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Camp Lejeune, Marine regiment welcome Corpsí newest member (OK grab the Kleenex!)
Marine Corps News ^ | Dec 14, 2005 | Cpl. Mike Escobar

Posted on 12/15/2005 3:20:07 PM PST by SandRat

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Dec. 14, 2005) -- From privates first class to sergeants major to lieutenant colonels, all Marines who saw the newly promoted sergeant walking through their work areas were quick to render the appropriate military courtesies. After all, Brandon Rasnick had accomplished what no one else in the 2nd Marine Division had, made the rank of sergeant in one day.

It’s a success the Lehigh Acres, Fla., native did not tout as he made his rounds throughout the base. Rather, the Marines and sailors smiled and waved as the shortest noncommissioned officer they had ever seen walked through their midst.

On Dec. 12, Marine Corps Community Services and 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment welcomed Brandon here as he commenced his trip, made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. All that six-year-old Brandon, a boy afflicted with the genetic lung disease cystic fibrosis, asked for was that his dream of training alongside the nation’s elite fighting forces be fulfilled. It was a request those he came in contact with were all too glad to make happen.

His father, Joseph; mother, Deanne; and half-sister, Marissa, first accompanied Brandon to the Main Exchange Annex, where he received a set of Marine digital utilities, suede combat boots and sergeant chevrons.

Now a fully-fledged “devil pup,” Brandon and his family were next welcomed aboard by Lt. Col. Brad Vickers, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment’s commander.

“This was a great opportunity for us, and we were all very excited to support Brandon’s wish coming true,” said Vickers, whose battalion provided escort for Brandon as he toured several training grounds on base. “This was something any unit in the 2nd Marine Division could have done well, but we were fortunate enough to be chosen.”

He added that this was a welcome break from the intense training his unit has been undergoing to prepare for the ever-present possibility of deployment.

Vickers then presented Brandon with a Marine Corps-theme Monopoly board game and a red baseball cap emblazoned with the Marine Corps’ emblem

“All of my Marines were impressed by how smart six-year-old Brandon was; his obvious knowledge over the Corps and his love for the same,” Vickers said. “He was a very spectacular young man and we were all very pleased to be able to take part in this.”

The positive attitude carried over into the evening when a squad from the battalion’s A Company met Brandon inside a local mess hall. There, Sgt. Steven Dattilo, several of his Marines and a Navy corpsman presented Brandon with military mementos.

These included uniform items, a commemorative Marine Corps ring and a deployment photo yearbook.

“As a former recruiter, it’s really amazing for me to see someone who wants to be a Marine from that early on,” said Dattilo, a 35-year-old native of Madison, Ind. “You have to give it up for a kid with that much desire. I feel like we (Marine Corps) are being cheated out of a good Marine.”

“For all of us who have kids or nephews that age, it felt especially good to be able to make this day special for Brandon and the rest of his family,” Dattilo said. “We’re just doing our part to show them that we care.”

After Brandon finished his chow, he marveled at his new souvenirs, thumbing the Marine Corps ring that now hung from a golden chain on his neck.

“I feel like a Marine already,” Brandon said. “I’ll bet it’s really fun being a Marine.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: camp; corps; cysticfibrosis; lejeune; makeawish; marine; member; newest; regiment; welcome
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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Six-year-old Brandon Rasnick stands beside Sgt. Maj. Robert Beith, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment’s sergeant major, right, and Lt. Col. Bradley Vickers, the battalion’s commander, left, here Dec. 12. Brandon and his family visited numerous training grounds and units throughout the base while on a trip sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant his wish of training alongside United States Marines. Brandon is a boy from Lehigh Acres, Fla. who has cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disorder. Photo by: Cpl. Mike Escobar
1 posted on 12/15/2005 3:20:12 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..
You may need these

2 posted on 12/15/2005 3:20:57 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Very cool.


3 posted on 12/15/2005 3:21:18 PM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: SandRat

bump


4 posted on 12/15/2005 3:25:04 PM PST by F14 Pilot (Democracy is a process not a product)
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To: Ben Mugged

Ping


5 posted on 12/15/2005 3:26:17 PM PST by Ben Mugged
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To: SandRat

Thank you Marines for giving this little boy his wish!


6 posted on 12/15/2005 3:31:15 PM PST by maxwellp
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To: SandRat
Okay, would some Marine please tell me how 1/9 (1st Battalion, 9th Marines) was "adopted" by the 2nd Mar Div?
7 posted on 12/15/2005 3:38:46 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: SandRat

Absolutely Awesome!


