Eleven year old D’Marrion absolutely loves anyone who wears an official uniform and who gets to do brave things. He loves the military, and especially the helicopters, planes and other aircraft they operate.
On top of that, he adores superheroes, so D’Marrion’s wish to ride in a military helicopter with a superhero truly combined all of the things he loves most.
Although D’Marrion is shy, and communicates through American Sign Language, it is easy to understand his love of helicopters—he screams when he sees them, even though he had never flown anywhere before his wish. D’Marrion has faced a daunting set of challenges in life, and has undergone treatment for multiple conditions, some of which are life-threatening. His treatment schedule forced him to stop playing the many sports he loved: basketball, baseball, and bowling, and he wasn’t able to compete in the Special Olympics, in which he has earned many medals.
On August 15th, D’Marrion was literally surrounded by uniforms. His wish was a unique and complicated collaboration between all five branches of the military, as well as the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. They enlisted D’Marrion’s help, along with his favorite superhero, to overcome an array of villains, some of whom were holding his baseball coach hostage. He rode in a Humvee, boarded a C-5 Galaxy transport plane and rode a Coast Guard helicopter. To honor his courage, he was given a hero’s welcome on his return to Travis Air Force Base. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen stood in formation while he was presented with certificates, medals, patches and his own customized dog tags. As he looked down on them from the back of the C-5 Galaxy, they crisply saluted him.
"It was fun," D'Marrion signed. "The helicopter ride was beautiful. I was surprised and I wasn't scared."