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Make-A-Wish foundation helps Valley boy become a fighter pilot for a day

Liam Marshall has always dreamed of being a fighter pilot and, thanks to Make-A-Wish Arizona, that dream came as true as possible.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Liam Marshall has always dreamed of being a fighter pilot and is a bit of an enthusiast when it comes to fighter jets. And now thanks to Make-A-Wish Arizona, his dream came as true as possible.

He was diagnosed with a critical form of Epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and was chosen as a Make-A-Wish kid by the Arizona chapter. Then Liam's dream was ready for take off.

“Today, we are sponsoring Liam and his family as part of Make-A-Wish foundation, to make his wish come true to be a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot,” said Lt. Col. Tom Hayes, who commands the 61st Fighter Squadron.

Promising to live up to the values of a fighter pilot: Bravery, integrity, self-discipline, focus, and being a patriot, Liam was made an honorary Lieutenant and of the 61st Squadron, housed at Luke Air Force Base.

Liam was shown his F-35 fighter plane, and with the help of some more experienced pilots, inspected the plane for flight. While Liam may not be allowed to actually fly the plane, the 61st designated the plane in Liam’s name, as well as the insignia for the flight.

“What everyone here has done for him today is magical,” said Megan Marshall, Liam’s mother.

Lt. Liam Marshall was led out to the runway to watch the two F-35s take off.

“So cool!” was about all Liam could say.

As the Liam-1 flew overhead, the pilot hit the afterburner and gave the wings a shake. Something that Liam recognized as a greeting from one pilot to another.

“Just all them memories that are happening right now, that’s going to stick with him for a long time, we really appreciate it,” Megan Marshall said through tears. “It means a lot, so thank you!”

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