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Kahn and his Marines held a formation and presented Tyler with an ALICE pack filled with Marine essentials: flashlight, stickers, chem-lights, unit T-shirt, whistle, and the reliable K-bar (the wooden version). Once aboard the LAV-25, Tyler, Ryan, and their mom, Jill, took off towards Landing Zone Hawk for a little off-road vehicle familiarization.

The entire family grabbed a Meal-Ready-to-Eat for lunch, with Tyler making the wise decision to go with the Chicken Breast, at the MEU's Amphibious Assault Vehicle Detachment's office. With full stomachs, the group donned flak, kevlar, and floatation devices before boarding Cpl. William Shaefer's AAV for a ride around the Courthouse Bay Complex. The group spent about ten minutes riding the trails before splashing into Courthouse Bay for a quick swim back to the motor pool.

"It wasn't as bad as I expected," said Jill Willis after exiting the back of the 'Track'. "But, it was hot with all that gear on."

With two full days already complete, Tyler Willis had one more mission to accomplish. Following a static display of company-level weapons, Tyler stood in front of Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 3/6's Commander, Lt. Col. Ron Johnson, and I Co. BLT 3/6 to receive his "promotion". Sgt. Maj. Thomas Shank, BLT 3/6, read Tyler's warrant promoting him to the rare status of Honorary United States Marine, Only 13 times since the "Honorary Marine" program became official in 1992, have citizens been bestowed with the title of U.S. Marine.

"I think what they've done is an absolutely fantastic job," stated Karen Keena, Tyler's grandmother and a founding member of Make-A-Wish in south Florida. "I think it's really great and I can't wait to go home to the club meeting and tell the girls what it was like."

With a congratulatory, "Ooh Rah", from the formation of Marines and Sailors of the 22nd MEU welcomed their youngest Marine --- Tyler Willis.


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