‘Living the Dream’ fulfills a young child’s Army hopes

| May 9, 2016 | 0 Comments
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Dylan Warren rappels down a hill with help from Soldiers with 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barrack's East Range, April 26. Warren visited Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to fulfill his wish of being a Solider made possible through Make-A-Wish Hawaii and U.S. Army Hawaii personnel.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Dylan Warren rappels down a hill with help from Soldiers with 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barrack’s East Range, April 26. Warren visited Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to fulfill his wish of being a Solider made possible through Make-A-Wish Hawaii and U.S. Army Hawaii personnel.


Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis

2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division
WAHIAWA — Often military personnel may greet or respond to one another with “Living the Dream,” but what does it really mean?
Is it an inside joke that they amuse one another with, or is it something more?

From April 24-29, a young man from Springfield, Mo., did just that with the help and support from the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America and the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division, as he was provided the opportunity to live his dream of being a part of the U.S. Army.

Photo by Matt Moric, Make-A-Wish Hawaii JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR- HICKAM — Dylan Warren examines the deck and equipment of the USS Missouri Memorial along with Soldiers from 25th Infantry Division, April 25.


JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Dylan Warren examines the deck and equipment of the USS Missouri Memorial along with Soldiers from 25th Infantry Division, April 25. (Photo courtesy of Make-A-Wish Foundation)

Dylan Warren, 13, was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition, which has deemed him medically unfit for service.

“I would like to spend a day on a military base and be in the Army,” said Warren. “I want to wear fatigues and boots. I want to learn how they shoot big guns and aim at targets that are far away. I want to learn the lingo they use in the military and be able to give commands. I want to eat MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat).”

For a week, Warren was able to indulge in an experience of a lifetime, as he was an honorary part of the Tropic Lightning Division.

“The Make-a-Wish Foundation has inspired my Soldiers to not take for granted the opportunities the Army has to offer,” said Capt. Stephen Berryman, the commander for Battery C, 2-11th FAR, attached to 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

“Being able to assist in fulfilling Dylan’s wish of spending a day in the life of a Soldier was an honorable moment for us to represent the U.S. Army,” Berryman added.

Warren was able to fire view the firing of the M777 Howitzer, spend time with Soldiers and enjoy the wonderful and savory taste of an MRE.
The 2-11th FAR had the personnel, equipment and training scheduled to support Warren’s wish.

Lt. Col. Daniel Blackmon, commander, 2-11th FAR, recognized this opportunity to build camaraderie between his unit and the community, which the military services rely on for support.

For many young children, if provided the opportunity, they would most likely choose to meet the President of the United States or a famous athlete, but for Warren, his wish was to experience life as a Soldier.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation of America is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Many children request to be in the military for a day, and their wishes have been granted by other units in the past.

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