Travis AFB makes boy superhero for a day
By Airman 1st Class Amber Carter, 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 22, 2014
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- As he puts on the uniform that resembles military desert camouflage, he is no longer a child -- he is a superhero.
His mission is to use his extremely advanced fighting skills developed during his 11 years on earth to defeat the bad guys and rescue the good guys. His superhero instincts lead him to the inside of an aircraft with bad guys lurking behind every corner and his getaway helicopter awaits him outside.
Many children grow up pretending to be superheroes but rarely get the chance to become one in the same way D'Marrion Otten did here, Aug. 15.
D'Marrion was referred to the Make-a-Wish foundation, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. His illnesses have resulted in surgeries on his ears causing hearing loss. He uses American Sign Language to help him communicate.
"He's not too vocal," said Michelle Brown, D'Marrion's mom. "I was shocked, but I was happy to hear that flying on a helicopter with a superhero was the wish that he told the Make-a-Wish foundation."
The event consisted of two scenarios. The first was aboard a Travis Air Force Base C-5 Galaxy where D'Marrion learned how to use his superpower to defeat the bad guys, Airmen volunteers. Then he rode in a Humvee to a Coast Guard helicopter and flew to Solano Community College in Fairfield, California.
"He's never flown before and he loved it," Brown said.
Scenario two was set up by the Solano County Sheriff's Department. D'Marrion defeated multiple bad guys and rescued his baseball coach, Paul Ragan.
"D'Marrion is an outstanding kid and baseball player, said Master Sgt. Paul Ragan, the Junior Giants coach and the 60th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge. "He plays without hesitation and I couldn't ask for a better superhero."
After saving the day, D'Marrion was flown back to Travis AFB where he received a hero's welcome involving the 22nd Airlift Squadron standing in formation upon his arrival. Col. Corey Martin, the 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, presented him with a military coin, a medal for exceptional bravery, a certificate and a set of personalized dog tags.
"It was fun," D'Marrion signed. "The helicopter ride was beautiful. I was surprised and I wasn't scared."
Make-a-Wish partnered with Travis AFB, the Coast Guard and the Solano County Sheriff's Department to help make D'Marrion's wish come true.
"It was very inspiring to see so many different organizations come together to make this happen for D'Marrion," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Turner, the event coordinator and a 21st AS C-17 instructor loadmaster and readiness flight chief. "The level of support that everyone provided was just amazing."