MSG Curt Myers proudly served our country for 37 years!  

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My dad pulled out his “radio show” trivia contest to surprise them with FRONT ROW tickets to the playoff game!  

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The 1919 Kitchen and Tap, inside Lambeau Field provided a delicious meal before the game.  It gave everyone a chance to warm up inside the atrium before stepping out into the “Frozen Tundra.”

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The Packers won their final 6 games and beat the Detroit Lions last week to win their division.  They were one of the hottest teams to enter the 2016 playoffs.  The Giants had a playoff spot locked up and rested a majority of their starters during their final game of the regular season. 

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Aaron Rodgers & the Packers continued to stay hot in the freezing cold temperatures.  Randall Cobb scored 3 times in the game and the Packers went on to win by the score of 38-13!  

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My dad & I watched the game from home and actually saw the Warriors celebrating a couple of times as the Packers scored in their end zone right in front of them!

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My dad reached out to the Warriors after the game to make sure that everything went well & to thank them for their service again.  

they told him how much fun it was to spend that special father-daughter time together – and especially at a Packers playoff victory. We are extremely proud to have provided this opportunity for them and would like to THANK them both for their service & sacrifices to our country!

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We will be back in action next week making wishes come true at the Chiefs – Steelers game in Kansas City!  Stay tuned for more details!

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MEET THE WARRIORS

ARMY MSG CURT MYERS

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My name is Curt J. Myers and I am a retired Army Veteran, having served 37 years and 7 months in the Army – Active duty, National Guard, and Reserves. In my time span, I have held three military occupational skills (MOS’s), have lived all over the United States and abroad. My military career began in 1973 when I went to basic training at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. I have held several positions and a multitude of jobs while serving in the military. In 1991, I was sent to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, where I obtained the bronze star. I have been honored with several different awards and opportunities obtained in my years of service with the Army, with one of my highlights being my daughters entrance into the Army as well during my time as a recruiter. When I left active duty and joined the reserves, I held employment at Ft. McCoy as a military technician with the 88th Regional Support Command. I finally retired my military and military technician service July 2012.

Being retired now, I still have anything but free time. I currently live in Hurley, Wisconsin with my wife Terry and my golden retriever Maddie. We are the owners and operators of Trails and Tales Outdoor Adventures, LLC in which we provided guided rides and services through miles of Iron County ATV and snowmobile trails. The travel bug that I caught in the military has not left and my wife and I enjoy taking our camper out and hitting the open road to explore old and new places alike. We have four grandchildren, Parker, Keaton, Sandra, and Hailey, whom we spending every moment possible with. I have also been laboriously working a B-52 Crash Site memorial in Hurley, Wisconsin. I strive every day to remember the fallen, the missing, and those who serve today. I am also an avid supporter of the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Cubs, a love of sports I passed on to my daughters as well and they are now passing on to their children. I also enjoy hunting and fishing as well being able to teach my grandchildren the skills to be successful sportsmen in the future.

ARMY SPC ALISSA MUMM
Dad and I in uniform
My name is Alissa Mumm and I am currently from Platteville, Wisconsin. I grew up as one of two children to a father who was active duty. We grew up all over, Wisconsin, Texas, and Germany, experiences many probably will never have. Though in some sense, moving so much was hard on us, I followed in my father’s footsteps and at the age of 17, and enlisted into the Army Reserves as a Medical Laboratory Technician. I was originally assigned to the 114th Combat Support Hospital out of Madison, Wisconsin and later, the 452nd Combat Support Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was in basic training on 9/11, a day which I consider to be a pivotal turning point on my desire to serve this country, despite not really seeing any footage until 3 years following that day. I served with others from New York and waited with them as they anxiously tried to reach out to family and friends. I completed basic at Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri and left right away for advanced individual training phase one at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas and phase two at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. I returned home in 2003, where I started school at UW-Platteville. I went on to graduate with my Bachelor’s and later, my Masters Degree, from UW-Platteville, both degrees in Criminal Justice. Following my completion of my Bachelors Degree, I started working for the VA Hospital in Madison, WI and my passion and devotion to our service members grew even stronger. While enrolled in a leadership development class, I discovered a position designed to work with the Veterans who were dealing with the “wrong side” of the criminal justice system. This spurred my to start my Masters degree, which cumulated in a thesis paper, titled “The invisible wounds of war: recommendations for recognizing and assisting veterans in the criminal justice system”. Though, as passionate as I am about working for our Veterans, I am currently working for the State of Wisconsin Public Defender’s office and, perhaps fortunately, only a very minute fraction of clients served are Veterans, though I still hope one day to find a job which will allow me to work for Veterans in whatever capacity I can, a passion inspired by my own service and by the passion and commitment I see my mom and dad give every day to Veterans. Outside of all of this, I love spending time with my husband Jeff, our three-year-old Sandra, and our one-year-old Hailey. We love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, atv’ing, and spending time together and of course, cheering on the Green and Gold!! GO PACK GO!!!
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Game 41 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Cincinatti!

