Veterans help Rockford teen cancer survivor live dream at Army surplus store

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford teenager who dreamed of service in the United States Army had his dreams sidelined by cancer. Now in remission, a group of local veterans teamed up to give him a shopping trip at Rockford Army Surplus Store.

Ruger Taylor said his Wednesday trip to the store, located at 2305 Charles Street, was like going to his version of Candyland.

“It’s hard to choose, out of everything there,” he said. “It’s just a lot of stuff to take in, in terms of stuff to buy, stuff to show off or stuff to display, it’s a little hard to choose.”

David Bobik, owner of the store said Taylor was invited to pick out anything he liked after a group of local veterans got together to raise funds for a shopping spree.

“He wanted to be in that military service,” Bobik said. “If this is something that we can do to make his day a little better, and maybe hopefully get him towards that goal, great.”

Army veteran Nick Parmello said of Taylor, “It kind of makes you want to cry, how much they appreciate the veterans.”

Bobik let Taylor take M1161 Growler fast attack vehicle out for a spin.

“It was really great driving [it],” Taylor said. “It’s not like any of the new cars. It’s really solid and drives smoothly.”

Taylor underwent chemotherapy to fight his cancer. “Once I get the okay to join, then I think I’ll be joining,” he said. “My dad served in the Airborne. I don’t think my mom will let me join the Airborne, but I’ll still join the military to help out.”

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