For the last 4-years, a young boy, Wyatt Gillette, battled a rare genetic disorder called Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome Type 1 that could not be cured.
While this boy’s life would tragically be cut short, while he was alive, his community rallied around him, specifically members of the Marines. Wyatt became an Honorary Marine and “earned the right to wear the same Eagle, Globe and Anchor as his father one day before his final tour of duty was completed.”
These stories too often go untold but that doesn’t minimize its importance or power.
From The Veterans Site:
As the 96th Honorary Marine to be named since the program began in 1992, Wyatt accepted his award with all the poise and dignity of a true Marine on the Camp Pendleton School of Infantry-West Parade Deck. Dressed in fatigues and seated in his wheelchair, the boy was given a framed certificate and an official USMC pin.
“Wyatt is the epitome of Semper Fidelis, and we are hoping and praying for him and his family,” said Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.
Wyatt’s father, Jeremiah Gillette, is a drill instructor with the 2nd Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Wyatt was diagnosed just four years ago with Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome Type 1 (Trex 1 Mutation), a rare genetic disorder that causes seizures, kidney failure, and would eventually kill him. Knowing his boy little time left, Gillette began the formal petition process in support of Wyatt joining the USMC ranks.
“Nothing could make me happier than to see my son Wyatt Seth Gillette become an honorary Marine,” he wrote online. “He has fought harder in the last almost eight years than I will ever have to. If I earned the title, I believe he has as well.”
Commandant Neller said naming Wyatt as an USMC honorary member was an easy decision and we couldn’t agree more! Wyatt passed away just one day after being named an Honorary Marine.
Our military goes to great lengths to honor and support people across this great country, and Wyatt’s story is just another example of how much our military does for America. The members of our armed forces don’t do acts of kindness like this for fame or recognition, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Please share this story with all of your friends and family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Wyatt family during this time.