The Marines of the 4th Force Reconnaissance Company strap José into an MC-5 parachute harness, letting him dangle to get the feel of floating to the ground. He has joined the ranks of The Few and The Proud – a wish come true.
While receiving treatment for his T-Cell acute lymphocytic leukemia, 14-year-old José asked Make-A-Wish® Hawaii for a custom shooting range to prepare him for a future as a Marine. For a teenager dealing with the challenges of a life-threatening medical condition, wish granters knew he needed the hope that comes with his one true heartfelt wish – to become a marine. So the wish granters contacted the elite 4th Force Marine Recon Co. stationed at KaneoheBay, who invited José to attend a full day of a courageous wish experience.
Staff Sgt. Eric Stone and Sgt. Joe Lindsay visit José at the hospital and bring him a poster signed by all the Marines – complete with a recon squad pin.
Then, José and his fellow Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps friends arrive at the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii. They take a complete tour of the camp giving them an extraordinary chance to understand the close-knit men and women who stand for courage, endurance, loyalty and enthusiasm among other warrior traits.
The teenagers watch the training and dedication that make the Marines some of the world’s most storied troops – proudly wearing the anchor, globe and eagle.
José straps into the MC-5 parachute harness then takes a ride in a Zodiac raft with his cadet friends. They visit the artillery range getting a grunt’s-eye view of artillery practice.
The Marines then present José with a certificate signed by the base’s commanding general and sergeant major proclaiming him an Honorary Reconnaissance Marine.
José’s reverence for the Corps earns him a place in the heart of the Marines.
— First Sgt. Timothy Blake