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Game 41 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Redskins Game!

On a day that my dad was hosting warriors in Miami at the Dolphins game…

We also had the opportunity to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Redskins game thanks to our friend Tailgate Ted’s efforts and William Dahut’s generosity.

Earlier this week, Tailgate Ted made a call to action and asked that anyone not using their Redskins tickets donate them for us to host veterans. William saw Ted’s request and donate his tickets and gave us the opportunity to host Army Sgt Joseph Miller & his wife, Michelle at the game.

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Joseph for his service and sacrifices!

We will be making more wishes come true tonight in LA at the Rams game! Stay tuned…

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Game 24 – Warrior Wishes Come True at the Redskins Game!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank our friend “Tailgate Ted” and his friends at the Hail BBQ Tailgate for helping us make Warrior Wishes come true at the Redskins game.

Thanks to Ted and his crew were able to host a father and son who both proudly served our country on a rainy day in DC.

We would like to thank Air Force Veteran Michael Underhill and his dad, 30 year Army Veteran, James “Steve” Underhill for their service and sacrifices!

My dad is in Nashville hosting warriors at the Titans game as we speak!  Stay tuned for details…

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Game 48 – Redskins Fans Donate Tickets To Make Wishes Come True Again!

Thanks to so many generous Redskins fans, who offered up their tickets to warriors after reading an article in the Washington Post, we were able to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Redskins game again!  More than 50 tickets were donated to warriors and their families to attend the Christmas eve game!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Tailgate Ted for sharing our mission with the Washington Post and inspiring so many people to donate tickets to make wishes come true!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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Game 46 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Redskins Game!

My dad had the pleasure of meeting “Tailgate Ted” a few weeks ago when he made wishes come true at the Redskins game.  Ted is an ultimate Redskins fan who recently had his tailgate van customized by the TV show “Tackle My Ride.” 

Ted has missed a total of 1 Redskins game since he became a season ticket holder in 2001.  He gets there early before every game to meet up with his HailBBQ crew and hosts epic tailgate parties before each game.  Ted also loves to give back.  Recently he noticed more and more empty seats at FedEx field & he wanted to do something about it.  Ted Reached out to the Washington post & published an article recommending people donate their tickets to organizations like ours to give deserving veterans the opportunity to attend the games, if they were not going to go themselves.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Overall, we received multiple ticket donations & were able to host a large group of warriors and their families at Sunday’s game!  And of course, Ted offered to host everyone at the HailBBQ tailgate!

We cannot thank Ted enough for his support and call to action.  We are also very thankful to all of the people who donated tickets to give us the opportunity to host all of these warriors!

We look forward to hosting more at next weeks game!  If you have tickets you are not going to use and would like to donate, we will find a veteran & their family to fill the seats.  Please contact us Matt@warriorwishes.org.

Thank You For Your Support

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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Game 43 – Warrior Wishes Come True At The Redskins Game Again!

After making wishes come true in Baltimore my dad made his way to Washington DC to host heroes at the Redskins game for the 3rd time this season.  

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He arrived in Washington via Greyhound at 4am Mon morning.  He hung out at Union Station for a while to catch up on some work. As the sun rose, my dad decided to explore DC.  He stopped at some of the monuments & museums in the National Mall.  

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After all the sightseeing, it was time to get to work making wishes come true!  At around 4pm my dad headed out on the Metro to Longhorn Steakhouse near the stadium to meet up with Army Spc Joseph Miller and his wife Michelle.  My dad set up the table as he always does, with tickets, New Era Caps and salute to service thank you letters from kids.  

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Joseph didn’t even know he was going to tonight’s game until yesterday when my dad pulled off his patented “Fake Radio Contest” that he uses to surprise our nominees with the experience.

Everyone had a great time getting to know each other over delicious steak dinners thanks to Longhorn Steakhouse.  My dad learned that the Millers actually know a couple of our previous guests which led to some great stories & conversation.  

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Joseph’s favorite team is the Washington Redskins.  He was excited to have the opportunity to watch his Redskins fight for a chance to make the playoffs.  

