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WWII Warrior Wishes Come True At The World Series!

Having the opportunity to see your favorite team win a championship is often a once in a lifetime experience.  Especially if you’re a Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians fan.  

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There are probably not any Cubs fans in the world who can honestly say they have witnessed a World Series championship.  The last time they won was in 1908, 108 years ago!  To put this in perspective, Tickets to the game cost $1 each, which was expensive considering the average worker only made only $200-$400 per year!   In 1908 the population of Las Vegas Nevada was 30, only 8% of households had telephones & the maximum speed limit in most cities was only 10 miles per hour!  It’s amazing how the times have changed!

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The Cubs did manage to make it to the World Series in 1945, but lost to the Tigers in 7 games.  

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Cleveland Indians fans have waited 68 years to see their team hoist the Commissioners trophy.  They too have been to the World Series since their last championship, but lost the world series in 1954, 1995 & 1997.

With both teams playing agains each other in the 2016 World Series, we made the decision to seek out a WWII veteran who has waited their entire life to see the Cubs or Indians win a World Series Title & be a part of history!

Meet Marine CPL Peter Scaffidi.  

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CPL Scaffidi was born and raised in Cleveland.  He grew up an Indians fan.  At the age of 17 he joined the United States Marine Corp & proudly served our country from 1943-1946 in World War II. While the Cubs competed for the championship in 1945, CPL Scaffidi was preparing to serve as a good will ambassador in occupied Nagasaki, Japan, where he remained for 6 months after the war until he was honorably discharged, as a Corporal, in May, 1946.  Peter eventually moved to Chicago in 1963.  He quickly became a Cubs fan & has been cheering them on for more than 50 years!

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CPL Scaffidi was nominated to us by his daughter.  She said it would be a dream of a lifetime to her dad watch his 2 favorite teams play against each other in the World Series!  

Operation Warrior Wishes was about to make this WWII Warriors’ dream a reality!  

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Ticket prices in Chicago were fetching more than $2000 each just for a standing room only ticket.  Therefore, we looked to Cleveland and were able to find 2 tickets in the 10th row of the bleachers for less than $1k each!  It worked out perfectly as CPL Scaffidi was originally from Cleveland & was going to go “home” to see the game!

Ralph, one of our directors, joined us on this mission.  I was scheduled to work early Thursday morning & knew I would need help driving and hosting CPL Scaffidi.  My dad would have joined us, but he is busy on with our 2016 “All32in17 mission, so we dropped my him off at the airport to catch his flight to Nashville to make warrior wishes come true at the Thursday night Titans game, on the way to Cleveland. 

Xander also tagged along to give mommy some time to relax with baby Quinn.  

We all met up with CPL Scaffidi & his family at the Cubs team hotel. Unfortunately, we pulled up as their team bus pulled out to take the players to the stadium.  There is no doubt in my mind that the players would have stopped to thank this WWII veteran for his service as they boarded the bus, it’s too bad we missed them…

Xander, Ralph & myself walked from tower station to the stadium, while CPL Scaffidi drove with his family.  Due to heavy traffic, we beat them to the stadium & attempted to exchange our 10th row tickets for an accessible seat to accommodate the warrior who was in a wheel chair.  With ticket prices soaring, we never expected to have the opportunity to get into the game.  Ralph & I just planned to make sure CPL Scaffidi was able to get into the stadium with no issues and we were going to stand outside with Xander or find a restaurant to watch the game at.  But when we attempted to trade out the tickets we asked if there were any tickets available.  We got lucky and we’re able to buy standing room only tickets at the box office for $100!  I made sure to buy a ticket for CPL Scaffidi’s daughter and and tickets for us.

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Thankfully we were able to get in since they would not allow me to trade out the tickets for ADA seats outside the stadium.  After we went in I immediately made my way to customer service to trade out the seats and was eventually able to get Peter & his family great seats down the 3rd base line.

Needless to say, this WWII warrior took it all in & had the experience of a lifetime!  

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The Cubs had lost game 1 and had yet to score in the World Series. That all changed quickly as scored quickly in the first inning and never looked back.  The Cubs beat the Indians by the score of 5-1 & won their first World Series game in 71 years!

It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to host CPL Scaffidi and make this Warrior’s wish come true at the World Series!  

The Indians went on to win the following 2 games to take a 3-1 series lead, but the Cubs fought their way back and never gave up!  They ultimately won their first World Series Title in 108 years and officially broke the curse!  We can’t wait to get CPL Scaffidi his 2016 World Series Champions Cap!  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to take a minute to thank all of our supporters across the country.  From those who have donated tickets, meals, money & their time.  You are all the reason we have the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of all these Warriors and we seriously couldn’t have made it all possible without you!  THANK YOU!!!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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WWII Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field

It was an honor to host WWII Warrior SGT Dominic Errichiello at the Chicago Cubs Game.  THIS IS THE YEAR!

