Richard Culliver earns his pilot wings for a day

Richard giving a big thumbs up to the pilots, a sign his mother says means he's one happy kid.

RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) -- Seven-year-old Richard Culliver got the chance to learn to fly Monday at the McEntire JointAir National Guard Base with a behind the scenes tour.

Culliver learned how jets take off and land, what pilots have to wear to fly, a received a tour of the airbases fire station. His favorite part was seeing a jet with his name on it.

Culliver, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor last October, even climbed in the cockpit. He gave a big thumbs up to the pilots; a sign his mother says means he's one happy kid.

"It might not be something that's easy for people who don't know Richard to see that joy, but I can see it in just his body language and it over joys me," says Stephanie McMillan.

Culliver's mother McMillan says the last few weeks have been really good for her son and they've taken advantage of that by making memories for the family.

Monday was another one of those days that McMillan is grateful to the community for the outpouring of support for Richard's journey.

"It helps me a lot to get through every day knowing that we have the support from so many different people ... It's amazing," said McMillan.

"Its a great opportunity for us here at McEntire in the SC Air Guard to spend some time with these fine gentlemen and hopefully make there day a little better. They're definitely doing the same thing for us and brightening our days," said 1st Lt. Brady Augustin.

For McMillan, it was a day of firsts and surprises for her son.

Richard tookhome a name plate, pictures, a pilots jacket and most important, memories that will last forever.

"As great as it is, it's got so much more meaning over the past six months - every experience that we have - because you realize how fragile life is," adds McMillan.ã??