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Our “PALS” Make Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field!

For the 2nd time this season, we teamed up with PALS (Patient Air Lift Services) to make Warrior Wishes come true.

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Throughout the past few years, Patient Airlift Service (PALS) has been a great partner.  They have given us the opportunity to fly 3-4 warriors on a private jet, multiple ballparks each year!  Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, PNC Park, Citizens Bank Park, White Sox Park and Yankee Stadium to name a few.  Earlier this year PALS provided an unforgettable experience at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

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Today they were hosting heroes at another iconic stadium, Wrigley Field.  Wrigley Field was built in 1914 & is the 2nd oldest Major League Ballpark behind Fenway Park.  Wrigley is home to the World champion Chicago Cubs!  

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Unfortunately, my dad was in Pittsburgh making Wishes come true at the Pirates game and was unable to meet up with the warriors even though this experience was right in our “backyard.”

Today PALS hosted Marines Valdemar Moreira & Alex Rodriguez as well as Army Sgt Brian Smith.  

The warriors all enjoyed flying on a private jet to Chicago. They were treated to a nice dinner & a hotel before having the opportunity to tour Wrigley Field before the game.

They even got to hang out in the dugout with a few of the players!!!  

Unfortunately, the Cubs were crushed by the Colorado Rockies & lost 9-1.  

At the end of the day, we are pretty sure the score didn’t really matter, because despite the loss, they all had an unforgettable experience!  

One of the Warriors had Cubs pitcher John Lackey take the hat off his head, autograph  it and the give  it to him.  That’s priceless stuff!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank the Chicago Cubs and PALS for providing this memorable experience for these deserving warriors.  

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Valdemar, Alex & Brian for your service & sacrifices to our country. It’s appreciated, has not gone unnoticed & will never be forgotten!  

My dad will be in Pittsburgh later today making wishes come true at the Pirates game.  Stay tuned for more details!

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Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field!

In the past week my dad has been on the road making wishes come true at The Lightning, Rays, Heat, Marlins & last night at the first ever Braves game in their new stadium, SunTrust Park!

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It’s been a wild week, but nothing like the craziness of today.  You see, today is a historic day that will go down in the history of Operation Warrior Wishes!  For the first time ever, we are making wishes come true at 4 games in 1 day!  A quadruple header!  

And not only is it 4 games in one day, the 4 venues are incredible – Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, the United Center & the brand new SunTrust Park!  

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It all started this afternoon at Wrigley field, where the Pittsburgh Pirates squared off against the World Champion Chicago Cubs.  

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Our friend and former guest Matt Killian nominated his battle buddy, Army Sgt Joshua Nelson, for this experience. Sgt Nelson is still an active member in the Army National Guard. He has already served for 6 years and recently reenlisted for another 6.  He is a lifelong Cubs fan who has never been to Wrigley field.  Needless to say he was extremely excited for the opportunity!  

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SGT Nelson drove to Chicago from Pittsburgh with his buddy, who is Pirates fan.  Seeing that the Cubs were playing the Pirates, it was the perfect game for them to attend.  

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Upon their arrival in Chicago, SGT Nelson & his buddy stopped by my house to pick up the tickets and a few New Era Caps for the game.  I also gave them some Chicago “tips” telling them to make sure to eat at Portillos and grab a Lou Malnatis deep dish pizza before heading back home.  

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Tickets for this game sold out quickly because they were giving away mini World Series trophies to the first 10,000 fans.  Luckily I was able to snag a few Bleacher seats when they went on sale in February.  If you have never been to Wrigley, the Bleachers are the best way to go!

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The game could not have been any better for a couple guys who wanted to see a road trip rivalry game between their 2 teams.  The Pirates & Cubs battled back and forth the entire game. In the end, the Pirates outlasted the Cubs for an 8-7 victory.  

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We want to thank New Era for providing the Caps & Sgt Matt Killian for nominating our warrior for today’s game.  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly we want to thank both Sgt Killian & Sgt Josh Nelson, for their service & sacrifices to our country.  It’s appreciated, has not gone unnoticed & it will never be forgotten!

Stay tuned for game 2 of our Quadruple headed as the first pitch in Boston is about to be thrown out!

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Nominate your Hero for an upcoming game on our “Battlefields to Ballfields” mission.  

2017 Battlefields To Ballfields Schedule

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Our “PALS” Make Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field!

Over the past 10 days, my dad has made warrior wishes come true at 12 Major League Baseball games in 10 different cities.  He kicked off this leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission in Cincinnati, then headed north with our newest board member Bill to Detroit.  From there he took cheap busses all across the east coast making stops in Pittsburgh, New York (Yankees), Boston, New York (Mets) Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia & Cleveland.  

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Needless to say, my dad was happy to be home in Chicago to complete this leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields Tour at Wrigley Field to make Warrior Wishes come true for the 13th game in 11 days!

This was our 3rd Warrior Wish in which we partnered up with our “PALS”(Patient Airlift Services) to fly 4 warriors from New York to Chicago for their first game ever at the world famous Wrigley Field, an experience that is probably on every sports fan’s bucket list.