After traveling over 35,000 miles since September 12th & making warrior wishes come true at 40 Regular season games, it was time for my dad to focus his efforts on the playoffs!
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Yea, we’re talkin bout playoffs!

It’s always a little more challenging to make warrior wishes come true during the playoffs because you typically don’t know which teams are making it to the postseason  & the NFL doesn’t release the playoff schedule until the week before the games.  So with less than a week to book travel, confirm Warriors and secure tickets, it’s a challenge!

We are very conscious on how money is spent on our mission.  The less money paid for travel means more wishes come true, so thankfully the Bengals had a home playoff game

So instead of paying hundreds of dollars in airfare to go to Washington DC or Houston.  We had to choose between freezing our butts off in sub-zero temperatures in Minnesota or hosting heroes in Cincinnati.  We decided to make warrior wishes come true at the Bengals game.
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Our friend Bill offered to donate his time & gas money, so he & my dad drove 5 hours to Cincy early Saturday morning.

Once in Cincinnati, they met up with Marine CPL Joshua Sust to make his warrior wish come true!

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As always, the guys tailgated with WhodeyBaby, Big John and the Bengal Bomb Squad.  The Bengal Bomb Squad tailgate is a gathering of Bengal fans like no other!  With games, food galore, great people, superfans, and of course their traditional Bengal Bombs … it’s a Who Dey gameday experience everyone loves!  The Bengals ultimate tailgate took time to recognize CPL Sust and his friend, fellow Marine Kevin Dickerson for their military service.

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Our other guest, Army SSG Paul Brondhaver, actually works for the Bengals setting up military programs, so he joined CPL Sust inside Paul Brown stadium on the field for Pre Game warm ups.  Not only did they get an up close look from the sidelines, they also greeted and “high fived” the players in the tunnel as they entered the field for start of game .

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The game itself was one of the best games you will ever see – unless you are a Bengals fan . The Bengals had the game in hand – leading 16-15 and intercepted Ben Rothlisberger pass with just 1:36 left in the game.  Plus they were already in field goal range.  The game should have been over. However, on the Bengals first play of the drive, Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball giving the Steelers one last chance.

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The clearly injured Rothlisberger completed a couple short passes, followed by two huge personal foul penalties, allowing Steelers to score a game winning field goal as time expired.  It was a tough loss for Cincinnati.

But thanks to Bengals Tight End, Tyler Eifert and his parents, our night wasn’t going to end with the loss.  The Eifert family invited the warriors to join them to meet Tyler & some of the players after the game.

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Despite the loss many of the Bengals players, including Tyler Eifert, AJ Hawk & Andy Dalton, stopped by to thank the warriors for their service.  in fact, we think they were as excited to meet our warriors, as our warriors were to meet them.

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Corporal Sust had some of the Bengals players sign his new prosthetic – he just had his foot amputated four months ago and has adjusted to it very quickly.