8 posted on 12/15/2005 3:42:50 PM PST by 2ndClassCitizen
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To: 2ndClassCitizen

Cool. I was born at Camp Legeune April 11, 1970.


9 posted on 12/15/2005 3:45:37 PM PST by roostercogburn
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To: SandRat

You Marines seem to have a knack for doing it right. Very well done!

God bless your Brandon, get well soon!


10 posted on 12/15/2005 3:50:25 PM PST by armydawg1 (" America must win this war..." PVT Martin Treptow, KIA, WW1)
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To: SandRat
This is great!

We have a young future marine in our neighborhood too. His name is Max, and he's now in an organization called the Young Marine, I think. Not sure of the official name. He must be 13 or 14, and his goal is to attend the Naval Academy.

To give everyone an idea of what this kid is like, last year our neighborhood was the victim of someone stealing Bush reelection yard signs. The bad news was, the Bush campaign ran out too so we didn't have replacement signs.

Young Max took it upon himself to find some old campaign signs, turn them inside out, put Bush stickers on them, and then go around our neighborhood handing them out to whoever wanted a replacement yard sign. Neighbors were shocked since the state GOP told them there weren't more signs, and here's this "kid" going door to door offering free Bush signs. Needless to say, it brought more than one tear to an eye, which he never realized was going on.

Max attended our District Christmas party this year and everyone there applauded him and I think his head got a bit bigger with all the attention he was getting. But, not too much. He's still in that impressionable phase and does not realize what he really did.


Needless to say, Max is an asset for all of us and we are helping him as much as we can.
11 posted on 12/15/2005 3:52:53 PM PST by Morgan in Denver
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To: SandRat

Semper Fi


12 posted on 12/15/2005 3:55:30 PM PST by skimask (Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.)
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To: SandRat

OOOOO - RAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


13 posted on 12/15/2005 4:12:47 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: SandRat
Typical Marines. :)
14 posted on 12/15/2005 4:15:55 PM PST by steveo (No Anchovies? You've got the wrong man, I spell my name steveo...)
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To: armydawg1
You do not want to get in the way of the Marines and a PR opportunity. I was at Camp Lejeune last weekend to see my son and I love the place. It has got to be the safest place in the country!
15 posted on 12/15/2005 4:25:40 PM PST by Recon Dad (Force Recon Dad (and proud of it))
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To: SandRat
Boy, does this bring back memories. And that kid is going to have a blast. I haven't thought of Camp LeJune NC in 20 years. Back in '68-69 my dad got drafted into the Navy. I gues the Marines needed doctors because he was stationed at Camp LeJune. He had just graduated from Med School but had already made quite a name for himself. I learned that the service doesn't let hotshot doctors anywhere near a combat zone, rather, they stay and treat officers and do ER duty here stateside. Closest my old man got to 'Nam was a 5 month navy tour in europe while we stayed at LeJune. It was more of a long vacation for him.

But none of that mattered to me, I was a 10 year old kid spending two years in the coolest place on earth. I had a blast those two years and still remember them as one of the best times of my life. Everybody likes the Dr. who took care of them so my brother and I got to meet a lot of neat people and see a lot of stuff on that base. I remember a lot of good times on Oslow beach (is that still there?) and being on the base little league team that won the Championship of the base. I remember General Wheeler was base commander and I had a crush on his daughter Betsy who was in my class at school. Good memories and I bet it hasn't changed a bit.

16 posted on 12/15/2005 4:46:29 PM PST by joebuck
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To: Recon Dad
I was at Lejeune for a year in the late 60s and it was the best time of my life. I revisited in 2002 and it was like going home again, the place had hardly changed.

Give your son a big Semper Fi from all of us.
17 posted on 12/15/2005 4:50:01 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: joebuck
I learned that the service doesn't let hotshot doctors anywhere near a combat zone
Not true at all. "Delta" Med in Dong Ha had great doctors and Dong Ha sure qualified as being in a combat zone.
18 posted on 12/15/2005 4:54:16 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

Your talking about "The Walking Dead". Semper Fi


19 posted on 12/15/2005 4:56:42 PM PST by stumpy
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To: SandRat

I showed this to my wife and your RIGHT, I needed the kleenex.


20 posted on 12/15/2005 4:58:47 PM PST by JOE43270 (JOE43270 America voted and said we are One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for All.)
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