Trevor Pedersen is only 8 years old, but he knows what he wants to be: a soldier. Now, thanks to the generosity of his uncle’s U.S. Army regiment, he’s living his dream.
The young boy from Heber, Utah, has been obsessed with the Army as long as his family can remember. Unfortunately, Trevor also suffers from a very rare medical condition called primary familial brain calcification (PFBC). The Pedersens spent three years trying to figure out why Trevor was growing weaker, until a doctor finally diagnosed him with PFBC.
The disease causes calcium deposits to grow on the brain, disrupting signals to the body. It keeps parts of his body from functioning properly, meaning Trevor won’t be able to enlist in the military.
“It’s hard to describe because it is so rare,” Jackie Pedersen, Trevor’s mom, told local news station KSL. “There’s so little known about it. There are only 70 families in the world that are documented right now having it.”
When Trevor’s Uncle Erik found out about the diagnosis, he knew he had to do something for the little soldier. He offered to fly Trevor and his father to Germany, where he was stationed with the U.S. Army. Talk about going above and beyond!
“He couldn’t believe it,” Trevor’s father, Jason Pedersen, told KSL. “He was so happy. It was a moment of pride I’ve never felt before.”
Trevor got to spend three days as a soldier with the 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment. During his time in Germany, Trevor flew in a helicopter, stood in formation with the regiment, and took part in the Cavalry Spur Ride.
The Spur Ride is an arduous 12-mile training exercise, and it’s no small task for even the most elite soldiers. However, Trevor was undaunted by the hike.
“As we got going, mile one, mile two, his body started to react. His leg started cramping. You could see his footprints dragging into the sand where he was forcing himself to walk,” Jason said.
With 400 yards to go, Trevor started to cry and broke down.
“The soldiers behind him would not stop encouraging him,” Jason said. “Right when he was about to give up, he looked over to the hill and at the finish line saw soldiers standing up and cheering Trevor on and chanting his name.”
Thanks to the encouragement of the soldiers, Trevor finished the Spur Ride. For his effort, the regiment awarded Trevor a pair of silver spurs and made him an honorary member of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. His parents noted that he really learned a lesson in perseverance.
“I was a soldier for the past three days,” Trevor said. “That was cool, probably cooler than anything I’ve done.”
Trevor and the soldiers taught each other what it truly means to be “Army Strong.”
“I got to see something I would never get to see, and I got to do some things I never thought I would get to do,” Trevor said.