I've gotten to do some pretty awesome things in my 24 years as a Marine. Today may have been the pinnacle where a Make a wish foundation request made its way to MCRD San Diego to my Battalion.
12 year old Wyatts dream was to be a Marine like his older sister. Wyatt was diagnosed with a heart condition that is untreatable, and for the last 3 years Make a wish has offered things such as 4 wheelers, trips, etc...but nothing captured Wyatt more than earing the title Marine.
On Monday we found out about this request, by Tuesday we had a set of cammies with his name on them, and the full issue to include dog tags. This morning at 0645, Wyatt started the experience of his lifetime, stepping on to the legendary yellow footprints and getting to experience the reception to recruit training from my team of Drill Instructors!
He got his head shaved (mom and dad approved) got taught some drill, watch some platoons in action, eat in the mess-hall, receive a class on swim qualification, experience the obstacle course, even did pugil sticks with his sister. No matter what we threw at him, he exemplified the true Warrior spirit!
We culminated the event with a mock crucible hike that ended with Wyatt carrying the Battalion guidon and he was received by over 150 Marines and Sailors at the end to applaud him, and watch his official Eagle, Globe, and Anchor ceremony where he was certified, "Marine for a Day." To see this young man's face, the expressions throughout this day not only from him, his family, but the staff that made this happen was monumental!
In this photo, I'm congratulating Wyatt with a Sgt. Maj coin, telling him how proud we are of his spirit, determination, and being a role model to everyone, and no matter what life throws at you, use today as reminder anything is possible. This also demonstrates his courage and never giving up on a dream.
This was a powerful and humbling moment not only for me, but reminder how influential our future leaders are and the importance of the example we set. Wyatt gave up many opportunities for so many other things because of the example his sister set, something resonated with him, and today we proudly made his dream a reality!
Semper Fidelis Wyatt! Once a Marine, Always a Marine
Thanks to Andrea D for the moving post.
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