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Warrior Wishes Come True In San Francisco!

Well it wasn’t the Westin,but the couches at San Francisco airport are better than sleeping on a bus- so my dad was pretty refreshed and ready to go for Day 2 hosting warriors at AT&T Park . 

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Today’s game was a 1:10 start my dad is hosting Army Sgt JR Lugo, who served 12 years and 2 tours of duty. My dad headed over to MoMos – our meeting place for 2nd straight day, to set up brunch . Unfortunately, due to construction and traffic , Sgt Lugo and his friend Carla arrived a little late, so we just grabbed some nachos to carry us over until after the game. 

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My dad gave them their New Era Giants Caps and walked over to the stadium to take a few pics & escorted Sgt Lugo & his friend into the stadium.  Everyone in San Francisco was trying to get their hands on first place Giants tickets. The cheapest ticket to get in the stadium today was $71.  so my dad did not get a ticket for himself. Instead he walked around and took some “scenic” photos, including “his view” of the game out by the bay 

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Inside the stadium, Junior and Carla were having a great time. They even sat next to a Navy Desert Storm vet. 

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Sgt Lugo & all the Giants fans were treated to a great game and an exciting 4-2 victory over the DBacks, with a huge go ahead home run in the 4th inning by Grant Green.

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My dad met back up with Sgt Lugo & his friend after the game and they had a delicious dinner thanks to Lucky Strike across the street.  It gave my dad the opportunity to get to know Sgt Lugo and personally thank him for his service & sacrifices.  My dad also learned Sgt Lugo uses MMA fighting to battle his PTSD & He is a ranked fighter in California!  We look forward to attending one of his fights in the future. 

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JR posted “I love meeting new people and making friends! Met a fellow veteran and friends from the valley.   Shoutout to @WarriorWishes for the food(thanks to Lucky Strike), tickets & Caps (Thanks to New Era)!!!  Definitely a great experience & reminds me why I am so proud to be called a veteran!!!  Craig is the man!!!  Thank you Warrior Wishes!”

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank New Era Cap for their continued support every game in providing our heroes with their favorite team’s caps and to Lucky Strike for Postgame dinner.  But most importantly thanks to Army Sgt Junior Lugo – for his 12 years of service and sacrifices.  

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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As our guests headed back to Salinas, my dad walked down the Embarcadero (along the bay) and did some sightseeing at Fishermans Wharf before he hopped on his 10:30 overnight bus to LA.  Stay tuned for details.  

MEET SGT JR LUGO

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My name is JR Lugo. I am a 34 yr old army combat veteran and a single father of a 12 yr old princess. I served in the army from 1999 to 2012. Mixed time between Active duty and reserves. Served in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Served two tours in middle east.

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I graduated from Hartnell College with honors with an AS in administration of justice and an AA in social sciences. I start my jr yr of college in the fall at Cal State University Monterey Bay where I will be majoring in Psychology. Due to my PTSD I would get into a lot of trouble when I first got back but I found a way to let my stress and anger out in the form of Mixed Martial Arts or better known as MMA. I was the #1 ranked Heavyweight in 2012 with a 5-0-1 record and currently have a Professional record of 7-3 with six finishes, four of them coming in the first round.

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I work with at risk teens in my community in the Salinas Valley. My goal is to make my community a safer place and teach our kids that their is an alternative way to let out your aggression. I thank God for allowing me to live my dream and I am proud to have worn the uniform and to have served my country proudly!!!!

 Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

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

Click here for more information.

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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The San Francisco Giants Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

 

My dad spent his entire week back home working on planning & coordinating our upcoming golf outing & planning for his upcoming trip to the west coast.  

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This week he will be making Warrior Wishes come true in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Anaheim, Oakland & Seattle.  Including hosting Warriors at the MLB Home Run Derby & The ESPYs!!!

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So for the first time this summer, my dad was on a plane instead of a bus.  Needless to say he was excited to fly.  Unfortunately, his flight was delayed due to fog in San Fran….  We’ve had fog issues in San Fran before.  You may remember in 2012, we got stranded in San Fran for 36 hours.

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The delay made things interesting as my dad’s plane landed at 3:15.  Thankfully this isn’t my dad’s first rodeo & he has been to San Fran enough to know how to get to the stadium.  My dad took the BART downtown and checked his bag with concierge at Hyatt so didn’t have to  carry it around all day.

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He called Army Sgt Josh Castro, as he walked down the Embarcadero, to let them know we would be few minutes late and met up with him outside the stadium

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Sgt Castro served our great country from 2006 to 2010. He was deployed once but was hit 5 times.  Sgt Castro was nominated to us by Army Ranger Mikhail Venikov, who runs a non profit, Ranger Road in Sacramento.  Mikhail has become a great resource since my dad met him at Wounded Flag Football game at this year’s Super Bowl . He has also nominated heroes for other west coast events.

