Never say that members of the military are hardened career-killers whose only focus is warfare. The men and women of America's military are honor-filled, loyal Americans who do what they have to in defense of the freedoms we all enjoy.

As evidence of that honor, the Marine Corps, perhaps the most highly-regarded and elite group of the Armed Forces, recently showed its heart and soul by bestowing the title of honorary Marine on an 8-year-old boy who has suffered more than most of us will suffer in a lifetime.

Wyatt Gillette is an example of the kind of bravery that the Marines demonstrate. The young boy has struggled with a genetic disorder since the time he was born and recently both of his kidneys stopped working.

Instead of giving up, Wyatt has persevered and shown his courage, much like his father who is a drill instructor with the Marines.

"I hope this small gesture will bring Wyatt and his family a bit of joy during their tremendous battle," said Marines Commandant Gen. Robert Neller. "Wyatt is the epitome of Semper Fidelis, and we are hoping and praying for him and his family."

Since the honorary Marine program was instituted in 1992, only 96 people have been given the honor of representing the Marine Corps honorarily. Wyatt's parents and family are overjoyed at the recognition.

"He has fought harder in the last almost eight years than I will ever have to. If I earned the title, I believe he has as well," said Wyatt's father, Jeremiah Gillette.

Wyatt is currently at home in California undergoing dialysis. His family estimates that this young soldier only has a few weeks left to live.

It's inspiring to see the fighting spirit of people like Wyatt. He deserves every honor that comes with being a Marine.

For information about donating to help the Gillette family cover funeral expenses, please visit

h/t: Military Times

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