Thirteen-year-old Jared, a military history buff, has a long family history of military service, including his mother – who is now-Air Force Staff Sergeant, security forces, 171st Air Refueling Wing. Because of these deep military roots, some of Jared's favorite topics to learn about are the events of World War II, and he believes that a relative of his may have been on the USS Missouri. In a touching ceremony at the Erie Waffles and Wishes event on World Wish Day, April 29, Jared, diagnosed with a life-threatening gastrointestinal disorder, learned from hula dancers and local Marine Reservists that his wish to visit Pear Harbor would come true. As part of the send-off, the Marines of Truck Company, 25th Marine Regiment, Erie, PA, made Jared a Marine for the Day.
Two weeks later, Jared and his family were off to Hawaii. Throughout his time spent at Pearl Harbor, Jared had the opportunity to both learn about and honor the men and women who courageously served on the historic day in 1941. There he found a name of the fallen sailor who may be his relative. It was a unforgettable day for him and his family.
Jared's trip to Hawaii also included a special luau and private surfing lessons. Knowing that Jared one day wants to be a Marine like his mother, Make-A-Wish arranged for him to join the Combat Logistics Battalion 3 for a day, where he toured the facilities, operated a crane, met a military working dog at the Provost Marshal’s Office, visited the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trailer and watched an amphibious assault vehicle demonstration.
Make-A-Wish® Hawaii, the assisting chapter that helped make Jared’s wish come true, explained it as:
"Such a memorable day. Over 100 Marines were touched by the power of Jared's Wish. His smile was infectious. We were watching their faces too as Jared went behind the scenes to see all the work these men and women do to protect us all. Jared made sure to thank them for their service and for taking the time for him."
It was the perfect wish for Jared, who will cherish the memories made forever.
[The trip’s] just been so fantastic for him, he’s been on cloud nine.