An 11 year-old Brisbane boy who received an unfortunate start in life has been granted his wish to experience an action-packed day on Gallipoli Barracks, thanks to the 7th Combat Brigade and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
CAPTION: Make-A-Wish recipient Adam salutes the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Stimson, while on parade during his visit to Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.
Adam, from Brisbane’s south side, was diagnosed with an immunodeficiency disorder when he was just seven years old.
His mother Annette said gaming was his escape during long stints in hospital.
“Through his transplant, video games were the thing that distracted him from all the treatment,” she said.
“I think that’s partly why he chose this wish, he likes the military, and to see what they do in real life is absolutely amazing.”
The 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment (2CER) organised a thrilling itinerary for Adam and his family.
Issued his own uniform and Warrant Officer rank slide, Adam conducted a dress inspection.
Commanding Officer of 2CER Lieutenant Colonel Henry Stimson said Adam enjoyed the experience, picking up soldiers for their dress and bearing.
“We got him on the drill square, keeping our soldiers in line; he’s a very confident young boy and he didn’t hesitate to pull our people up if they weren’t in line,” Lieutenant Colonel Stimson said.
“We’ve got him on the tools, using some of our vehicles. He’s doing an outstanding job.”
Adam also had the opportunity to fire the water cannon on a Crash Response Vehicle, go for a spin in an M1A1 Abrams tank thanks to 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry), and take a scenic flight over Brisbane in an MRH90 helicopter thanks to the School of Army Aviation at Oakey.
The day’s itinerary put a smile on Adam’s face.
“It’s very exciting. My video games that I play, most of them are army based so I thought maybe I should see what it’s like in real life,” Adam said.
Adam also got to fly a small black hornet drone, meet explosive detection dog Dexter and send a message via an Army radio.
When asked what one of his favourite activities was, his answer was sure to curry favour with sappers everywhere.
“Probably mine sweeping,” Adam said.
2CER has supported the Make-A-Wish foundation since 2010 and since that time has raised $160,000 for the charity.
Things are looking up for Adam; a bone marrow transplant has improved his overall health, although he will continue to visit hospital at regular intervals.
His mother was thankful for the efforts of 2CER and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
“We realised that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a great experience for Adam, and it gave him a nice positive memory to have,” she said.
“To just kind of replace some of the trauma that he’s been through with all his health and be able to share stories with some of his friends.”