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Unfortunately for SPC Miller & the Redskins, they came up short against Cam Newton & the Carolina Panthers 26-15.  It was a must win game to have any chance to get the final playoff spot.  despite the loss, the millers still had a great time!  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank New Era Cap for providing Redskins caps, Chive Charities for providing the KCCO shirts & Longhorn Steakhouse for the delicious PreGame meal!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly we want to thank Army Spc Joseph Miller for your service & sacrifices our country!  It’s appreciated, has not gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten!  

My dad will get a couple hours of sleep at the airport before his early morning flight back to Chicago Tuesday morning.  

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Our regular season scheduled “All32in17” Mission is officially accomplished.  It’s time to make wishes come true in the playoffs & all the way to Super Bowl LI in Houston!  Stay tuned for more details!

MEET ARMY SPC JOSEPH MILLER

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Joe had enlisted in the Army in June 1997 and went to basic training at Fort Benning Georgia, home of the infantry. After completing basic training he was assigned to the first infantry division (the big red one), first battalion 26th infantry regiment (blue spaders). His duty station was Schweinfurt, Germany. While stationed there he was deployed to Macedonia and Kosovo, two tours to the Balkans region. ETS out of the Army as a specialist in 2001. We cannot thank him enough for his service & hope he had an unforgettable experience at the Redskins game!

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

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

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Game 32 – FedEx Makes Warrior Wishes Come True At The Redskins Game!

My dad kicked off week 11 making Warrior Wishes come true at the Panthers game in Charlotte on Thursday.  He spent a night in Charlotte before getting a “great” night of “quality” sleep on an overnight Megabus…  my dad said he fell asleep the second he sat down and woke up Saturday morning in DC. 

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This is our 2nd trip to DC this season.  Here are some of our favorite memories from making Warrior Wishes come true at Redskins games.  

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My dad always likes the DC trips because there is so much to do & see.  From the free Smithsonian museums to the National Mall, the White House, Walter Reed & Arlington National Cemetery,  there is no shortage of things to do.

As soon as my dad got into town, he met up with former Guest warrior Michael Cain at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Wisconsin Badgers college football game.  He is originally from Wisconsin and is actually going to the Redskins – Packers game too.  Thankfully Mike brought my dad his tickets to the game as he forgot them when he left for Charlotte earlier in the week & I had to overnight them to Mike.

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When my dad went in to Buffalo Wild Wings to meet Sgt Cain it was 70 degrees and sunny. Mike only had an hour or so before he had to get back home & my dad stayed longer.  When my dad left 2 hours later, it was pouring rain and 45 degrees.  It was a huge change from when he arrived.  He hopped on a bus to take him to the airport for the night where he acted like a turkey & got a little sleep.

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My dad caught the Metro first thing in the morning to make his annual visit to Arlington Cemetery. He does this ever year, stopping to pay his respect to the ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  Arlington Cemetery is one of the most powerful places in the World.  Pictures don’t do it justice.

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After spending the entire morning at Arlington, my dad headed back downtown. He was hoping to squeeze in an afternoon Capitals Hockey game in for a veteran and his wife who were nominated a couple years ago, but the timing was just a little to tight and it didn’t work out. So my dad headed to the McDonalds by stadium to meet the warriors.  

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While he was in DC preparing for the Redskins Sunday night game, Bengals Coach Kevin Caskey was making Warrior Wishes come true at the Bengals game!

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We were honored to be hosting Army Sgt Michael Trost, his wife Stephanie, and Navy Warrior Shruti Kapur. My dad gave them their Parking Passes and we headed to the stadium . 

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Throughout the day the weather progressively got worse.  As fine time approached, temperatures dropped into 20’s and winds picked up to almost 40 Miles per hour!  We have been extremely lucky over the four plus years of our Mission. We have hosted over 2000 heroes at 650 events and have only had 1 rainout/snowout ever!  On May 9th 2014 a snowstorm rolled through Denver that cancelled the Rockies game that we were honoring a Fallen Hero and 3 active duty soldiers on field.