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We want to Thank the Eifert family for the post game passes & all theBengals players who stopped to thank the guys for thier service and sign some autographs. We also want to thank Bob at the Bengals for the field pass, New Era for the Bengals Caps, Whodey, Big John & the Bengal bomb Squad for an ultimate tailgate experience & most importantly, THANK YOU to Paul, Josh, Rob and Kevin for your service to our country!!!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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Tomorrow, Warrior Wishes come true in DC!  However, my dad will not be there to host them because he & Bill will be driving back home overnight in order to get back in time to celebrate X man’s 2nd birthday!

MEET THE WARRIORS

MARINE CPL JOSHUA SUST

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Joshua Sust was born in January 20,1987 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Colerain High School in June 2006. 2 weeks after his graduation he was on a bus to the one and only Parris Island MCRD. After 13 grueling weeks he finally accomplished his greatest achievement becoming a United States Marine. Upon completion of boot camp PVT Sust was headed to SOI East at camp Gieger, NC. After another grueling 3 months PFC Sust graduated SOI and was headed to the Fleet Marine Force with 2nd battalion 4th marines at Camp Pendleton, CA

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Cpl Sust spent a total of 6yrs with 2/4 and 3 deployments with them. His first two were the 31st and 11th MEU on his last and finally deployment CPL Sust was deployed to Helmand Provence, Afghanistan in September 2011. On a day he will never forget which has come to be known as many others a his alive day. Nov 12, 2011 at around 0830 Cpl Sust was on a mounted patrol when his Vic hit an IED causing his door to be blown off and ejected. His injuries are: shattered tib/fib left foot and open fractures to both bones in his left arm. After years of therapy and 9 surgeries later Cpl Sust was medically retired from the Marine Corps in Aug 2013.

Now as a retired Marine Joshua Sust finds the best therapy for him is being around his combat brothers and hunting and fishing and also riding his motorcycle. For him nothing is better than being outdoors at a lake or in the woods. He feels at peace were everything kind of slows down and he can relax and enjoy his life. He is also a board member of The wounded Marine Fund that helps other wounded vets.

Cpl Sust awards are: Purple Heart, Combat action ribbon, Good Conduct Medal x2, Afghanistan Campaign medal, sea service deployment ribbon x3, meritorious mass, letter of appreciation x2, certificate of appreciation, and cercom.

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Josh is a die hard Bengals fan and it was an honor to make this Warrior Wish come true!!!

ARMY SSG PAUL BRONDHAVER

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Staff Sergeant (SSG) Paul Brondhaver is a native of New Richmond, Ohio, a small town located 20 miles east of Cincinnati on the banks of the Ohio River. Paul joined the United States Army at age 17, before graduating from New Richmond High School in May 1986.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Science from the University of Cincinnati. Paul has earned his Master’s in Business Administration in 2013 from Indiana Wesleyan University. Paul has been a Red Cross volunteer and instructor for 31 years.  Paul retired from the United States Army in 2007 with 21 years of service. 

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SSG Paul Brondhaver has traveled all over the world through his military service to places such as Honduras, Germany, Panama, Kuwait, and Iraq.  His state and country called on him to serve on active duty for 19 different missions and operations.  He served with the 216th Combat Engineer Unit and the 1st Infantry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 through 2005. SSG Brondhaver’s tour ended early when his combat patrol was attacked with small arms fire and a rocket propelled grenade that exploded near his Humvee in Summara, North of Baghdad, Iraq in July 2004.  Paul’s body was riddled with over 300 pieces of metal shrapnel in the attack, while a fellow soldier and friend was killed in the explosion. Paul has hearing loss severe nerve damage, a traumatic brain injury, and severe post traumatic stress disorder.  Paul credits the Lord, prayer, his fellow soldiers, the military and his American Red Cross training for saving his life. 

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SSG Paul Brondhaver’s military awards include:  

Paul’s family currently reside in Cincinnati.  Paul enjoys spending time with his three beautiful children: Tanner, Morgan and Conner.  Paul knows firsthand the needs military families have after returning home from deployment, so he started his own 501 (C) 3, non-profit foundation.  The “Paul Brondhaver Foundation for Military Families” rescue dogs, trains them, and provides veterans with companion service dogs.  His foundation also assists local military families with dental, counseling, home repairs, food and other important expenses that cause the military family undue hardship.  He feels it is a true honor to serve his country, the United States of America.

