Six F/A-18 Hornet fighters wait on the runway threshold. The blades of their turbines spin leisurely at idle. Buckled into the cockpits are the pilots of the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron … the Blue Angels.
Sunlight beats down on the canopies. The pilots sweat, stuffed into tight-fitting g-suits. They listen for the signal from the control tower … from 8-year-old Make-A-Wish® kid Ethan.
Ethan keys the mic, clears them for takeoff and adds “have a good one!” The whine of the engines amplifies to a ground-shaking roar. The Blue Angels make the magical transition from ground-bound to airborne.
There’s also a miraculous change in Ethan. When he was diagnosed with a brain tumor his life revolved around hospital visits and medical treatments. His parents experienced endless worry and exhaustion. Every dream, every goal … they were all overshadowed by trying to heal. Today, that changes. Ethan dreams again.
Watching the Blue Angels in flight has Ethan spellbound. When they land, the squadron inducts him as an honorary member. The pilots present him with autographed photos.
Ethan’s experience is more than touring the Naval Aviation Museum tour, sitting in the planes, meeting the Blue Angels pilots and the support staff. The true gift is rediscovering a future of endless possibility.