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For the most part – knock on wood – we have only had 2 or 3 other weather issues of any significance that have interfered with making Warrior Wishes come true.  There was Brett Favre’s  Retirement in Green Bay where it was 35 and raining sideways.

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And when we made warrior wishes come true on Veterans Day of 2012 in Pittsburgh.  It was 33 degrees & pouring down rain!  Matt and I call cold rain “Pittsburgh Rain”.  I still remember my dad doing his best to hold onto an umbrella that was blowing sideways, trying to keep the horizontal sleet off of Marine Brandon Rumbaugh’s dress blues.  

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My dad said that the weather in DC was probably one the next worst conditions – it wasn’t raining BUT the 20 degree temperature and 40 mile an hour winds certainly affected the nights activities.  Luckily Fed Ex had provided Parking Passes in Lot A – 50 yards from the entrance. My dad asked nearby tailgaters  if he could pay them to allow our 5 guests tailgate there.  It was so windy they couldn’t even keep plates, napkins or even the food on the table.  The tailgaters refused the money but did invite the warriors to grab a bite to eat and went back and forth from the tailgate to their warm cars. 

Mike Cain & his friend Casey met up with everyone before heading inside the stadium.  Navy Warrior Shruti Kapur actually knew both Mike and Casey. So despite the terrible weather conditions everyone had a good time.  

Everyone made their way inside the stadium.  The Warriors were treated to field passes thanks to FedEx!   Thankfully it was a little warmer down on the field.  My dad gave Casey and Mike his Field Passes so he got some photos from the stands, while the others got their own pics on the field.

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Luckily the seats were in the club level which gave everyone the chance to warm up before kickoff. 

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One of my dads most memorable moments of the evening was Seeing Sgt Trost – who just had his foot amputated in April and still recovering, STOOD UP TO HONOR HIS COUNTRY during the National Anthem!!!  Although he did not need help to stand up, both Shruti and My dad held on to him from each side to help him balance.  My dad said it was “Very Powerful.”  SGT Trost, you are a true American hero & a patriot!  

The game got off to a slow start.  With gusty winds & cold weather both Quarterbacks struggles to move the ball down the field.  The Redskins went into the 4th quarter leading 22-10.  

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The teams took turns scoring in the 4th quarter, James Starks scored on the first play of the quarter. Two plays later, the Cousins connected with Pierre Garçon on a 70 yard TD pass, then Jared Cook scored for the Packers.  The Redskins offense got the last laugh scoring 2 late game Touchdowns to win by the score of 42-24.  

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SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THE REDSKINS EXPERIENCE HERE!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Rebecca and Clare at FedEx for donating tickets and Field Passes to make Warrior Wishes come true for the 4th consecutive year!  We also want to thank the N2 Tailgate Group for hosting the warriors at their tailgate, New Era Cap for providing the Redskins caps and Chive Charities for their continued support!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Navy Warrior Shruti Kapur, Army Sgt Michael Cain, his Army friend Casey and Army Sgt Michael Trost for their service & sacrifices to our country! 

My dad will actually get a “night off” tomorrow evening, as the Monday Night Game is in Mexico.  He will be back in action on Thursday for our annual Thanksgiving day game in Detroit.  Stay tuned for more details!

