U.S. Army veteran Frankie Sanchez Sr. served for 23 years, but in 2016, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The nerve condition, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, has left him confined to a wheelchair. But on May 28, he stood up for his son’s graduation from Air Force Basic Training.
The previous day, Sanchez was taken to the emergency room after a respiratory issue, and he feared he would miss his son Frankie’s graduation altogether.
“We hadn't slept, we hadn't eaten, we hadn't showered or changed clothes,” his wife Christy told Task & Purpose. “We checked out of the hospital at 9:46 a.m. and raced over to the base and got to our seats with about 10 minutes to spare.”
Luckily, Sanchez not only made it, but also managed to lift himself upright out of his wheelchair to tap his son out of attention.
“We knew the tap out would be special,” Christy said. “The video represents the amount of love and pride my husband and I have for our son.” And the pair stood embracing in a highly emotional moment.
“It was the most beautiful and memorable event I've ever witnessed in my life and I will never forget it as long as I live,” wrote Sanchez’s wife Christy on Facebook
The couple has three sons and has struggled since Sanchez’s diagnosis due to the disease’s rapid advancement. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS as the rest of the general population, according to the ALS Association.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help offset the cost of his care. “He is getting weaker by the day and we are struggling to handle all of the emotions that consume us,” Christy wrote on the page. “Looking back, we think my husband's symptoms started 4 years ago. Most ALS patients live for two to five years after symptoms start.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.