Recently, the Commandant of the Marine Corps granted Tyler's wish, and the
Marines and Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) showed him the
ropes. By being able to see a
majority of the weapons and vehicles of a deploying Marine Expeditionary
Unit, Tyler was afforded the chance of a lifetime. Accompanied by his mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather,
great-grandmother, and his three year-old brother, Ryan, Tyler set out to
explore all the events that the Marines of the MEU had packed into two days,
July 28 and 29.
Tyler came up with the idea to become a Marine after he was diagnosed on
July1, 1998 with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. When the doctors tried to
explain to him what his medicine and chemotherapy were doing inside of his
body, Tyler came up with his own version.
"He came up with it all on his own and for a year now he's been fighting
this war in his blood with the green and red soldiers," said his mom, Jill.
version has the good "green soldiers" (the medicines and chemotherapy)
attacking the bad "red soldiers" (the cancer).
Understanding that there was a "war" going on inside of his body, Tyler
began to gain an appreciation for men who carried weapons and fought wars.
searching for the ultimate fighters, the young Ft. Lauderdale child turned
to the Marine Corps.
1st Lt. Robb Sucher, Executive Officer, I Co, BLT 3/6 and the action officer
for Tyler's wish, explained, "My mom works for Make-A-Wish in Florida, and
when Tyler expressed his wish of being involved with the military, I
attempted to see what the MEU could accomplish for Tyler." At the same time, Dawn Wilson, Director of Marketing for Make-A-Wish of
South Florida, was calling the II MEF Public Affairs Office to find out more
information, and writing a letter to the Commandant of the Marine requesting
approval for Tyler's wish.