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Sick boy gets his wish: to be an Army Ranger - He chooses crawling in mud over Disney [Amazing!]
Associated Press via St. Petersburg [FL] Times ^ | February 25, 2007 | Melissa Nelson

Posted on 02/25/2007 7:41:28 PM PST by 68skylark

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE - Weakened by his lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis, 14-year-old Riley Woina dreams of being strong like the war heroes he watches in movies.

The Army's 6th Ranger Training Battalion on Eglin Air Force Base recently helped him realize this unusual dream.

Susan Woina joked that her son could have taken his Plymouth, Conn., family to Walt Disney World or gone on a shopping spree through the Make-A-Wish Foundation instead of spending a week crawling in the mud with soldiers in the Florida Panhandle.

Inspired by his favorite movies, Black Hawk Down and the HBO World War II series Band of Brothers, Riley researched the 6th Ranger Training Battalion.

Riley said he couldn't think of anything better - not even visiting a chocolate factory - than seeing Camp James E. Rudder, where Rangers face their final and most difficult training challenges.

The 80-pound teen, weakened by his degenerative illness, said what he likes most about the Rangers is "their determination to leave no man behind."

Cystic fibrosis causes a buildup of a thick mucus that makes breathing difficult and inhibits absorption of nutrients, stunting growth. Riley takes nutritional supplements, respiratory medications, uses an inhaler and sleeps with a special vest that helps to shake up and clear out the mucus in his lungs while he sleeps.

Riley is the first child to ask Make-A-Wish to visit a Ranger camp, said Capt. Jeremiah Cordovano, a spokesman for the 6th Ranger Battalion.

The crew presented Riley with his own flight suit, a "U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detach" patch and his pilot's wings.

They also helped him radio his mom from the helicopter while hovering above the beach.

"Mom, this is Riley, this is awesome," he said.

"Riley, I'm glad you're having a good time," she said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS:
This is a good story -- this kid's got a toughness that few people have.
1 posted on 02/25/2007 7:41:32 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

For a young teen 'riddled' with CS, he';s sure got 10 times more spine than half of our Congessional Legislators.


2 posted on 02/25/2007 7:44:15 PM PST by ExcursionGuy84 (Washington Post....)
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To: 68skylark
There's a longer story with photos at the Army Times site, which I couldn't post. The story is here:

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/02/aprangerwish070225/

The slide show is here:

http://www.armytimes.com/projects/flash/2007_02_23_slideshow/

I like this quote from two Ranger instructors (both Master Sergeants), near the end of the story:

“He has the intestinal fortitude. Because of his medical condition, he’s tough,” Barnett said. “I was shocked he asked to do this. He’s from Connecticut, he’s a city boy. He could have asked to go the Super Bowl. I have a touchy moment every day with him.”

Morengo agreed.

“He’s got nothing to prove to us; he’s tough enough.”


3 posted on 02/25/2007 7:45:47 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

Awesome story.


4 posted on 02/25/2007 7:46:07 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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To: ExcursionGuy84

Half?


5 posted on 02/25/2007 7:47:21 PM PST by Eagles6 (Dig deeper, more ammo.)
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To: 68skylark

The kid had stones. Good on him.


6 posted on 02/25/2007 7:49:07 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: 68skylark

Outstanding!


7 posted on 02/25/2007 7:49:36 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Prevent Glo-Ball Warming ... turn out the sun when not in use)
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To: 68skylark

As someone who has a close relative with CF, I can assure you they pack more in their life than many with no so-called "defects".


8 posted on 02/25/2007 7:50:54 PM PST by 12know
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To: Army Air Corps

I couldn't have said it better.


9 posted on 02/25/2007 7:51:05 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

Real cool! Thanks for posting.


10 posted on 02/25/2007 7:52:32 PM PST by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker! If you are military please sign at: appealforcourage.org)
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To: maui_hawaii; All

Great post and great kid.

Didn't the Make a Wish Foundation reject money from the NRA because of guns.

Kid's not carrying an umbrella going thru the door in slide one. Gotta Love It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"From the mouths of babe's..."


11 posted on 02/25/2007 7:53:56 PM PST by fishhound
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To: 68skylark

Great story, prayers for him as well.


12 posted on 02/25/2007 7:54:46 PM PST by WV Mountain Mama (Algore put the mental in environmental.)
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To: 68skylark
What a great story! What a great kid! What a good thing Make-a-Wish does.

Riley will join the successful Ranger students at Fort Benning, Ga., for their graduation ceremonies March 9, where he will get to ride in a tank and shoot live rounds.

How cool is that? ;-)

Thanks for posting this story.

13 posted on 02/25/2007 7:54:51 PM PST by eyespysomething
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To: 68skylark

Something in my eye BTTT


14 posted on 02/25/2007 7:55:03 PM PST by MattinNJ (Duncan Hunter for President in '08.)
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To: MattinNJ

Yeah, me too.


15 posted on 02/25/2007 7:56:20 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: fishhound

I would ask to fire all the toys they could muster, included would be targt practice with a gatlin gun out the side of a huey


16 posted on 02/25/2007 7:58:28 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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To: WV Mountain Mama

Agreed--a young man like this deserves our prayers, for restoration and healing.