SOURCE – http://www.helpingahero.org/our-heroes/ssg-ret-paul-brondhaver

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The Pittsburgh Penguins Honor Heroes & Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After a day full of “Steel City” surprises, we got a great night sleep at a hotel.  It was the first time in almost a week since my dad slept in a bed.  Feeling refreshed, my Dad & I were up early to host Army SGT Josh Furlong AKA “Furdiddy” at tours of PNC Park & Heinz Field.

ARMY SGT JOSHUA FURLONG

SGT Furlong served 13 years in the Army.  A few of Josh’s friends never made it home & when Josh returned home from deployment to Afghanistan, he struggled with PTSD and ended up homeless, in jail, and even attempted to end his life.  Today Josh has turned his life around and has become an advocate and mentor to help Warriors that are dealing with similar issues.

Josh presented us with an American flag at PNC park that was flown on a mission while he was serving in Afghanistan.  It was an amazing surprise and something that will proudly be displayed!

We had originally planned to make Warrior Wishes come true at the pirates game tonight but when we heard there was rain in the forecast & a Penguins playoff game being played down the road, we reached out to The Penguins to see if they could help us make a few warrior wishes come true.

See how the Penguins made warrior wishes come true in 2014!

Julie from the Penguins went above & beyond to help and donated her 2 tickets to help us honor SGT Furlong & Army SGT Rob Easley at game 3 of Penguins playoff series with the Rangers.

SGT Easley, is one of the biggest Penguins fans in the world.  We learned about the donated tickets about 5 hours before the puck dropped.  When we called Rob to invite him to join us, he made no hesitation & immediately jumped in a car with his wife to drive over 3 hours from Walter Reed in Bethesda, MD to attend the game!

ARMY SGT ROB EASLEY

SGT Easley joined the Army with a friend.  He had plans to join Special Forces.  On June 4th, 2008 3 members of Rob’s 8-person team were killed in action.

Once he returned home from his first deployment, Rob made the decision to deepen his skills & endured yearlong training to be an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Technician.

In January 2012 Easley deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On October 15, 2012, Rob’s 3-man team was called to disarm two discovered IED’s.  Rob stepped on a third undiscovered IED, which instantly exploded.  The blast resulted in the amputation of both legs, and partial amputations of fingers on his right hand.

Rob hasn’t let his traumatic injuries keep him down.  Thanks to the great people at Walter Reed & his never give up attitude, determination & support from family & friends, especially his wife, Megan, Rob was up on prosthetics legs quickly. Rob says his wife Is the most important person in his life.

Today Rob continues to rehab at Walter Reed.  He enjoys playing wheelchair rugby & plays for theUSA Warriors Sled hockey team.  He is a Pittsburgh native & as I mentioned before, the biggest Penguins fan we have ever met!

Operation Warrior Wishes is honored to host these brave heroes at the Penguins game.  We would like to thank Julie & the Pittsburgh Penguins for helping us make these #WarriorWishes come true! The Penguins even gave SGT Easley & SGT Furlong recognition for their service at the game by putting a message on the scoreboard!   We would also like to thank our friend George in Pittsburgh for securing a ticket for SGT Easley’s wife and letting my dad crash at your place tonight.

 My dad will be back on the bus first thing in the morning and heading to Philadelphia to make warrior wishes come true at our 22nd game in the last 20 days on our #BattlefieldsToBallfields Mission.

This was our 21st game of making Wishes come true in 19 days.  Learn more about ourBattlefields to Ballfields MissionNominate Your Hero for an upcoming gameGet involvedMake a Donation & Buy Warrior Wishes gear at http://warriorwishes.org/

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Warriors Celebrate a Playoff Clinching Win With The Blackhawks!

Our Battlefields to Ballfields mission has officially begun!  Operation Warrior Wishes will be on the road making warrior wishes come true at 54 games in 53 days!

