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Minnesota Wounded Warriors Surprised With Trip of a Lifetime

MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 26, 2019) – Bounding through the Minnesota wilderness on Polaris® off-road vehicles and meeting Minnesota Vikings players Austin Cutting and Tyler Conklin would’ve been more than enough for warriors Brian Bergson and Jake Schmidt.

But that was only the beginning.

The pair of lifelong Vikings fans were given two tickets each to the Vikings-Broncos Salute to Service game in Minneapolis recently.

When they arrived, the day only got better.

They were honored on the field during a TV commercial break. That’s when the Vikings and Polaris had one more surprise in store.

Jake, standing with his wife and Brian, with his son by his side, were presented with two tickets each to Super Bowl 54 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

“I couldn’t believe it; my wife started crying,” Jake, who served in the Air Force, said. “I remembered all of the nights she spent alone when I was gone-that brought it home for me. To be able to take my wife on this awesome trip to Miami…it’s just unbelievable. My son has Type 1 diabetes and she hasn’t been apart from our kids for more than 12 hours in 7 years. I can’t thank the Vikings, Wounded Warrior Project, and Polaris enough.”

Brian echoed that gratitude.

“I’m so thankful they’d even consider doing something like this for my family and I,” Brian, who served in the Army and Air Force, said. “I’m overwhelmed with how kind the Vikings, Polaris, and Wounded Warrior Project have been.”

The Vikings couldn’t have been happier to surprise them.

“The Minnesota Vikings are committed to recognizing and celebrating the brave men & women who serve or have served our country in the armed forces,” said Vikings Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Steve LaCroix. “Our partnership with Polaris and Wounded Warrior Project helps us to tell their stories and recognize their sacrifice, and we are incredibly proud to help provide this opportunity to two such deserving individuals.”

Polaris agreed.

“The men and women who selflessly serve our country are true heroes and we are honored to team up with the Vikings and Wounded Warrior Project to help recognize two of them,” said Polaris Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “Getting Brian and Jake outside to enjoy a perfect fall day of off-road riding and helping to create unforgettable experiences for them and their families is our way to express our gratitude for their service to our country and the incredible sacrifices they have made.”

Brian, who has the Wounded Warrior Project logo tattooed on his leg and calls himself a dyed-in-the-wool Vikings fan, said there’s only one thing that could potentially taint what should be a once-in-a-life-time experience.

“My biggest nightmare is the Packers are going to be in it.”

Discover more ways you can support wounded warriors and their families.


Chris Obarski – Public Relations,, 904.570.0823

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.


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