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Jorge joins the Marines

  • Jorge shakes hands with Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, after being promoted to general at the South Mesa Club.

  • Sgt. Daniel Mullis pins an expert badge on Jorge.

  • Jorge shows Officer Benjamin Maple, kennel master at the K-9 kennels, the challenge coins he's recieved throughout his tour.

  • Jorge watches assault vehicles from the shore during a demonstration in his honor.

  • Jorge poses with his family after eating lunch at the 24 Area chow hall.

  • Jorge sits on top of an assault vehicle as 1st Lt. Nishan Campbell looks on.

  • Jorge poses with Stephanie McCormick, CEO at the Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire.

  • Capt. Benjamin Guardenier shows Jorge the ins and outs of a Cobra helicopter.

  • Jorge runs off an assault vehicle after taking a ride.

“Wishes impact every single person that is a part of them.”


- Stephanie McCormick, CEO of Make-A-Wish® Orange County and Inland Empire

Four brothers march toward the gates of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. At home, they play soldier and act out pretend drills. But today they are joining the ranks of real Marines – Jorge’s wish.

Jorge was diagnosed with retinoblastoma - a rare cancer of the eye. His condition has critically weakened his eyesight. It's unlikely that he'd be able to enlist one day.

But Make-A-Wish® and the personnel at Camp Pendleton will give him the chance to experience life as a Marine. The military is just “in his blood” his mother, Carmen, said. Today is an experience that will help him throughout the hardships of his medical condition.

With his brothers alongside in Marine t-shirts, Jorge stands in a full camouflage uniform and greets Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese - commanding general of Marine Corps Installations -West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Gen. Coglianese swears Jorge in as general for the day and teaches him how to march and salute, like a Marine.

He’s timid at first, but soon takes charge. Both Marines and his family obey his barked orders during simulation activities.

Jorge rides in assault vehicles. He takes a Marine Corps boxing lesson and flies a helicopter simulator.

He’s just a brave little guy, full of life and energy,” said Sgt. Daniel Mullis, a formal marksmanship training course instructor.

With each activity, Jorge stands taller and smiles wider.

Make-A-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire chief executive officer Stephanie McCormick witnessed the uplifting effect Jorge’s wish had on everyone that day from the brigadier general to the Marine who welcomed Jorge to Camp Pendleton.

“Wishes impact every single person that is a part of them,” McCormick said.

Reporting and photography contributed by Camp Pendleton Public Affairs.

He’s just a brave little guy, full of life and energy.”

— Sgt. Daniel Mullis, Camp Pendleton

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3 Comments

Luana

Make A Wish is an amazing group of people who really do make wishes come true and give those who have lost hope another chance to believe!!!!!!!!!!! I know firsthand how wonderful Make A Wish is because of them my son was able to do something he probably would never have gotten to do. Thank you again everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 30, 2013 - 9:59 AM

Javier

That's my son!!!

September 20, 2013 - 8:15 PM

Phil

There's a higher purpose in life than what most people pursue. Make-A-Wish and the wonderful people who are associated with it have discovered that purpose. To help even one child means you did not waste your time on Earth. Thank you all, for all you do.

September 21, 2013 - 8:22 PM

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