Ethan with Bartter Syndrome Sworn in as an Honorary Air Force Second Lieutenant
July 8, 2015
Ethan Hoffman, 12, joins 910th Airlift Wing
By William K. Alcorn, [email protected]
Ethan Hoffman, 12, of Howland, became the 910th Airlift Wing’s 62nd Pilot for a Day in a ceremony Wednesday at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.
“Is this like in the movies?” Ethan, son of Daniel and Lilia Hoffman of Howland, asked when he saw the Marine Corps Humvee that was to take him on a tour of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station before he was sworn in as an honorary Air Force second lieutenant.
“Awesome” was his comment after the Humvee ride.
Ethan, a student at Howland Middle School, is being treated for Bartter syndrome, an incurable kidney disorder, at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley in Boardman.
When diagnosed at age 4, Ethan often has to miss school because of his illness; but his mother says he is a happy boy and a “fighter.”
Ethan’s father, a graduate of the University of Mount Union and Youngstown State University, is a quality-control engineer at the General Motors Complex in Lordstown.
The Pilot for a Day program provides children with chronic, life-threatening conditions a day of fun activities at the air station.
Ethan, who enjoys golf, playing the guitar and basketball, began his day by donning an official Air Force air crew uniform with his parents’ help and learning the official Air Force handshake.
At his swearing-in ceremony, Ethan’s parents placed his second-lieutenant bars on his shoulders, and his grandfather, Tom Hoffman of Boardman, who was a weapons mechanic at the 910th from 1970 to 1976, placed dog tags around Ethan’s neck.
Among activities planned for Ethan were a ride in the cockpit of a C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft as it taxied along the runway; firing a water cannon aboard a base fire-department crash rescue truck, and trying on air crew life-support equipment.
The Youngstown Air Reserve Station Base-Community Council is the financial sponsor of the program. Its representative, Marty Campa, presented Ethan with a 1/100th scale model of a C-130H with his name above the door.
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