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MEET THE WARRIORS

ARMY SGT MICHAEL TROST

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Michael Trost joined the Army on July 20th, 1982.  He proudly served our country for more than 30 years!  On 20 February 2012 I was shot 5 times by a Taliban infiltrator that was an Afghan National Police. This Taliban shot 2 Albanian Soldiers (killing CPT Feti Volgi and wounding CPL Aleksander Peci) and myself with a machine gun (7.62 x 54 PKM) while a USAID Representative investigated Schools that the US military built in the small village of Robat 1 and 2 outside Spin Boldak Afghanistan. I was medevac to Kandahar Role 3 for initial surgery and then flown to Landstuhl Germany for 3 more surgeries, When I reached Walter Reed in Bethesda MD I had a severed Sciatic nerve in my right leg, atrophy in my right calf, drop foot in the right foot. I had Mrsa in my perineum where 3 bullets had exited, I had bullet holes in my right thigh, left thigh (size of a baseball), left buttock, right buttock. I spent 10 months at Walter Reed learning how to walk again. I racked up 31 Surgeries including a 13-hour cadaver sciatic nerve transplant in my right leg. I maintained a 7 to 8 out of 10 on the pain scale in my right leg for the next 4 years. The right leg limb salvage did not work, So, on April 18, 2016 I had a below the knee amputation of my right leg back at Walter Reed. However, my bone was infected with 5 different types bacteria so I had a revision surgery. My right leg finally closed and I should be in my new leg by January 2017. I now have 34 surgeries under my belt and my pain level now ranges from 0 to 3. My wife Stephanie and I have lived in Bethesda for the better part of 8 months. I owe my recovery to the fine Surgeons, Doctors, Nurses, Medics, Wound care, pain teams, infectious diseases teams, etc. I also could have never recovered without the love and care of my wife Stephanie who is my Hero!

RETIRED E-5 SHRUTI KAPUR

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My story begins when i moved to the country at young age of 9 or 10 from India, which makes me second generation immigrant. Our family views United States as the land of opportunity and freedom, which is the reason why we moved. I joined the United States Navy at 22 because i wanted to get experience and financial help for my college but what i got from it was much more than i ever dreamed : Camaraderie , Fraternity for life and to be part of rich culture of the United States Armed Forces. My first duty station was onboard USS Nitze-DDG94, where i was CRYPTOLOGICAL TECHNICIAN TECHNICAL (CTT) and as E-3 and got to deploy as part of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. Being on the ship made me realize the freedom i took for granted, and how the hard work our men and women do affect our daily lives back at home; when you are a sitting duck in middle of enemy territory-even at sea- you realize how much of what we do here affects the world around us. My second tour of duty  at National Reconnaissance Office, was spent as supporting the training effort for the guys in the forefront of the fight. This is where i realize what it takes to train the services from wargaming aspect to the real fight on the ground. This is also my last duty station, where i realized how the there is a side of military that recently has recently been talked about: Veterans Mental Health. This is also a topic which was not talked about by many of US veterans because we thought it is a sign of weakness. I was in Walter Reed for the rest of my time in the military because PTSD at the time, i thought, got the best of me but my medical team at Walter Reed, along with support of my family and close friends helped me get through the treatment. Today, two years out of military as medically retired , i still have the pride of sailor in my daily life (I miss wearing the uniform dearly) but i continue to support the warfighter in the forefront as intelligence analyst with BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON and  found my new purpose in life in volunteering in a non-profit for veterans and help them connect to the local community through social and physical activity and support my fellow brothers and sister in Arms past & Present. My motto in life will always be : Raise awareness about veterans mental health  and Find a purpose in life bigger than myself.

Don’t forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2016 “All32in17” Mission!

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

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

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Game 3 – Making Warrior Wishes Come True At The Redskins Game!

After the Ravens & their “Posse” helped make Warrior Wishes come true in Baltimore, my dad took a bus to Washington DC to host a hero at the Monday Night Redskins game.

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He arrived in DC at around 10:30pm. After grabbing bite to eat, he walked over to the Hyatt by the Capitol building to get some work done and eventually ended up at “Union Station” to get a few hours of rest at 3am.

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After a couple hours of sleep, he hopped on the Metro and headed up toward FedEx Field to prepare for the day’s events.  He set up dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  Ironically it was right next to Jasper’s , where we hosted our first Washington DC Experience dinner with Marine Caleb Getscher and his dad Bill in 2012. We hav emade some incredible memories in DC since kicking off our mission in 2012!

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Since he was already by the stadium, he walked around FedEx field taking pictures, including some really cool ones of flags hanging from fire trucks at each of the entrances, to commemorate 9-11 observances.

