Hope For The Warriors
New Year’s Eve Tradition
Just like any family, ours has a very special holiday tradition – ringing in the new year in Times Square with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and New York City Fire Department (FDNY).
It’s a tradition that started 10 years ago with an initiative from NYPD Chief Joe Esposito. Chief Esposito encouraged his officers, who were first responders on 9/11, to volunteer their time outside of work visiting combat wounded Iraq and Afghanistan service members at VA healthcare facilities in New York and at Walter Reed.
During one of his many trips to Walter Reed, United States Army Veteran and NYPD officer, Gus Cabarcas came in contact with Hope For The Warriors. The impact of the visit and introduction between him and our staff was the catalyst for our friendship. It was then that with forces combined, masterminds Chief Esposito, FDNY Chief John Vigiano and Gus Cabarcas organized a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our first group of post-9/11 veterans to attend the ball drop in Time Square with Hope For The Warriors.
Gus, who is now part of the family as Hope For The Warriors Community Engagement Manager shared, “For the NYPD spending New Year’s Eve with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans is our special way to honor them for their service. We cannot thank them enough for their willingness to volunteer to fight overseas after 9/11 and for all that they did to support our recovery efforts at Ground Zero.”
As an organization, it is our utmost honor to celebrate the New Year with our heroes. Their strength, selflessness, resilience and love of country are values that we strive to emulate in our everyday life each and every New Year.