Picture this: eleven-year-old Blaine from Mississippi arrives at the Alaska State Trooper post on a sunny morning in Alaska. For Blaine, it was a long and arduous journey to that day. While battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia for more than a year, Blaine watched the television show Alaska State Troopers to take his mind off of treatments and medical visits. He was inspired by the bravery of the troopers, and in awe of the mountains, rivers, and wilderness of the 49th state. He dreamed about feeling strong and having the courage to be out in the Alaska wilderness. That’s why when presented with a wish, he knew he wanted to travel to Alaska and be an Alaska State Trooper for the day.
When Blaine arrived at the trooper post, he didn’t know exactly what he had in store for the day. First things first, he raised his right hand and took the officer’s oath along with the other officers at the station. He also received a proclamation from Alaska State Governor Bill Walker designating him an honorary trooper for the day. Blaine toured the office and tested the sirens on the trooper truck. Then he set off with some of his favorite troopers—out on patrol. “The Alaska State Troopers treated him like gold,” said Blaine’s mom, Kim. “Everything was perfect.”
Next stop: fishing license patrol. Along with the troopers, Blaine cruised one of the most popular salmon fishing spots—the Deshka River—and checked fishing licenses. He even handed out free ice cream cone gift certificates to kids wearing life jackets while fishing! After the patrol, Blaine and his family traveled via boat to a remote cabin where the Alaska State Troopers served him a barbecue lunch in the sun. Eagles soared overhead, and a cool breeze kept the mosquitoes away as Blaine’s wish came true.
One of the best parts came last. A helicopter buzzed overhead and landed on a gravel spit just across from the lunch spot. Blaine was invited to finish the day by taking flight and patrolling the area from the sky. He glimpsed moose from above and even landed in a remote town called Skwentna to meet the locals. One of the best parts of the experience was realizing how much the troopers enjoyed their day. Sgt. Doug Massie of the Mat-Su West Post for Wildlife Troopers not only felt honored to make wishes came true, he felt inspired by Blaine’s courage. “For someone in his condition, fighting the fight he’s fighting, to want to spend the day with us, is pretty amazing...I’m honored.”
It was a day of honor and adventure. “I can’t explain it,” said Blaine’s dad. “It’s just wonderful seeing Blaine light up.” Thanks to the amazing Alaska State Troopers for calling Blaine to duty, they made his wish one to remember for many years to come as Blaine completes his cancer treatment. Although Blaine finished his treatment in February, the thrill of his dream coming true continues to bring him strength, hope and joy--as illustrated by the fact he frequently wears his Alaska State Troopers shirts and hats to school.
Story by Hannah Moderow