James Hall, 85, recently had his wish to attend the reunion of the Sixth Marine Division in Portland, Oregon granted, thanks to the generosity of many donors. One of only two surviving platoon members, Hall felt that this would be his last chance to attend the Marine reunion. Because he lives in a nursing facility on a fixed income, he could not afford the trip on his own. Twilight Wish worked hard to raise the funds to cover the travel expenses of Hall and his travel companion and fellow veteran, Bob Higgins. The two left from 30th Street Station on Monday, September 17, 2012 and were seen off by a group of Twilight Wish staff and volunteers.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hall was only 16, so he lied about his age and enlisted. He soon found himself on board a ship headed for combat in the South Pacific. His division landed on Okinawa in April of 1945 and during an attack by Japanese snipers, Hall was shot twice in the lower abdomen, leaving him temporarily paralyzed in the legs. Despite his injuries, he managed to crawl to another critically injured Marine and treated him, but the Marine died in his arms. For his bravery, Hall received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Click here to read the front page article in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to watch the coverage of the wish on WPVI.