Dream Foundation Fulfills Final Wish for one of the Last Living WWII USS Missouri Veteran
On the anniversary of VJ Day, 95-year-old Frank Borrell will to go back to the ship where he served and witnessed the surrender of Japan
Honolulu, HI – On August 31, Dream Foundation, the first national wish-granting organization for adults in the end stages of life, will fulfill Frank Borrell’s final dream − to visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Borrell, 95, served on the “Mighty Mo” as a Second Class Gunner’s Mate during World War II and witnessed the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945. His trip will coincide with the 65th anniversary of Japan’s surrender. Borrell suffers from lung cancer and has been given a 4-month prognosis of life.
Not only did Borrell serve aboard the USS Missouri from 1944 to 1947, he helped construct the ship prior to its launch and witnessed its commissioning in 1944. At the surrender, Borrell watched as Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and other Japanese officials signed the formal Instrument of Surrender in a ceremony presided over by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and involving representatives of 10 nations. Borrell owns a rare, priceless Surrender Card, an item given only to those who were present at the event, which he plans to donate to a memorial.
Last month Borrell and his daughter, Barbara Borrell, wrote to Dream Foundation with an urgent request to go back to the Missouri, now decommissioned and open to visitors as it stands perpetual watch over the sunken USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. “This trip will be a homecoming of sorts for my dad,” says Barbara Borrell. “He’ll be able to pay his respects to the brave men with whom he served – and the ship that has made such an impact on his life and service.”
Dream Foundation will be coordinating airfare for Borrell and his daughter from Orlando, Florida to Honolulu as well as accommodations during their 6-day stay, amongst other activities and tours.
“Frank is a living legacy and an American hero. As one of the few remaining veterans from our ‘greatest generation’ he is a treasure to the history and foundation of our country,” says Dream Foundation Founder, Thomas Rollerson. “Regardless of his prognosis, it’s almost our duty as a nation to see to it that Frank’s dream is beautifully acknowledged.”
Borrell and his daughter will be arriving to Honolulu on August 31, where he’ll receive a hero’s welcome. During his visit, Borrell will participate in the following activities:
- Sept 1 TBD: Make a personal visit to the USS Arizona Memorial, where he’ll pay his respects to his fellow service men. (Note Borrell has a brother-in-law who was buried with the ship.)
- Sept 2 8:00 – 9:30: Attend “The End of WWII” 65th Anniversary Ceremony at Ford Island
- Sept 4 8:00 – 10: Attend “Mighty Mo Legacy Breakfast to Honor Veterans” at Pacifica Beach Hotel
Borrell has been officially honored and inaugurated into five Veterans Museums. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1947, Borrell worked his way up through the ranks at IBM for 30 years until his retirement. He lives in retirement in Florida.
The timing of Borrell’s dream coincides with Dream Foundation fulfillment its 10,000th dream for adults battling life-threatening illnesses. As one of the only organizations that grants wishes to adults, dream recipients are 18-years or older, have been given a year or less prognosis, and meet certain financial criteria – ensuring resources are allocated to those who would not otherwise be able to afford their dreams.
CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, has adopted Frank’s dream as part of Dream Foundation’s 10,000 in ’10 Challenge and will assist with funding. CKE Restaurants, has been a Dream Foundation supporter for more than eight years.
For more information about the Battleship Missouri Memorial, visit ussmissouri.org.
ABOUT DREAM FOUNDATION’S 10,000 IN ’10 CHALLENGE
In 2010, 16 years after the fulfillment of its first dream, Dream Foundation will realize its 10,000th dream. In celebration of the 10,000 dream recipients – and their heartfelt final wishes – Dream Foundation is asking the national community to partake in the 10,000 in ‘10 challenge.
Honoring 10,000 fulfilled dreams; Dream Foundation is aiming to collect 10,000 gifts in 2010. Gifts can come by way of a contribution of $10 or more, 10,000 donated airline miles, 10 volunteer hours, and other “10-themed” gift options found on the Dream Foundation website at www.dreamfoundation.org.
“This is truly the best way we could honor our dream recipients,” says Rollerson. “Those who have had their dreams fulfilled are the most invested in seeing us to carry on our mission. So often we receive cards and humble donations from our dreamers beseeching us to help others. No one knows better the importance of the service we provide than they do,” adds Rollerson.