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Then my dad walked back down to the McDonalds about a mile down the hill to work on some future games and contact today’s warrior Army Sgt Drew Inman, his wife Erin and service dog Harley. They are originally from DC, but have moved to the Tampa area now and have flown in to see friends the past couple days, and go on this Redskins Warrior Wishes experience.

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The Inman’s picked up my dad on their way to the restaurant for dinner & they had a great Pre Game Meal at Outback.  

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One of my dad’s favorite parts of our mission is presenting our warriors with handwritten letters from school kids, who deliver the letters to us every Veterans Day.  The Warriors love getting them , and reading them, as much as we like giving the letters to them. 

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My dad also really enjoys giving the Warriors their New Era caps. Drew loved picking out his new Redskins cap!  

They arrived at the stadium after dinner plenty early because my dad had forgotten about the game being hour later on East Coast – but better early than late . So we had plenty of time to take some photos in front of, and around the stadium. My dad escorted the Inmans into the stadium – they had great seats on the 40 yard line.  While the Inman’s were inside, my dad went out to find a cheap nosebleed seat and met back up with them inside a few minutes later.

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Drew is a lifelong Redskins fan & was super excited for the game! The Redskins dominated early and he had a big smile on his face as he waved his rally towel and cheered the Skins to a 6-0  lead. 

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However, not getting the ball into the end zone during that early domination proved to be their demise, and the Steelers got touchdowns instead of Field Goals.  Antonio Brown & the Steelers went on to dominate the Redskins & won 38-16. Unfortunately, Sgt Inmans  smile wasn’t quite as big as it was In the first quarter, but he and his wife, Erin had a great time and it was a pleasure and an honor to have hosted them . 

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Since they were flying out first thing in the morning, my dad got them a hotel near BWI Airport in Baltimore – Microtel by Wyndham . And since I was also flying out of BWI , they gave me a ride to the hotel after the game . My dad got them all checked in, said their goodbyes and took the hotel shuttle to the airport for a good night sleep.  

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Terry at Outback Steakhouse for the delicious Pre Game meal , Eric at Microtel by Wyndham for Providing the Inman’s with accommodations and New Era Cap for the Redskins caps!  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

As Always & MOST IMPORTANTLY – THANK YOU to Army Sgt Drew Inman for your service and sacrifice to our country , as well had his wife Erin , who is very involved in the Caregiver side of things for her husband and other military wives.

Don’t forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our 2016 “All32in17” Mission!

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

Facebook “Operation Warrior Wishes”

Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

Instagram “@WarriorWishes

www.WarriorWishes.org

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

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Game 35 – Warrior Wishes Come True In Washington DC!

After making warrior wishes come true at the Giants game & touring ESPN studios in Bristol CT, my dad & I attempted to drive overnight to DC.  But seeing that we had only a few hours of sleep the night before, our eyes became heavy & we decided to “name our own price” and got a hotel just outside of Philadelphia for $70.

I barely remember being in the hotel room because I immediately laid down in bed & passed out.  It had been a while since I’ve been on the road with my dad & to be honest with you, I forgot how much hard work it is.  I don’t know how my dad does it, since Thanksgiving he has made warrior wishes come true in Green Bay, Nashville, Indy, Cleveland, Detroit, Philly & New York!  He’s crazy, but getting to see the warriors get out and have some fun and see the smiles on their faces makes it all worth it!

