General for a Day

  • Published
  • By Airman Victoria Nelson
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

The 157th Air Refueling Wing enlisted Ciara Brill, a student at Little Harbour School, as an honorary member of the New Hampshire Air National Guard through the base tour program, the Pease Kids Corps, here, March 10.


 Nine-year-old Ciara has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an aggressive tumor at the base of her brain. Currently there is no known treatment for DIPG.  

 Ciara was welcomed onto the base by 200 Airmen and greeted by Col. James Ryan, 157th Wing Commander, Pease ANGB, N.H.


 “None other more exemplifies the spirit of true heroism, strength and courage than Miss Ciara Jean,” said Ryan.


 Donna Hall, the event coordinator explained the Pease Kids Corps is in place to give children diagnosed with a severe illness love and support through difficult times. Over 30 children have been welcomed onto Pease ANGB for their own special day.


 “It’s what we do here at Pease,” said Hall. “I get volunteers right away; everybody just wants to make sure these kids have a great day. And this is just a little bit of hope and love that we can give to these kids, and say ‘we are here to support you through your journey.’” 

 Ciara traveled around base as a four star general, marshalled a flight with a crew chief, extinguished a fire with the Pease firemen, arrested a man dressed as a gorilla with security forces and celebrated her day with a retirement ceremony.


 “We knew it would be an exciting day but we had no idea it would be this incredible,” said Harold Brill, Ciara’s father. “There has clearly been so much effort from everyone here. My mind is blown.”

Hall said it is enough just to see Ciara smiling and enjoying her day. She hopes the Pease Kids Corps events have had a positive impact on the children they have supported and given them hope and a reason to keep moving forward.

“If these events give them a little push to keep going, that makes everything worthwhile,” said Hall.

Ciara said she loved wearing her unicorn pink flight jacket, putting out the fire and watching all of the airplanes, especially hers.

“But my favorite part of the day,” said Ciara” “Was the whole thing.”

U.S. Air Force Col. James Ryan (left), 157th Air Refueling Wing commander, New Hampshire Air National Guard, recites the oath of enlistment to nine-year-old Ciara Brill, a student at Little Harbour School, with the help of Staff Sgt. Taylor Vondrasek, 157th recruiting member. Ciara was enlisted as an honorary four-star general and member of New Hampshire Air National Guard for the day through the Pease Kids Corps. Pease ANGB N.H. (N.H. Air National Guard photo by Airman Victoria Nelson)