Parris Island is not everyone’s idea of fun. But for one 16-year-old, it was a dream come true. Sam Short is battling spinal cancer, which is really Sam’s fight. (DVIDSHUB) But recently, the Make-a-wish Foundation made it possible for him to go through a condensed two and a half days of training at Parris Island- because Sam has always wanted to be a Marine after his uncle who served.
Story continues below:
“[The cancer has] basically taken a lot of the things that I loved to do away. I can’t play sports, which is really hard. But it was definitely hard balancing school and treatment.”Sam Short
Sam wanted the chance to become a Marine. But the 2018 diagnosis of cancer on his spine precluded many things he wanted to do. Chemo and radiation, surgery and recovery, then new diagnosis of more aggressive cancer…all of those things are challenges by themselves. He has trouble walking, or even keeping his balance, which devastated his dreams of participating in sports or the Marine Corps. But he got to experience a small taste of what Marines go through in the visit to USMC boot camp.
Parris Island, April 27-28, 2022 Sam’s fight became a shadow for those days
A platoon of 7 Marines were assigned to assist Sam through his condensed version of Boot Camp. Their assistance and caring were pivotal in his experience. While it’s not common for Marines to keep smiling through an entire boot camp experience, Sam’s mother said that he couldn’t stop smiling or grinning even when the drill sergeant yelled at him.
He experienced many of the things a normal Marine Recruit would face at Parris Island, some of which he could not do because of his physical shortcomings. When that happened, the Marines with him pitched in for a team effort.
Sam was able to participate in the swimming challenge, land navigation, and marksmanship. They even allowed him to taste the “crucible” which is the final leg of the boot camp for regular recruits.
After the experience at Parris Island, Sam’s fight returned to the battle against the cancer that is trying to end his life. His Mom said that it was hard for him to leave boot camp because he was so happy there. He is a normal teenager: still does his chores, works in a hardware store, and does his studies. His family tries to give him a normal life as much as possible. But now, Sam Short has an added incentive to fight: in a special ceremony, the Marine Corps allowed him the privilege of receiving an Eagle Globe and Anchor and the title Honorary Marine.
It was crazy because I didn’t expect any of that. I was really honored. It was really, really cool.”Sam Short to Fox digital
You’re pretty cool, too, Sam. A warrior at heart!
Featured screenshot via Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bobby Yarbrough
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island
Sign up for our Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children newsletter! Our website link has been censored on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to visit us on the web or Parler, MeWe page and group, GAB, Gettr and new Instagram account is here. Here is the link to our gun store at https://unclesamsguns.com/.