TWENTYNINE PALMS, California — When eight year-old Conrad Greeley found out his leukemia was terminal, his family immediately contacted the Make-A-Wish foundation since he always wanted to spend a day living out his childhood dream of joining the Marine Corps.
Luckily, Make-A-Wish came through, and on Tuesday, Conrad met up with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment’s Easy Company at 0400 outside the armory. The company was drawing weapons to verify serial numbers for the third time that week.
As per his family’s request, the Marines treated Conrad just like any other Junior Enlisted Warrior, with Cpl. Sean Casey assigned as his team leader for the day. He took the boy under his wing immediately, officials said.
“I tried to teach him how to spin up a CASEVAC 9-line but he couldn’t figure it out,” Casey said. “At least his hair is in regs.”
At 0630, the armory gates opened and Marines flooded in. As the smallest and newest boot, Conrad dutifully assumed his place at the back of the line. At 1100, just as he was getting close to the window, the armorers cut for chow.
When they came back at 1300, Conrad was informed they couldn’t issue him a rifle because Gunny hadn’t signed his weapons cards. After standing by aimlessly until 1700 for his team leader to tell him what to do, it was time for Conrad to head home.
Conrad walked away from his short time in the Marine Corps with a new perspective on life.
“Today made me feel a lot better. I used to be sad I would never get to grow up and be a Marine. Now I’d rather just die.”