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First thing Monday morning we checked out of the hotel & drove the final 3 hours to DC.  We had a few hours to kill before meeting up with the warriors so we decided to stop by the national mall.
Each year, millions of people visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks to recreate, to commemorate presidential legacies, to honor our nation’s veterans, to make their voices heard, and to celebrate our nation’s commitment to freedom and equality.  The mall is home to national monuments & memorials as well as some of the coolest museums in the world!  
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We have been to DC multiple times before and never knew all the Smithsonian museums in the national mall were free!  So my dad and I made sure to take advantage of the free perk this time.
Upon arrival in DC we made our way to the National Museum of American History.  This was my favorite museum.  We got to see a $100,000 bill, rare coins, The original “Star Spangled Banner, presidential memorabilia, Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers, a Babe Ruth signed baseball and got a history lesson walking through the Americans at war exhibit.  I swear I could have spent all day there…
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While we gazing at all the history & taking it all in I noticed a camouflage uniform behind a glass case & went in for a closer look.  The name on the soldiers uniform was partially covered up by a strap, all I saw was R—-TOE.
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I immediately looked to see if there was more information about the soldier because back in 2012, a warrior we hosted gave me the KIA bracelet of one of his best friends who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country “Army Ranger Russell B Rippetoe.”  I was told to never take the bracelet off and to let it be a reminder of the sacrifices brave warriors make for us every day to give us the freedoms we have.  To this day I have never taken the bracelet off my wrist.
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I thought to myself, “There was no way this was Captain Rippetoe’s actual uniform”. But then I saw the picture of him, It was his!  Chills ran through my body.  What a crazy coincidence!  Captain Rippetoe was the first American casualty in Iraq.
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After we got a dose of history with an added surprise we paid for 2 more hours in at the parking meter and visited the Museum of Natural History to see the hope diamond and the Air & space museum to check out all the cool aircrafts.  I truly wish we had more time to explore…
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The time on our meter was just about expired meaning it was time for us to head out and meet up with the warriors.  We had to make one last stop on our way.  Arlington National Cemetery.
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Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most humbling places in the world.  The cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. Service to country is the common thread that binds all who are remembered and honored at Arlington.
It was an honor to take time to stop and pay respect to the ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country.  Arlington is a special place unlike any other in the world.
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At around 5:45 we picked up and escorted Roberta Stewart, the Gold Star wife of Army Warrior Patrick Stewart, to the Redskins game.  Jason Pak had planned to meet us at the stadium.
The drive from downtown to the stadium took us a little over an hour because we got caught in rush hour traffic.  But during that hour we got to know Roberta and learn about her husbands legacy.
When we finally arrived at the stadium, I dropped my dad & Roberta off right outside.  With the Redskins leading the division and their rivals, the Cowboys in town, ticket prices were pretty expensive, so I sat this one out again.
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My dad met up with Jason outside the stadium & the group headed inside to their club level seats while I was in pursuit of finding a restaurant or bar to watch the game.
The past 4 games we had made warrior wishes come true at were decided on the last play of the game with every visiting team winning.  Could we go 5 in a row???
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The warriors didn’t have much to cheer about in the first half as the teams went into halftime tied at 3.
The teams traded field goals in the 3rd quarter & again early in the 4th. With the score tied at 9 and less than 2 minutes left on the clock, Darren McFadden ended my fantasy football season & put the Cowboys up 16-9.
The Redskins never gave up, they used only 30 seconds of the clock to drive down the field & tie the game on a 28 yard touchdown pass to Desean Jackson!
For the 5th straight game, warriors were treated to a crazy game coming down to the wire!
Unfortunately, for the 5th straight game, the home team was unable to hold onto the lead and the Cowboys drove down the field to set up Dan Bailey for a game winning 53 yard field goal.
Despite the loss, everyone still had a great time.  Jason grabbed an uber after the game & we dropped Roberta off at her hotel and thanked her one last time for her family’s service & sacrifice.
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Before heading to the airport, my dad & I visited the WWII, Korean War, Lincoln & Vietnam memorials.
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We ended up at the airport around 2am.  My dad sang Christmas carols in the empty airport to stay awake while I worked on writing this post.
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I had a big burger & fries from wise guys for breakfast at 6am before boarding my 7:30am flight to Chicago.  My dad on the other hand took a $3 train to catch a $1 bus and ended up in Philadelphia to catch a $21 afternoon flight back home.
He will be back in Philly next week hosting heroes at the Army Navy game thanks to our friends at Sanofi!
We would like to thank new era for providing Redskins caps for the warriors!
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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!
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