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Local Veteran gets birthday trip to Fenway Park

Dreamer Stories | Dreams for Veterans | October 5, 2017

SOUTH KINGSTOWN—Donald Hunnicutt waited patiently outside South Kingstown Nursing and Rehab last Thursday, a Red Sox blanket draped over the back of his wheelchair and his veteran hat resting atop his head. It was Donald’s 93rd birthday, and he would spend the occasion with his family at Fenway Park watching his beloved Red Sox play the Yankees.

Sponsored by the Dream Foundation—which fulfills dreams for terminally ill adults—Thursday’s trip to Fenway included 12 tickets for Donald, his family and a caregiver and van transportation to and from the nursing home. His birthday cake was also given to the family by Allie’s Donuts and students at North Kingstown High School made a banner—which read “3 time veteran” and “happy 93rd birthday”— that traveled with the family to the game.

Donald’s son, Jim Hunnicutt, began filling out the application to the Dream Foundation in April. With Red Sox fandom running in the family, Jim knew exactly how his father would want to spend his big day.

“But I’m saying, ‘wait a minute, is he going to make it five months,’” said Jim, who explained that his father’s health has been on the decline for several years. “And he’s made it.”

If one thing is for certain, though, it’s that Donald has lived a full life. Originally from North Kingstown, he served for 24 years in the U.S. Navy and is a veteran of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Donald retired in 1966 from his career at Quonset.

An avid sports fan all his life, Donald has always held a particular fondness for baseball. The Boston Red Sox has always been his favorite team, and even in his deteriorating health he still enjoys cheering them on.