WICHITA, Kan. — A soldier stationed in Hawaii flew to Wichita for his military promotion so that his ailing grandfather could participate in the ceremony.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Army nurse practitioner Jason Marquart was promoted to lieutenant colonel on Dec. 27 in front of the Korean War Memorial in Veterans Memorial Park. He made special arrangements for the ceremony to take place in Wichita because his grandfather, Marvin Keeler, couldn’t travel due to health complications.
“My grandfather is my male role model in my life, and he’s the only one I’ve had,” Marquart said.
He also flew his commanding officer and her husband to Wichita for the ceremony.
“I don’t think many people would spend thousands of dollars to fly someone in just so their grandpa could be involved,” said Monica Keeler, Marvin Keeler’s wife.
Marvin Keeler served as a Marine in Korea from 1951 to 1954. He participated in Marquart’s promotion by pinning an insignia on his grandson’s uniform.
Keeler said he’s proud of how far his grandson has come.
“He just took what was available and pursued,” he said.
The ceremony took place in front of the Korean War Memorial in Veterans Memorial Park.
“I wanted to find a landmark that honors both previous service and my grandfather,” Marquart said. “As a Korean War vet, a Marine Corps Korean War vet, he deserves as much recognition for his service as I do for any service that I do.”