Dream Foundation to Grant La Mirada Navy Veteran’s Final Dream to Revisit Military Past, Visit Battleship Iowa
Dream Foundation – the only national dream-granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness – will fulfill hospice patient John Bock’s longtime dream to visit the Battleship USS Iowa.
Bock’s dream is being served by Dream Foundation’s new sub-program, Dreams for Veterans, which will launch officially in Fall 2015. The mission of Dreams for Veterans is to give back to terminally ill veterans and their families through the fulfillment of a final dream.
With a prognosis of six months or fewer due to heart disease, Bock, a 92-year-old La Mirada, California resident and World War II veteran, will take his wife, daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on a journey he’s been looking forward to for years.
Together they’ll board the (BB-61) USS Iowa, where they will receive a VIP tour and “admire the size of the ship and its guns,” Bock’s Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care social worker Emily Blicha wrote on his behalf in an application letter to Dream Foundation.
The tour will be 10 a.m., Saturday, April 18. At approximately 9:30 a.m. Bock and his family will arrive on site. Press is invited to attend.
Battleship USS Iowa is located at:
Pacific Battleship Center, USS Iowa BB-61
250 South Harbor Blvd., Berth 87, Los Angeles, CA 90731
Ph: 877-4-IOWA-61 (877-446-9261)
Bock served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, where his position was Gunner’s Mate (GM). “He took care of guns and ammunition and even handled torpedo warheads and bombs,” Blicha continues in the application letter. “John traveled a lot while in the service. He went from San Diego to Fallbrook and from there to the South Pacific.”
Originally from Iowa, Bock—who takes a great deal of pride in his service and comes from a line of decorated Navy veterans—first dreamt of visiting the USS Iowa six years ago when he felt the need to retrace memories of working on a similar battleship deck those many decades before.
According to Dream Foundation Executive Director Kisa Heyer, “Truly, it is an honor for us to serve those who have so bravely served our country. Mr. Bock’s final dream is a testament to his patriotism and sense of duty. We are proud to share in this momentous occasion.”
As Dream Foundation serves the final wishes of adults nationwide from one small office in California, the organization works with its corporate “Partners in Dreams” and affiliated volunteers to ensure dream experiences maintain a personal touch and sense of community. CKE Restaurants, Inc.—parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® brands—has been a longtime partner with Dream Foundation and pledges additional support to serve the final dreams of U.S. veterans as part of its annual Stars for Heroes™ fundraising campaign.
In addition to the VIP tour, Dream Foundation has provided Bock’s family with spending money for incidentals and lunch.