Story by Sgt. Laura Gauna
April 11, 2016
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines are the nation’s 911 responders. They handle some of the harshest and worst situations you can think of, but they are not just tough. The Marines of 7th Engineer Support Battalion proved that they also have a soft side when they made a special boy’s wish of becoming a Marine come true.
Nathan Aldaco, a 12 year-old boy with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, learns about explosive ordnance during a Make-A-Wish event supported by 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 24, 2016. Marines with 7th ESB and Explosive Ordnance Disposal helped to make Nathan’s wish of becoming a Marine come true by demonstrating the capabilities of their EOD robots and detonating TNT, C4, dynamite and blasting caps, while the heavy equipment operators gave him the opportunity to ride the D7 dozer and the excavator, in which he dug a pit, built a berm, and broke several large tree trunks. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Laura Gauna/released)Nathan Aldaco was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at a young age. Since the discovery of this rare congenital heart defect in which the left heart is severely underdeveloped, he has received various surgeries, and has not only learned to survive with this disease but also thrive with the support of his family.
Earlier in the year, Nathan and his family were contacted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and given the opportunity for the young boy to give the foundation a list of things he would like to do. Due to the content on that list, the request was forwarded to the Marines of 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Among the items on the list from the young boy’s imagination were simply to watch Marines train, ride in large military vehicles, train with Marines, be a part of a medal ceremony, and have a full camouflage uniform; wishes the leaders of 7th ESB knew they wanted to fulfill.
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