Army makes Make-a-Wish recipient an honorary 'Tropic Lightning' soldier


Alexander Hipp, Make-A-Wish recipient, fly's an AH-64 Apache flight simulator.

Photo: Spc. Valencia McNeal/U.S. Army

The 25th Infantry Division went above and beyond for a Make-a-Wish recipient last week, who dreams of serving in the military one day.

Alexander Hipp, 20, has lived with Chronic Granulomatous Disease for most of his life. But on July 25th, after traveling to Schofield Barracks with his family, he was made an honorary "Tropic Lightning" soldier, the Army said.

During his trip, he visited the Tropic Lightning Museum, flew in three military flight simulators, took part in an M-4 semi-automatic rifle engagement skills trainer (EST) and rode in a UH-60 Black Hawk for an aerial tour of Oahu.

"It got better and better every second," Hipp said in a video released by the 25th.

CGD "significantly lowered his ability to fight off bacterial and fungal infections," the Army release said.

Most kids diagnosed with CGD don't live past 20 years old, but Hipp was found to be "completely cured," per the Army, after undergoing a risky bone marrow transplant surgery.

"Just being here on the military installation was amazing," Hipp said, per the Army's release. "I'll never forget it. Everything that happened here was just a dream come true."

Related Articles From Your Site
Related Articles Around the Web

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.

Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.

By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.

Read More Show Less

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.

"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, defense officials have announced.

Read More Show Less

Soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division are just days away from becoming the first to get their hands on the most advanced night vision goggles the Army has fielded yet.

Read More Show Less