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

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Haley Britzky Avatar

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.”