Making Richard's dream come true
Wed, 04 Dec 2013 23:22:56 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH) - One very brave little boy got to fulfill his dream of being a solider today.
Seven year old Richard Culliver has always wanted to be an "Army Man", and the Make A Wish Foundation made that happen.
Thanks to Fort Jackson and the South Carolina Army National Guard, Richard had a day he won't soon forget.
Even though Richard has been battlling an inoperable brain tumor for more than a year, he still admires the men in uniform who take on a different battle every day.
And on Wednesday, he got to be a soldier for the day - something he has always dreamed of.
"You know I've seen him say so many times when he sees soldiers or police officer to tell them thank you for serving our world and protecting our world. So this is a big deal to him." says Stephanie McMillan, Richard's mother.
Richard was able to climb inside real military aircrafts and be a pilot for the afternoon at McEntire Joint National Guard Base.
He even got to go into a flight simulator to make sure he has what it takes.
Richard was also awarded the silver flight wings you receive after completing flight school to become a pilot.
He also got an official jacket with his name on it, along with other invaluable National Guard mementos.
He was even given a flag that flew in a helicopter back from Iraq.
And while all of this meant the world to Richard, it touched the men who gave it to him as well.
"It's humbling. Richard Culliver is a seven year old little boy that dreams of being a soldier. And he's faced with life's challenges but he's still undaunted in his desire to be a solider." states Major General Lester Eisner from the South Carolina Guard.
Richard's mother is also extremely touched by the love extended to Richard.
"No words can be put around the emotions that you feel when you see somebody do something amazing for somebody else and to put that person first. And to see my son be on the receiving end of that is just...it's overwhelming with emotion almost." Stephanie says.
But there is one concern she may have concerning Richard's new gear.
"I see him now asking if we're going to Wal-Mart or something wanting to put on his uniform." laughs Stephanie.
A uniform that will always serve as a reminder of the dream Richard was able to fulfill.
Stephanie did also give an update on Richard' s condition.
She says he is doing physical therapy, along with speech and occupational therapy.
She says she has seen significant improvement in his mobility and is hopeful he may walk again one day.