Heroes meet

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Bob Sommer
  • 934 Airlift Wing Public Affairs
In the wind and rain of a gloomy UTA Saturday, with no fanfare, music or speeches two heroes met face to face for the first time.
Almost three years ago Air Force Reserve Capt. Robert Wilson, pilot 302nd Airlift Wing. Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. donated lifesaving bone marrow to then 7 year old Alexander, or "A.J." Neppl of Apple Valley, Minn. Today due to mission requirements and a little bit of luck, Wilson ended up at the 934th Airlift Wing and a meeting of Wilson, A.J and his family took place. Wilson waited for the Neppl family at the main gate, while watching for the families car he said," I am excited to meet him, just really, really excited." The feeling was more than mutual. Once the two saw each other an instant connection was made. The group exchanged some pleasantries, Wilson then whisked them away to the flight line for a tour of a C130 Hercules and student pilot training. A.J's voice was heard loud and clear as he conducted a radio check with base operations. Each family member was assigned crew positions in the cockpit, after running through preflight checklists the next stop was to take a look around the aircraft inside and out.
After the tour A.J had a few surprises for Wilson. A.J had made an origami "fortune teller", oddly when you opened it to see the fortune it was blank. A.J. said, "I did not write a fortune inside because I want you to create your fortune." Next was a poster with photos of events in A.J's past three years, including one of the drip bag of bone marrow that Wilson had donated. A.J said, " And this is your bone marrow, well, our bone marrow."

Wilson and the Neppl family have said they really want to keep this relationship going for years to come, and by the light in everyone's eyes there is no doubt that this meeting was only the beginning of long and lasting friendship.