We had told Mikhail not to tell Josh about dinner or Field Passes so he thought he was just coming for tickets – SURPRISE !!! The reaction from Sgt Castro and his friend Amanda was priceless when my dad told them.  He said “we didn’t know what to expect”

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Since my dad & Sgt Castro were running a little late, they decided to eat after the game so they didn’t miss any of the PreGame batting practice.

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Thanks to Andrew and Bertha from the Giants everyone was escorted through the tunnel and down onto the field.  Sgt Castro met a couple players and was just soaking it all in, from a visual perspective that not many get to enjoy.

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This was Sgt Castro’s First Ever Game and so my dad made sure to go to Guest Services to get a “FirstGame “Certificate. Sgt Castro thought this was funny. “cuz it is usually the kids that get this” – but he appreciated it.

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The game itself was a good one but after the first pitch of the game was hit into the left field bleachers by the DBacks Segura. it didn’t look like Giants night.  However, Brandon Crawford had a monster night going 3 for 3 with a HR and 3 RBI’s – as the Giants rolled to a 6-2 victory.

After the game my dad & Sgt Castro headed across the street to Pedro’s Cantina for Nachos and a drink.  Another Mission Accomplished !!!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank MoMo’s Restaurant, New Era Cap for providing Giants caps, Mikhail for nominating Sgt Castro and to the San Francisco Giants for providing tickets & an amazing experience.  But of course, most importantly, THANK YOU to both Sgt Castro and Army Ranger Venikov for their service to our country. 

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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San Francisco is one of my dad’s favorite cities.  From the Golden Gate Bridge, to Alcatraz, fisherman’s wharf to the great friends we have made over the years.  All those things are great, but one of my dad’s favorite things to do in San Fran is to sleep on the red couches at the airport.  

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 So after saying his goodbyes to Sgt Castro & his friend, My dad headed to the airport to get a good night sleep.  But instead of sleeping on his normal red couch, found a quieter place with some comfortable “blue couches” instead . He will be up bright and early tomorrow to host 2 more Army Warriors at the Giants game again. Stay tuned for more details.  

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 Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

www.WarriorWishes.org

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

Click here for more information.

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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Honoring The Legacy of SFC Bryan Hall In San Francisco

On the morning of April 10, 2009 a convoy of military vehicles left their safety of FOB Merez to conduct a mission in the town of Mosul, Iraq. What was supposed to be a routine mission turned deadly. An oncoming suicide bomber was loaded with explosives and detonated near the last military vehicle in the convoy, killing all five soldiers.

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The five killed were SFC Bryan E. Hall, SGT Edward W. Forrest Jr., SSG Gary L. Woods, CPL Jason Pautsch, PFC Bryce E. Gautier. SFC Hall was attached to 1ST Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,  4th Infantry Division.  This marked the most catastrophic single loss to the 2nd Brigade in 2009.

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SFC Hall was a 14 year Veteran of the US Army and he was on his first deployment during the war. SFC Hall had many awards and commendations, some of which included  Purple Heart, Bronze Star, 3 Army Commendation Medal, 8 Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge and that of US Army Ranger.

Bryan was married to Rachel and they have one daughter, Addison. His parents are John and Betty Hall and sister, Kristi Lynne-Hall Donelli. The loss of Bryan was devastating to his family, friends and the community as a whole. Bryan was a great man who stood for honor and freedom for our country. He is missed everyday and his spirit lives on through his daughter Addison.

“While Bryan’s life was short, he had known a life that most men long for – faith, shared the love of woman he adored, he knew the joys of fatherhood, he was doing a job he loved, and he had hunted and fished all over the United States. His life had been full.  He was an amazing man!” ~Betty Hall (Mom)

After 2 straight days of Making Warrior Wishes come true at the Raiders & 49ers games, My dad made his way over to AT&T Park to honor the legacy of SFC Bryan E. Hall & host surviving family members at the Giants game in his honor thanks to our friends at Virgin America.  

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My dad will be flying back to Chicago tomorrow morning to catch an overnight bus to Kansas City to make Warrior Wishes Come True at the Chiefs game Thursday night for the 3rd game of our “All32in17” mission.

SAVE THE DATE! 

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APRIL 9th, 2016

Join the Hall family at their  7th annual “Walk to Remember SFC Bryan E Hall.”   All proceeds from the walk will be split between the Bryan E. Hall Memorial Scholarship and an education fund established for SFC Hall’s seven-year old daughter, Addison.  The goal is to get 1000 participants, register to walk here!