• KEMPNER, Texas -- Antonio (center), 8, with his father, retired Sgt. Frank Laguna, and Jessica Robertson of Backbone Valley Nursery, Marble Falls, Texas, cuts the ribbon July 28 on the automated greenhouse he received through Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas. At the age of 6, Antonio was diagnosed with the rare and life-threatening disease of Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation and Autonomic Dysregulation. ROHHAD affects everything the body is supposed to do naturally -- like weight management, eye focus, bowel movements, breathing, temperature regulation and even psychological behaviors, said Candace. There are 75-cases of the condition worldwide. Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, along with many community volunteers and donors, helped make Antonio's wish a reality. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Antonio's greenhouse

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Antonio (center), 8, with his father, retired Sgt. Frank Laguna, and Jessica Robertson of Backbone Valley Nursery, Marble Falls, Texas, cuts the ribbon July 28 on the automated greenhouse he received through Make-A-Wish Central and...

  • KEMPNER, Texas -- Antonio Laguna got a special birthday present July 28 from the military and Central Texas community -- an orchard and automated greenhouse. "Muleskinner" Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, along with the Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas, and other local businesses, were able to grant Antonio's wish with the support of many others in the community. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Greenhouse project

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Antonio Laguna got a special birthday present July 28 from the military and Central Texas community -- an orchard and automated greenhouse. "Muleskinner" Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st...

  • KEMPNER, Texas -- Spc. Robert Robinson, a power generation specialist from 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, installs the large fan that will cool the automated greenhouse. Antonio Laguna got a special birthday present July 28 from the military and Central Texas community -- an orchard and automated greenhouse. "Muleskinner" Soldiers, along with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas and other local businesses, were able to grant Antonio's wish with the support of many others in the community. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Cooling fan

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Spc. Robert Robinson, a power generation specialist from 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, installs the large fan that will cool the automated greenhouse. Antonio Laguna got...

  • KEMPNER, Texas -- Spc. Stephanie Swann, an automated logistics specialist with the 115th Brigade Support Battalion and native of Los Angeles, California, and Spc. Nicole Wiltz, a water treatment specialist from 115th BSB and native of Wapello, Iowa, take time to play ball July 25 with Aunabella, daughter of retired Sgt. Frank and Candace Laguna, and Kayden, son of Sgt. 1st Class Satanta and Karen Bushnell. Soldiers from the 115th BSB installed siding, roofing and a cooling fan for a greenhouse project in collaboration with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas for Antonio Laguna, 8, whose fatherretired from the 115th BSB in June 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Playtime

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Spc. Stephanie Swann, an automated logistics specialist with the 115th Brigade Support Battalion and native of Los Angeles, California, and Spc. Nicole Wiltz, a water treatment specialist from 115th BSB and native of Wapello, Iowa...

  • KEMPNER, Texas -- Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, install siding July 25 for a greenhouse project in collaboration with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas for Antonio, 8, son of retired Sgt. Frank and Candace Laguna. Laguna retired from the 115th BSB in June 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Installing the siding

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, install siding July 25 for a greenhouse project in collaboration with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas for Antonio, 8, son of retired...

  • KEMPNER, Texas -- Antonio, 8, and his father, retired Sgt. Frank Laguna get a guided tour of the automated greenhouse he received through Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas from Jessica Robertson of Backbone Valley Nursery, Marble Falls, Texas.. At the age of 6, Antonio was diagnosed with the rare and life-threatening disease of Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation and Autonomic Dysregulation. Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinners," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, along with many community volunteers and donors, helped make Antonio's wish a reality. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Antonio's wish

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Antonio, 8, and his father, retired Sgt. Frank Laguna get a guided tour of the automated greenhouse he received through Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas from Jessica Robertson of Backbone Valley Nursery, Marble Falls, Texas.. At...

  • KEMPNER, Texas -- Retired Sgt. Frank Laguna, his wife Candace, and children Alejandro and Antonio (standing), thank the Soldiers of the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinners," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and all the community volunteers, who helped make Antonio's wish for an orchard and a greenhouse a reality. The Laguna family unveiled the orchard and greenhouse to Antonio and the community July 28 and celebrated Antonio's 8th birthday. "Muleskinner" Soldiers , along with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas, and other local businesses, were able to grant Antonio's wish with the support of many others in the community. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Antonio thanks Soldiers

    KEMPNER, Texas -- Retired Sgt. Frank Laguna, his wife Candace, and children Alejandro and Antonio (standing), thank the Soldiers of the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinners," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and all the community...

FORT HOOD, Texas -- Chances to make wishes are plenty. People wish upon a star. They throw pennies into wishing wells. They even make wishes and blow out birthday candles.
One 1st Cavalry Division child had an unforgettable wish granted on his birthday July 28.
Antonio Laguna got a special birthday present from the military and Central Texas community: an orchard and automated greenhouse.

Soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, along with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas and local businesses were able to grant Antonio's wish with the support of many others in the community.

The 8-year-old had briefly considered asking for a trip when officials from Make-A-Wish originally approached him.

"His first thought was that he wanted to go to the Great Wall of China and eat grasshoppers," said his mother, Candace Laguna. "But then he asked how long trips last and changed his mind. He said, 'Wishes should last.'"

At the age of 6, Antonio was diagnosed with the rare and life-threatening disease of Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation and Autonomic Dysregulation.

ROHHAD affects everything the body is supposed to do naturally -- like weight management, eye focus, bowel movements, breathing, temperature regulation and even psychological behaviors, said Candace. There are 75-cases of the condition world-wide.

Because of his rare condition, the family takes Antonio to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for treatments. Previous attempts at gardening have failed because of the many trips the family must take, which is why this greenhouse is fully-automated to control temperature and water the plants, even if the family is away, said Frank Laguna, Antonio's father.

"It's a learn-as-you-go process," he said.

Antonio, who must follow a very careful diet, wants to share the orchard and greenhouse to share his love of food and to feed others, Candace said.

"He wants people to come out and plant and pick fruit and vegetables for themselves -- community gardening," she said.

Soldiers of the 115th BSB installed the siding, reflective roofing and large fan on the greenhouse, and performed many other tasks, including mowing, edging, and preparing for Antonio's big day.

Getting everything ready in time came down to the wire.

"I laid awake last night wondering how we would get everything done," said Jessica Robertson of Backbone Valley Nursery, Marble Falls, Texas. "I showed up July 25, and there are 20-plus Soldiers, and everyone's working. It's amazing and makes me proud of my country."

For Muleskinner Soldiers, volunteering was a way to take care of one of their own. Antonio's fatherserved as the armorer for Company B, 115th BSB until his medical retirement in June 2014.

"We won't forget this family," said Command Sgt. Maj. Rocky Carr, 115th BSB. "He will always be a Muleskinner."

It was a rewarding experience for many of the Soldiers.

"It's been emotional," said Spc. Stephanie Swann, an automated logistics specialist with 115th BSB and a native of Los Angeles, California. "We had a couple of us out here crying, but it's a great feeling overall being able to help this little boy with his wish."

The family has set up a Facebook page for those who want to follow Antonio and the family: https://www.facebook.com/SuperToniosFight

Page last updated Wed July 30th, 2014 at 00:00