ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Football players are sometimes called heroes. The real heroes Thursday night at the Ram’s game were in the stands watching.
They were four men who put their lives on the line for our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. A fairly new organization called Operation Warrior Wishes saluted the veterans by taking them to the game.
Like thousands of fans they gathered outside the dome enjoying pre-game festivities. Mike Shuster lost part of his arm when his truck was blown up in Afghanistan. His hearing was damaged. He’s still coping with the emotional aftermath, that why the game was so important for Mike and his wife Kimberly. Mike Shuster said, “My house is kind of my prison it’s my safe zone and I’m trying to get out of my safe zone, do something I’ve never done before so it’s kind of new to me.” Kimberly Shuster added, “Because of the p.t.s.d. (post traumatic stress) it’s not something he’s really comfortable with being around a big crowd.”
They all got the chance to go on the field before game time. Wounded warrior Andy Cochran enjoyed the opportunity, “It’s a dream come true I’ve been a sports fan all my life.”
Operation warrior wishes has made at least one dream come true for 250 warriors in the past year. Craig Steichen and his son founded the organization that salutes veterans who’ve given so much for our country, “They give us our freedom the reason we’re here if they didn’t protect our country allow us to be free we wouldn’t be free to come out to these games or go out to dinner or go wherever we want to go in our daily lives.”
War is so tough on the troops so rough on their family at home.
Just ask Cshante Gonzalez, the wife a wounded warrior. She said, “You’re whole world that you’re use too is completely different changed and you don’t know when you going to get it back.” It was good to get a break from those painful memories. Joseph Gonzalez added, “Right now it’s pretty unbelievable right now.”
If you want to nominate a wounded warrior for a wish or donate to the organization contact www.OperationWarriorWishes.org