Dying Illinois Marine Vet Gets Last Wish


Marion – Terminally ill Marine Veteran Walter “Vernell” Holderfield has one last wish.  To ride on a Harley and feel the wind blowing against his face.

On Friday, the Marion VA Medical Center made sure Holderfield got his wish.  A ride on a Harley around the VA campus.

Jessica, an RN, and Monica, a CNA, got the ball rolling.  Soon many others on the VA staff were lending a helping hand.

Nearly 200 motorcyclists and supporters came out to take a ride.  It is his first ride on a motorcycle in nearly 10 years since he suffers from COPD. 

“There’s a reason for me to still be alive and I think this must be it,” Holderfield stated.  “I hope that this experience will be shared and it will inspire other Veterans to reach out and get help if they need it.”

Holderfield is 63 years old.

(Photographer: Williams Martinez.  Picture Courtesy of the Marion VA Medical Center.)

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