pop_soldierWEBSergeant Javier Rivera stopped counting the number of surgeries at 55. It only took 18 months after an improvised explosive device blew apart his vehicle in Afghanistan to get to the 55 surgeries, as he has burns on 42 percent of his body and a right hand amputation.

Because of his injuries, Rivera can’t regulate his body temperature and often needs to have air conditioning running in the Texas heat. Unfortunately, the A/C unit in his house is broken.

Enter Wish For Our Heroes, a foundation with the priority of providing for basic needs for soldiers.

On Wednesday, some of the proceeds raised from a dinner at The Grill at Leon Springs will go to a new air conditioner for Rivera.

“People are so awesome and so considerate,” Rivera said. “It means a lot when others help out.”

Wish For Our Heroes began in 2009, when founder Jeff Wells met many soldiers who were struggling with their return from war. The soldiers needed help with basic needs, items ranging from covers items such as food, shelter, medical expenses, child needs, and transportation.

The nonprofit has since given out more than $15 million in assistance to more than 3,000 families, and Wells hopes it might help with military divorce and suicide rates in the process. Wish For Our Heroes accepts donations at wishforourheroes.org.

One foundation supporter is former Air Force Captain and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

“Wish For Our Heroes is one of those wonderful organizations that figures out a way to help people who need it,” Popovich said. “It’s troops who have basic needs, whether it’s a car to get to work, a refrigerator, or fixing a sink. We need to support the families and those who are overseas. This is wonderfully special and a lot more meaningful than pick-and-roll or post defense.”

Popovich served as the night’s maître d’, spending time at every table in the restaurant while former Spurs forward Matt Bonner, broadcaster Andrew Monaco and a group of Wounded Warriors served wine and dishes.

To see more, click here: Dinner With The Troops