By Spc. David KanavelSeptember 22, 2010
Ryan Beaulieu, a courageous young 14 year old with Spinal-Muscular Atrophy, got his wish granted recently. The Make A Wish Foundation and Fort Bragg was all too happy to help.
On Sept 16th, Ryan and his family were picked up by Soldiers of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command in Uparmored HMMWVs. His first stop as a Soldier was at the 1st TSC Headquarters. As he arrived, he was greeted by Sgt. Maj. Richard Harris, 1st TSC G4 Sergeant Major, to present him with a 1st TSC patch and his own Dog Tag. Soldiers from the 1st TSC lined both sides of the sidewalk as Ryan was escorted by Harris. The Soldiers clapped, greeted and saluted as Ryan entered the building. He was welcomed by even more Soldiers who lined the hallways when he entered the headquarters building.
Ryan made his way up to the 1st TSC conference room where he had a video teleconference with Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dowd, Commanding General of the 1st TSC and more 1st TSC Soldiers who are currently serving in Kuwait. Maj. Carol McClelland, 1st TSC Secretary General Staff, posted the orders for Ryan to become a honorary major general. Brig. Gen. Xavier Lobeto, Deputy Commanding General for Operations of 1st TSC, pinned Ryan's new rank on him. Ryan repeated the officers Oath of Office recited to him by Dowd. After the promotion ceremony, Dowd gave Ryan command of the unit for the day.
"One of your first orders, I suggest is that all the Soldiers back there do pushups for you." Dowd said. "I can't direct your mom or my wife to do them because they outrank both of us."
However, Honorary Maj. Gen. Beaulieu ordered the Soldiers in Kuwait to knock out 20 pushups also.
Sgt. 1st Class Keela Smith, 1st TSC Retention Office, presented Ryan with a few gifts, including a poster with Soldiers' signatures and words of encouragement and a backpack with his name on it. Smith also gave gifts to Ryan's family. Ryan received a soldier bear from Harris, a 1st TSC Command coin from Lobeto, and a gift bag from Mrs. Jeannie Dowd, wife of the Commanding General. Mrs. Dowd also gave "I love my Soldier" pins to his family.
Lobeto had a message for Ryan after the ceremony.
"Ryan, you showed us today the trust and confidence that you have in us," Lobeto said. "The one thing I'd like to share with you is that you keep that trust and confidence in us and Stay Army Strong because we all believe in you."
Tina Martinez, Ryan's mother, stated that she was very happy and thanked everyone for what they did for him.
"It was wonderful and it was great," Martinez said. "It meant a lot to him for his wish come true."
The 1st TSC was more than happy to make Honorary Maj. Gen. Ryan Beaulieu's wish to become a Soldier come true. Ryan and his family proceeded to conduct his tour of Fort Bragg.
His tour consisted of a trip to Simmons Army Airfield for a demo of a CH-47 Chinook Flight Simulator, lunch at a local chow hall, a tour of the Parachute Packing Facility, a visit with the 16th Military Police Brigade and finally a visit to the Iron Mike Statue.