It’s always a beautiful thing to see communities rallying behind their veterans, in ways both big and small.
Several towns in the state of New Hampshire clearly understand the concept of going above and beyond to show appreciation for our service people. When asked for help to grant the dying wish of one of our veterans, communities across the state worked together to make it happen.
Ron Villemaire, 69, is a Vietnam Air Force veteran who is terminally ill with late-stage colon cancer. While in hospice care in Bedford, New Hampshire, he spends his remaining days watching his favorite Star Wars movies and visiting with family.
His daughter, Elizabeth Ngo, knows how much the film franchise means to her dad, so she started a Twitter campaign to help fulfill his dying wish. Ron hadn’t missed a Star Wars premier since 1977, and he wasn’t about to start now!
Elizabeth had already bought tickets to take her dad to the movie, but by the time the release date rolled around, Ron was too sick to get out of bed. After tweeting out the story and asking for help, local news organizations got involved and several groups in the surrounding area stepped up to help make Ron’s dream become a reality.
First, Bedford Fire Department and New Boston Fire Department coordinated a safe transport for Ron from the hospice. O’Neill Theaters in Epping, New Hampshire, then offered to accommodate his hospital bed in one of their theaters, and the Epping Fire Department helped facilitate getting the bed in.
But the story doesn’t end there.
The firefighters who offered to help took their good deed one step further by arriving to transport Ron dressed up as Star Wars characters! Four stormtroopers and Darth Vader were on hand to greet Ron and make his day even more special.
A representative from the U.S. Air Force also paid Ron a visit and gifted him with a special pin to thank him for his service to our country, and a group of volunteers from the 501st New England Garrison showed up, in costume, to support Ron, as well!
On the day of the big show, Ron was escorted to the theater “under guard” of the stormtroopers. At the theater, he was greeted by the owners and a large crowd of relatives, including his daughter Elizabeth. Everybody cheered as Ron was wheeled into the theater to watch the movie.
As for Ron’s thoughts on the newest movie in his favorite franchise? He loved it and said it was the best one yet!
We’re so glad he got to see it, and it’s so heartwarming to know that people all across the United States would move heaven and earth to make one veteran smile.
Watch as Ron gets to meet Darth Vader, below, and don’t forget to share to make someone’s day!
— Tim Callery (@TimCalWMUR) December 16, 2017