Skip to comments.Boy’s Wish Comes True at Fort Sam Houston (BLURRY SCREEN ALERT)
Posted on 03/27/2008 5:19:49 PM PDT by SandRat
| FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 27, 2008 Gavin Cox could have traveled to any exotic locale or tried any profession in the world, but this 5-year-old with leukemia had just one wish: to be a soldier.
He could have chosen any activity during this break in his treatments, to include Disney World, said Gavins father, Troy Heminger. He wanted to be a soldier.
During a solemn ceremony in the Army Medical Department Center and School command conference room, the little boy stood proudly on the conference room table surrounded by soldiers of all ranks. Dressed in an Army combat uniform, Gavin was promoted to the honorary rank of sergeant in the Army Medical Department by the installation commander, Army Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw.
Contacted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Czerw agreed to honor the boys request, planning a day for him to train with the Armys medics.
After reciting the Armys enlistment oath with him, Czerw pinned the rank of sergeant on his uniform and emphasized to the young man standing at attention, This is a great day. Thank you for making this day special for us. He then inducted Gavin as an honorary member of the AMEDD Regiment.
Army Master Sgt. Maurice Sims, command retention noncommissioned officer, presented the Cox family members, including sister Jade and brothers Chandler and Zane, with Warrior Ethos packs, recognizing their role in helping their father, Troy, and mother, Melissa, during Gavins chemotherapy.
The training day for Sergeant Cox began with a trip in a tactical vehicle to the ES 2000 weapons training facility, where he earned his marksmanship badge. He then took a break from training to join soldiers at the Rocco Dining Facility.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Joey Wrinkle stood outside with a platoon of soldiers assigned to 187th Medical Battalion representing all the medical specialties trained by the battalion. Assigned to the platoon for lunch, Sergeant Cox led the guidon bearer and the formation into the dining facility.
I presented him with my airborne wings. He is strong and brave like an airborne soldier, and he deserves to be recognized. This is about what we do as soldiers, Wrinkle said.
During lunch, soldiers stopped by to wish Gavin well and present their own badges to him. He left the dining facility with air assault and expert medic badges added to his uniform.
At his next stop on the training schedule, he visited the Department of Combat Medic Training and watched soldier-medics training with a human patient simulator. He completed the day learning how patients are loaded on a Stryker ambulance and transferred to hospital units.
During the day, Gavins parents watched their son talking to soldiers and enjoying his day with them. Troy Heminger served on active duty for nine years with 1110th Support Battalion and 58th Signal Battalion as a microwave systems operations and maintenance specialist. He is having fun, he said, watching the boy interact with soldiers. He is forgetting about his illness for a while.
After spending the day with Army medics, Gavin and his family left San Antonio the next day for Fort Hood, Texas, where honorary Sergeant Cox would spend another day in the Army as a soldier with the Armys combat units.
Following his week as a soldier, Gavin was scheduled for intensified chemotherapy at Dallas Childrens Hospital.
(Phil Reidinger works in the Fort Sam Houston Public Affairs Office.)
Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Hearts bigger than all outdoors, my mom used to say. The best we have.
(Thanks for the tissue.)
Hearts bigger than all of TEXAS.
How cool is this?
God Bless you Sergeant Cox.
Heh, yes, Texas is even bigger :)
Con: Bu...bu...but a 5 year old with a gun?
More tissue, please!
What an awesome story.
That kid has more character in one little finger than I'll ever have for as long as I live. I hope his medical treatments go well, and his prognosis is good.
I hope the kid makes it, gets well and actually gets to soldier.
THIS kind of thing is why the armed forces of the United States of America are THE BEST in the universe — bar NONE!
[Ping to a few denizens of the UT.]
Ro-ger THAT! Prayers UP!
We're ALL going to face an enemy bigger than leukemia, some coming dark day, and we're going to need guys with guts like Gavin has to get us all through it.
Sovereign LORD of all Creation,
Grant to us our humble request that You intervene to preserve the mortal life of this fine young man, that he may continue to grace this terrestrial sphere with the greatness of his heart and the strength of his character.
For the sake of Your Name, we ask.
Thank God for our soldiers. Goodness and kindness under a rock hard exterior. No better friend and no worse enemy.
Thanks for the ping. What a wonderful story! God bless the little boy and all our wonderful soldiers.