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FORT KNOX, KY. (WDRB) -- A teenager from Belgium is enjoying the experience of a lifetime in Kentuckiana, as the U.S. Army makes the young man's wish come true.
Antoine Brisbois has bone cancer. But despite being from Belgium, his lifelong dream is to experience the life of a soldier in the U.S. Army. Now he is living that experience.
For most 17-year-olds, a video game is as close as they'll get to operating a high-tech bomb disposing robot. But Brisbois got to do the real thing.
The Make a Wish Foundation arranged the trip. "Every child has a different reason why they choose their wish," says Emily Denholm of Make a Wish. "They have a different journey, they have different reasons for what's going to bring joy to their lives. For Antoine, you know, his grandfather's stories are really what inspired his love for the U.S. Army."
His grandfather fought Nazis as part of the Belgian resistance during World War II. Since then, Brisbois, who speaks only French, has idolized the U.S. Army. He says, "I had experienced the American army only in books and in movies, and I wanted to see it for real."
Fort Knox has gone all-out to make his dream real -- from his own genuine army uniform to genuine army food. Col. John Box, Commander of the 3rd Recruiting Brigade, explains, "Antoine could have picked anything in the world as his make a wish. He could've decided anything he wanted. And he chose to be a United States Army soldier. And that says a lot about our army profession. It says a lot about our military."
And was the experience all he could have imagined? "Yes," he says, "and even more."
Antoine and his family return to Belgium on Saturday. He'll go back as a commissioned honorary lieutenant in the U.S. Army.