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Twelve-year-old Nathan Aldaco was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect when he was little, but that hasn’t stopped his big dreams of becoming a Marine.

The Devil Pup recently had his wish granted when the Marines of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion showed up to give him a day he'd remember forever.

Presenting Nathan with his very own combat uniform, the team took him and his family to an Explosive Ordinance Disposal compound to show him the explosives they disarmed, Sgt. Laura Gauna wrote on Facebook.

“Soon after, Nathan mounted up in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle to go through a demolition range where the team demonstrated the capabilities of their EOD robots and detonated TNT, C4, dynamite and blasting caps.

'The bombs were cool,' said Nathan. 'I like working with the robots. It was fun controlling them and picking stuff up with them.'" 


With the encouragement of the Marines' heavy equipment operators, Nathan even got to help drive some of the team’s largest vehicles.

Finally, the courageous little boy was honored in a special award ceremony.

As he was awarded the Master EOD badge, “Nathan was beaming” and “emotions were high,” wrote Sgt. Gauna.


“It’s a true honor to do this for Nathan,” said 1st Lt. Ernesto Gaudio.

“We wanted to make him feel like he was a part of the Marine family. We are in service to the United States of America and Nathan is a citizen of the United States. We were just making his wish come true.”

Read more about Nathan’s incredible day of adventure, via the U.S. Marines.

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