MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of veterans who thought they were going to attend the Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers game Monday night say they feel sucker-punched.

A prospective donor contacted the nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project, saying he had 25 tickets to the game for veterans. But when game day came, the veterans left jilted.

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Sgt. Jason Galvin served in the U.S. Army for eight years, with tours in Afghanistan. He was one of 25 veterans selected by the Wounded Warrior Project to watch the border battle at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“So this was going to be my first-ever football game that I’ve been to, and everyone was kind of hyping it up. ‘It’s better than the Super Bowl, it’s Vikings-Packers,’” Galvin said.

He said the plan came together a month ago. The veterans were to meet at Mall of America and take a party bus to the game. It was all set in motion by a prospective donor who offered the tickets and surrounding events to the nonprofit that offers services to vets. On Monday, the meeting time of 5:15 p.m. rolled around, then 6:15 p.m. came and went.

Jason Galvin (credit: CBS)

“We sat around and people were getting anxious, and then all of our minds start going down a rabbit hole of what if it was a joke, or what’s really going on here?” Galvin said.

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He said selected veterans drove in from all over: Green Bay, Milwaukee, Superior and Fargo — all taking time away from their families during the holidays for the chance to bond with brothers in arms at a big football game.

“There’s a lot of movement to make something like that happen. When you tell the Wounded Warrior Project, they have to do a lot of coordinating, and it’s just, why?” Galvin said.

A spokesperson for Wounded Warrior Project said it is still trying to sort out what happened. They haven’t been able to reach the prospective donor. They say the person went through the proper channels, and the nonprofit hopes that person is well.

“We know it’s not the Wounded Warrior Project’s fault, they were just trying to help us out,” Galvin said.

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The Vikings are aware of what happened and plan to reach out to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Jennifer Mayerle