Georgia boy with inoperable brain tumors has life-long dream come true

A 10-year-old Paulding County boy, who doctors say has months to live, fulfilled a life-long dream Wednesday becoming an honorary member of the Georgia Air National Guard.

Justin Clinard was diagnosed last April with two inoperable brain tumors. That grim reality gave way to joy and pride as his family and schoolmates gathered to celebrate his induction.

Clinard and his family entered the gym at Ragsdale Elementary School in Rockmart to the first of many thunderous rounds of applause. It was a bright spot, his mother says, in an agonizing year since they learned of his cancer.

"It's very hard to wrap your head around a diagnosis like that and he is a very strong-willed child," said Justin’s mother, Amy Clinard.

Justin got to meet Captain America, but like many fourth-grade boys, what he really wants is to be just like his father.

"He has always wanted to be in the military ever since he was about 6 years old," his mother said.

Justin got his wish, thanks to the 283rd Combat Communications Squadron of the Georgia National Guard his father Scott used to be part of at Dobbins.

Justin took the oath as a command chief and received his certificate. They even had a uniform prepared for him that was just his size.

And there was more.  

Justin promptly received a promotion from the Assistant Adjutant General of the Georgia Air National Guard.

General Clinard led his classmates down the long hallway to playing fields where they enjoyed a flyover from a helicopter from Dobbins.

Justin beamed with pride and appreciation. So did his older brother Jordan.

"I never would have expected every single student in this whole school to get together just for him. I understand why though, because he is loving, is caring, doesn’t matter who it is, or where they come from" his brother said.

"He loves playing with our dogs, he’s just your average 10-year-old just taking in every moment of everyday," his mother said.

This day had many moments to savor.

"Thank you so much for being such an awesome community and seeing people share his story and what he's facing," his mother said.

Amy Clinard says the spark for Wednesday's celebration dates back to last summer, when her husband asked a friend in the 283rd whether they could bring Justin by for a tour. The family is beyond grateful it became so much more than that.