17 posted on 02/25/2007 7:59:14 PM PST by exit82 (Defend our defenders--get off the fence.)
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To: fishhound

Just imagine what it did for the Rangers!


18 posted on 02/25/2007 8:00:03 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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To: MattinNJ

Me too.


19 posted on 02/25/2007 8:02:03 PM PST by freekitty
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To: 68skylark

Riley is the first child to ask Make-A-Wish to visit a Ranger camp, said Capt. Jeremiah Cordovano, a spokesman for the 6th Ranger Battalion.



I'm pretty sure I've seen a similar story within the past year or two, maybe on this site. Perhaps it was through a different organization, but I think it's been done before.


20 posted on 02/25/2007 8:02:16 PM PST by kms61
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To: 68skylark

On picture 5 in the slideshow the kid is sporting a blackeye he got during training--the kid looked like he was so proud of that black eye. Good for him and a great story.


21 posted on 02/25/2007 8:02:44 PM PST by Tarheel (If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere... Rudy--2008)
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To: Libertina; Horatio Gates

Maybe we can send this to Rep. McDermott?


22 posted on 02/25/2007 8:08:22 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (Life is tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: 68skylark
And the 80-pound 14-year-old, weakened by his degenerative illness, said he doesn’t feel any sympathy for the physical punishment Rangers experience for 18 days at Camp Rudder.

“It’s a way of life for them; they are the ones that signed up for it so it’s their fault,” he said to the chuckles of the Rangers around him.

This kid is something else. I will bet the Gunny on the History Channel is partially responsible for this absolutely brilliant remark.

Personally I would like to hear him throw in the term 'maggot' in there... maybe he did but they edited it out.

23 posted on 02/25/2007 8:17:02 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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To: 68skylark

I have an 11 year old boy who would TOTALLY, HANDS DOWN pick being a soldier over disney!


24 posted on 02/25/2007 8:22:07 PM PST by annelizly
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To: 68skylark

25 posted on 02/25/2007 8:26:17 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (I'm holding out hope that at least the DEMOCRATS might accidentally nominate a conservative.)
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To: 68skylark


26 posted on 02/25/2007 8:31:46 PM PST by M203M4 (Pretty soon "RINO" will mean something good.)
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To: 68skylark

We need more stories like this and less about such abnormalities as Britney Spears at al.


27 posted on 02/25/2007 8:32:31 PM PST by Theo (Global warming "scientists." Pro-evolution "scientists." They're both wrong.)
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To: 68skylark

What a great story! Thanks for posting. Brought tears to my eyes.


28 posted on 02/25/2007 8:34:46 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: 68skylark

Thanks for posting this touching story.


29 posted on 02/25/2007 8:35:02 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: 68skylark

God Bless this young man, and the Rangers.

They've done an incredible thing, and such as this does not go unrewarded.


30 posted on 02/25/2007 8:42:57 PM PST by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: 68skylark

Great story...I wish the kid the best... brought tears to my eyes.....at 14 he's probably tougher then me


31 posted on 02/25/2007 8:48:29 PM PST by midway1
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To: 68skylark

Bump for an awesome story.


32 posted on 02/25/2007 8:51:15 PM PST by IDontLikeToPayTaxes
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To: MattinNJ

My monitor went blurry about 1/2 way through the article. It got better until I got down to the pictures, and then it went blurry again.

God bless Riley, his family, and the Rangers. Great story. Great child.


33 posted on 02/25/2007 8:52:57 PM PST by Troublemaker
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To: Eagles6
I'm sorry, I meant to say.... ALL
34 posted on 02/25/2007 9:03:17 PM PST by ExcursionGuy84 (Washington Post....)
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To: zeugma

"something in my eye" ping


35 posted on 02/25/2007 9:14:13 PM PST by zgirl
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To: 68skylark

What a great kid. May God bless him, his family, the Army Rangers, the Make A Wish Foundation and all those who helped in making a very special wish come true for this child.


36 posted on 02/25/2007 11:21:53 PM PST by WashingtonStateRepublican
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To: 68skylark

What a great story - and it's wonderful that the Rangers made him part of the team. God bless them all; we pray for the safety of our troops and the success of their mission.


37 posted on 02/26/2007 12:22:31 AM PST by hsalaw
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To: 68skylark

Just plain Damn.....what a story. Even a hardened cynical guy like myself is fighting back a tear on this one.


38 posted on 02/26/2007 2:17:44 AM PST by PAMadMax (Islam is the enemy of all mankind...AlJazeera is its PR Firm)
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To: PAMadMax

No kidding...same here. Every once in a while a bitter sweet story like this pops up and zings ya. Great kid with great parents no doubt


39 posted on 02/26/2007 9:19:06 AM PST by Horatio Gates
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To: TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig

Thanks for the ping. Great story. I'll send this to Matt. I'd rather not spoil the thread with my personal thoughts about so called represenatative McD


40 posted on 02/26/2007 9:22:25 AM PST by Horatio Gates
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To: Troublemaker

The pictures cruhed me.


41 posted on 02/26/2007 3:37:53 PM PST by MattinNJ (Duncan Hunter for President in '08.)
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