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Pilot Joe Howley of PALS flew Marine James Litwinowicz and Army SGT Donald Schultze, SGT Johnny DeMarco and SGT Greg Hacke into Chicago for an overnight stay and the opportunity to watch the best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs.

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We couldn’t let the Warriors come to Chicago without having a slice of authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza, so my dad set up reservations for them at the Giordanos near Midway airport, and then met everyone for breakfast the next morning at the Holiday Inn where they stayed.

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It was a great mix of warriors as each of the 4 recipients was a nominated by a different military organization that Operation Warrior Wishes has worked with in the past.

After breakfast, Jim Zangrilli who is also a big military supporter in Chicago area, drove everyone down to “The Friendly Confines” AKA Wrigley Field.  The warriors had the opportunity of a lifetime, thanks to “PALS,” to sit In the dugout, watch batting practice on the field, meet some of the players and get this awesome picture around the Cubs on-deck circle.  

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The Cubs have not won a World Series in over 100 years.  As a Chicagoan & a life long Cubs fan, it’s been brutal.  But this year there is a buzz around the Cubs like never before.  Their offense is scoring runs & their pitchers have shut down opposing hitters all season long. Dexter Fowler & Anthony Rizzo gave the Warriors plenty to cheer about and didn’t let the Warriors down.  Both players homered in the game & the “North siders” beat the D-Backs 5-3. 

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The warriors snapped a picture in front of the iconic Wrigley Field Marquis before grabbing a quick bite to eat and then headed back to the airport for their PALS flight home.

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A big THANK YOU goes out to pilot Joe Howley for flying the guys in, as well as Eileen and Karen at PALS for partnering up with us to make these warrior wishes come true.  We also want to thank Jim Zangrilli for the ground transportation to and from the game, New Era Cap for providing Cubs Caps to the Warriors & thanks to the Chicago Cubs organization for the incredible experience.  The Cubs have always been very big supporters of our military, and you may remember our first year when they set up a “surprise” in the Cubs locker room for our 3 Warrior Wishes nominations, providing them all with personalized jerseys.  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

But most importantly , THANK YOU to our warriors- James, Donald , Johnny and Greg for their service & Sacrifices.

My dad will be taking the next few weeks off to catch up on lost sleep, spend time with family and regroup before heading out June 23rd for the south east leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.  Stay tuned for details!

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Twitter “@WarriorWishes”

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www.WarriorWishes.org

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

Click here for more information.

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Honoring the Legacy of Army CPL Albert Bitton Opening Day at Wrigley Field

Happy Easter! Major League Baseball Opening Day is finally here & Operation Warrior Wishes is looking to hit a Home Run with our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.  Today we were at Wrigley Field for the 3rd game of our mission honoring the legacy of Army Cpl Albert Bitton at the Chicago Cubs game.  We were honored to host Albert’s mother, sister & brother on Opening Day!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank New Era for providing Cubs Caps,  Whole Foods for providing a pregame meal. & Honor America’s Valor for making a custom piece of artwork for us to give to Albert’s family in his honor.  Together we make Warrior Wishes come true!

We would also like to thank our friends at ESPN Sunday Night Baseball for inviting the Bitton family to take pictures on the set before making their way into iconic Wrigley Field for #OpeningDay!

My Dad hopped on an overnight bus to Milwaukee after the game to make Warrior Wishes come true at #OpeningDay at the Brewers game for game 4 on our Battlefields to Ballfields Mission!

Nominate your heroSee our upcoming scheduleget involvedbuy Warrior Wishes gear, or make a donation at www.Warriorwishes.org

 Learn about Albert’s legacy below.

ARMY CPL ALBERT BITTON  

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Albert grew up on the Northside of Chicago, needless to say he grew up a Cubs fan.  Bitton was a straight A student at Ida Crown Jewish Academy, After graduation in 2005 he joined the Army & began his military career as a medic.  Albert dreamed of of becoming a surgeon.  His dream was cut short on February 20th, 2008 while serving in Iraq.  Disaster struck when Albert’s Humvee rolled over an IED.  The cowardly attack took the life of Cpl Bitton and 2 other soldiers in the Humvee.

Albert is remembered for his Infectious Smile, kindness & bravery.  He was a very charismatic young man.  Albert knew how to make just about everyone feel included and special.  Albert was the jokester of the class, making it his agenda to brighten the mood of those around him. Albert had a huge heart – making sure to put others needs before his own, He was a genuine friend you can count on. Albert also was a big animal lover, he would  go out of his way to save stray animals. Albert often would carry money on his patrols so he can give to the children while in  Iraq.

His hobbies included video games, wrestling, going out in town with friends, fitness, reading on just about anything he can get his hands on. Albert was very bright and well spoken, he always had to prove himself, but did so in a modest way, ALWAYS. thats what made him so special. An all-around- great person.

CPL Bitton’s made the ultimate sacrifice at the age of 20 defending the country he loved. But within his short experience as a senior line medic, he was one of the best they had ever seen, he excelled, and saved lives of many other soldiers.

Albert’s Sister says “I’m proud to call Albert my brother, knowing other families can hold their child thanks to my brother. We are very proud and will love Albert, always.”

Gone but Never Forgotten.