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Walk Off Warrior Wishes Come True At The Mets Game!

After 3 straight nights sleeping on a bus & making warrior wishes come true in Boston, my dad finally got to enjoy a good night sleep in an actual bed thanks to a cheap “Name your own price” hotel. However, the good night sleep was cut short because my dad still had to get up by 5:00 AM to catch his bus ride back to NYC to host heroes at the Mets game.

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The bus rolled into  NYC a little late due to traffic.  Once in Manhattan, he got a little work done hanging out at Starbucks, before hopping on the 4 train out to CitiField.  After 4 years of travelling the country to make Warrior Wishes come true,  I think my dad FINALLY has the transportation system figured out in NYC…LOL.  You can call him Magellan.

Today’s my dad had the honor of hostin Army Sgt Teri Will, a 25 year female veteran who has spent her military career photographing and documenting events for the Army. She brought along her brother, David, who came in from Philadelphia.

ARMY SFC TERRI WILL

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A lifelong Mets fan, Sergeant First Class, Terri Will grew up attending Mets games with her family at the old Shea Stadium. In 1990, Terri joined the Army as a combat videographer and photographer. Over the next nearly 25 years, she also served as an Army broadcast journalist and supply sergeant. Her last tour in Iraq had her serving as the last First Sergeant for the American Forces Network out of Baghdad, as her unit was responsible for closing it down due to the drawdown of troop levels in the region. SFC Will’s final assignment was out of Ft. Totten in Bayside, Queens. Finally being at home, in NY, SFC Will decided it was the perfect time to retire, and did so in October of 2015. Since then, she has been attending school full-time, working on getting into nursing school and continues to work on her photography. She will be participating in her first photo show June 11th & 12th at the Bayside Historical Society.

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My Dad “met” Sgt Will & her brother in front of Citi Field by the iconic “Big Apple ” to snap few photos. The crowds were accumulating early tonight, as it was 1986 World Series Jersey giveaway and the game was sold out!! There are not a lot of regular season games that actually sell out, but that 1986 Championship was a big day in Mets history , and every body wanted to get their hands on those awesome ’86 throwback Mets Jerseys.  

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But before heading inside to get their jerseys & watching the Mets face off against the Dodgers, they made a quick stop to McFadden’s for a delicious pregame meal.  

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McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, located just steps from the third base entrance at the CitiField Stadium, is THE home to true Mets fans!  They have created a venue that appeals to a diverse crowd, including families, sports fans, beer fanatics and late night revelers.  You can enjoy an ice-cold drafts in a 13,000 square foot tavern, complete with over 50 HD TVs, mutiple rooms, and a 100 foot island bar.  make sure to drop in for a bite to eat before your next Mets game, or for celebratory drinks after!

McFaddens has been a great sponsor in Philadelphia for all 4 years of our mission, however, this was the first time we have been to McFaddens outside Citi field.  Amani and Brendan from the New York location graciously provided a PreGame meal for the warriors.  

My dad really enjoyed their dinner because it gave Teri time to share some incredible pictures with him – 25 years of covering the war in many different countries all over the world is impressive in itself, but my dad said “the way she captured the emotion and the moments in some of those photos was simple amazing. You could see the passion in the way she described each of the photos to me.”

Thankfully the World Series jersey giveaway was for ALL fans , not just “First 10,000” – so we didn’t have to worry about rushing into the stadium early to get one. People still lined up 3 Hours before the game to get one…

After dinner, the line had shortened tremendously.  My dad said you could tell that Teri and especially her brother, were really excited to get that souvenir jersey .

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The championship jerseys must have motivated the Mets as they came out swinging with 3 runs in the first. They coasted most of the game before giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to the Dodgers to tie the game at 5.  But Curtis Granderson sent the Mets fans home happy with a Walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning!  It was an incredible way to end an awesome day!

We want to thank McFaddens CitiField for the PreGame meal and and to New Era Cap for providing Mets caps for the warriors to match those cool jerseys!

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly THANK YOU to Sgt Teri Will for your 25 years of service to our country and for capturing some history in your photos .

For the 4th night in 5 days, my dad got back on another overnight bus after the game to head to Washington DC to host a few Gold Star families on a very special Memorial Day weekend.  Stay Tuned for more details.  

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