3-year-old becomes newest member of the 107th
By Staff Sgt. Peter Dean, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published December 03, 2010
Niagara Falls, New York -- Well for the day that is; a local 3-year-old boy became an honorary pilot for the day when he reported for duty at the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing.
"Logan is a typical 3-year-old; he loves planes, playing with toy cars, and trucks, and pretty much anything with wheels," said his mother Carol. "He also loves running and jumping, but he especially likes to make a mess," said added.
The difference is that Logan has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and has been undergoing weekly treatments for the last six months. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is one of four types of Leukemia that attacks the bone marrow and the blood.
"We live close to the base, and the planes fly over our house all the time," said Carol. "Whenever Logan would hear a plane he would get excited and run to the window," she added.
The 107th Airlift Wing was able to give Logan a break from his daunting treatment regimen. Logan accompanied by his family, spent the morning as an honorary 107th Pilot for the Day. Pilot for the day is a program that is designed to lift the spirits of a child that has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease. Upon his arrival, Maj. Michael Galvin presented Logan with his own flight jacket that included all the appropriate patches. From there the major escorted Logan and his family down to the flight equipment squadron where the lights were dimmed giving them the opportunity to try out the night vision instruments used by the pilots.
"This is cool, I can see you, you're all green," said Logan's brother Caiden as he was looking through the goggles.
Out in the hangar, Logan and his family climb aboard a C-130, and headed straight for the cockpit. Logan hopped into the pilot seat and proceeded to push, turn and pull ever knob, switch and gadget within his reach.
"Wow there's a lot of switches here," said Carol "How do you keep track of them all," she added.
After checking out the C-130 and asking every imaginable question, Logan and his family headed to the base fire department where they were greeted by fireman Joe Foucha. The fireman took Logan around to each of their trucks, explaining the differences between them.
"We have trucks that are dedicated to respond to the flight line and trucks that respond to the buildings on the base," said Foucha.
During the walk around, Logan noticed these gun-like-barrels on the bumper and the roof of a fire truck and wondered what they were for.
"Hop in, we'll go for a ride and I'll show you," said Foucha.
Safe in their seats, Crash 1 roared up to speed and bounced down the taxiway. At a safe distance away from all obstructions, Joe activated the pumps and demonstrated how the water cannons work. The water cannons were the gun-like-barrels Logan was referring to earlier. Within minutes the 1500 gallon tank was dry and it was time to head back to the station.
It appeared that at least for a day Logan's mind was preoccupied with something other than a trip to the hospital. Fortunately, for Logan and his family after the completion of his treatment, Logan has an 85 percent chance of being fully cured of this disease.