BENEFITING: Wish of a Lifetime
Mel, who will be 90 in October, is a survivor of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. His Wish of a Lifetime is to return to Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona Memorial on the 72nd Anniversary of the attacks, December 7th, 2013.
Mel joined the Navy at the age of 18, and just a few short months later, he was stationed in Pearl Harbor, working as an aviation mechanic. The morning of December 7th, his superior office reassigned him as a firefighter. A few minutes after arriving at his new post, a plane flew low over the firehouse, almost clipping the roof with its propeller. A moment later, chaos ensued, as the plane dropped one of the first bombs on Pearl Harbor, on an airplane hangar a few hundred yards from where Mel was standing. He spent the rest of the day clinging to the back of a fire truck as they furiously worked to extinguish the numerous fires around the base. Following the attacks, Mel spent 2 weeks in the hospital recovering from his injuries. He continued to serve in the Navy for the next six years.
Today, Mel is the President of the Wyoming Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, and is a highly respected and selfless man. Following his service, Mel dedicated most of his life to educating youth about the significance of WWII and to raising his family. Mel continues to speak at schools and with community organizations in order to encourage more education about WWII history.
In his personal life, a number of struggles have made it difficult for Mel to get back to Pearl Harbor. In 1989, Mel’s son and wife were both diagnosed with cancer. He dedicated a great deal of time to caring for them, and ended up losing both of them to the battle only three months apart. Mel took his son’s children under his wing, and has developed a very special relationship with them. Because of this and other struggles, Mel has not been back to Pearl Harbor since the attacks, and dreams of being able to go back to commemorate the men that were lost that day. For Mel, it would be a dream to experience these sites with two of his grandsons, who are both very important in Mel's life.
Please join us as we send this deserving Veteran back to the USS Arizona Memorial to commemorate his fallen comrades.
Contributions to sponsor a specific wish will be used for that wish, but in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent carrying out a wish as planned, the contributions for that wish will be used to at the discretion of Wish of a Lifetime to further its charitable purposes and objectives. If contributions are received over and above what is necessary to fund a specific wish, the excess funds will be used at the discretion of Wish of a Lifetime to further its charitable purposes and objectives.