“I don’t believe I could have built FedEx without the skills I learned from the Marine Corps.” – Frederick W. Smith


ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. There is something truly Awesome happening when people believe in something enough to put their lives on the line for it.

Our world is immensely better thanks to individuals go above and beyond what is expected of them, when human hearts overflow with compassion and caring, when we listen to our better little voices, and when prayers and wishes become actions and realities.

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, ex-Marine Martin Martinez had two final wishes; he wanted to see his kids again before he died and he wanted to spend some time in the mountains, visiting with nature, sitting around a campfire under the stars. Maybe do a little fishing.

They set about making arrangements to grant his wishes.

Knowing his time was limited, his case nurse Barbara Kirk and the other nurses at Harbour Hospice of Bexar Country, Texas, set about making arrangements to grant his wishes. After the first of his wishes was granted, Kirk, formerly a nurse in the Air Force took it upon herself to make sure this final wish was fulfilled.

Marines working to pass the Physical Fitness Test (with a little motivation on the side).
Marines working to pass the Physical Fitness Test (with a little motivation on the side).

Having served in the Air Force herself, and having two kids also serving in the military, Kirk she felt a special connection to Martinez and wanted to do what she could to help. So she reached out to her Facebook friend Allyson McKensey of Blount County, Tennessee, about helping make Martinez’s wish a reality.

McKensey reached out to Billie Pass, the owner of River Bluff Cabins in Townsend, TN, who donated a mountain cabin for Martinez and his fiancé to enjoy.

Kirk’s employer donated an airline ticket and Martinez was off to the Smoky Mountains.

Martin Martinez ex-MarineUpon arrival at McGhee Tyson Airport in Tennessee, the local residents and the American Veterans Empowerment Team (AVET) gave the ex-Marine a hero’s welcome. A local restaurant donated meals, and a chauffeur service donated transportation.

Martinez was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and amazed at the way everybody pulled together for someone they didn’t know. He said that it had restored his faith in people and in our capacity to stand together, united.


–  WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYiNG  –

Topix: “AWESOME!!! May God richly bless Martin and all the great folks who helped this dream come true.” – Bodeydad

The Blaze: “…escorted to the cabin by the Patriot Guard Riders and several other organizations, he had a smile on his face from the time he arrived. It was also a sad time to bring him back to the airport on Sunday morning. You could see it in his eyes that he wishes that it could have been longer. But he has brought a whole new meaning to whatever life throws in your direction and to not take advantage of the time we have here on earth. He met up with a buddy of his that he was in the service with, who lives in Townsend, and we then realize just what a small world we all live in. – ETNASCBigRedTrkPGR


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