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NEWS | June 3, 2016

Terminally ill Navy veteran receives final wish

By Alun Thomas 63rd Regional Support Command

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- On behalf of Maj. Gen. Nickolas Tooliatos, the 63rd Regional Support Command presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Merle House, a retired Santa Clara Navy veteran, as part of a surprise ceremony made possible by the Dream Foundation, an organization that grants wishes for terminally ill patients, June 1, at a VA sponsored foster care facility in San Jose, Calif.

House, 87, is in the final stages of Parkinson’s disease and had made a request to the Dream Foundation to be reunited one last time with a close female friend in Palos Verdes, Calif., which was granted by the foundation.

The presentation of the ‘wish basket’, which contained the travel arrangements for his upcoming trip, was facilitated by the Santa Clara VA, which requested the presence of the 63rd RSC.

Retired Maj. Gen. Kent Hillhouse, standing in for Tooliatos, commanding general, 63rd RSC, who was unable to attend, represented the command and presented House with the certificate.

Also present was San Jose Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, who also recognized House with a certificate, honoring his 22 years of military service, which spanned the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Marion Moses, director, Santa Clara County, Office of Veteran Affairs, also presented House a special pin for his service in Vietnam and then informed him of his wish being granted and the impending travel.

House was visibly moved and smiled constantly, clearly honored at the deserved recognition. He received well wishes from all present and expressed his delight by stating how happy he was having his final wish being granted, offering a final salute as his parting gesture.