GAME 1 – CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS – We started our mission in Chicago and were proud to be host Retired Marine Manny Gonzalez, Army Warrior Andrew Nemeth & to be honoring the legacy of SSG Jacob Frazier by hosting his Dad Jim Frazier at the Chicago Blackhawks game!

We met up with the warriors at the Billy Goat Tavern a few blocks away from the stadium.  Everyone enjoyed their World-Famous Billy Goat “Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger. No Pepsi, Coke. No Fries, Cheeps.” and got to know each other.

After dinner, we presented Jim Frazier, Gold Star Father of SSG Jacob Frazier, with a custom piece of artwork made by “Honor America’s Valor” in honor of his son’s legacy.

As the warriors were snapping pictures outside the stadium before the game, they got lucky and ran into the Blackhawks National Anthem singer, Jim Cornelison!

The Blackhawks clinched a playoff spot with their win over the Canucks.  Jim, Manny & Andrew celebrated their win in the locker room with the players thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks!  It was a day full of once in a lifetime memories & warrior wishes coming true!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank The Billy Goat Tavern for providing the pregame meal, Honor America’s Valor for providing the artwork to honor SSG Frazier’s Legacy & theChicago Blackhawks for helping us provide these heroes with a once in a lifetime Blackhawks experience & make these Warrior Wishes come true!

View All the pictures from this event here!

Learn more about the Warriors and about their service and sacrifices below.

US MARINE MANNY GONZALEZ

At the young age of 20, Manny Gonzalez suffered 2nd & 3rd degree burns on over 80 percent of his body.  On July 18, 1996, Manny was participating in a field training exercise.  Three “Tear Gas” grenades were tossed amongst the Marines to simulate a Chemical Attack.  Two separate fires ensued.   After failed attempts to put out the fire he was nearest to and not realizing that a second fire had also started, Manny and other Marines began to evacuate the immediate area.

Before Manny could make it to a safe area, he noticed a Marine against the base of the hill, overcome by the tear gas, laying on the ground.  Following the traditions of the Marine Corps of “Never leaving a Marine behind”, Manny dropped all his gear and he ran to the Marine’s side to help.  During this time, the fires merged into one and created a ring around the hill, separating him and the other Marine from the entire unit.  After multiple unsuccessful attempts were made to climb the hill to escape the flames, the fire engulfed Manny and the other Marine.

Both marines were able to make it through the intense flames, but not unscathed.  The Marine Manny went back to save suffered approximately fifty percent burns, while Manny suffered approximately eighty percent 2nd and 3rd degree burns over his body.

He was immediately airlifted to UCSD Burn Unit, where he was placed into a drug-induced coma for approximately 1 1/2 months.  At one point his doctor gave him a 1% chance of surviving due to severe complications a week after his injuries.

Manny has overcome the odds & made a full recovery from his burns. 3 months after the accident he was released to return home to Chicago, He was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 1998.

AIR FORCE SSG JACOB FRAZIER

Jacob enlisted in the Illinois Air National Guard in 1997, and was determined to excel in the military. He attained the rank of staff sergeant in the Air Force, attached to special forces, a job that required his skills in coordinating close air support operations with precision.

On March 29th, 2003 Jake gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our country in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  He was the only Air Force member on a U.S. Special Forces team that was ambushed north of the town of Gereshk in the Helmund Province in Afghanistan.

To this day, SSG Frazier is greatly missed, he will forever be respected for his ultimate sacrifice for the nation he loved and defended with honor.

Operation Warrior Wishes is proud to host Jacob’s dad in his honor & share his legacy tonight at the Chicago Blackhawks game!

ARMY ANDREW NEMETH

We are also excited to be hosting Army Warrior Andrew Nemeth.  Andrew has proudly served our country since 2008 and is an avid Blackhawks fan!  We surprised Andrew and let him know we would be making his Warrior Wish come true!

Learn more about the mission and see the full schedule here, nominate your hero and get involved here.