Vietnam War veteran gets dying wish to visit Pearl Harbor

Updated: Mar. 25, 2015 at 9:55 AM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A dying Vietnam War veteran is realizing a longtime dream to visit Pearl Harbor.

Marine Corps veteran Joseph Hooker says he has less than two months to live because of heart disease and cancer. The Dream Foundation arranged for the 63-year-old to travel from his home in Essex, Maryland, to Hawaii.

Hooker plans to visit Pearl Harbor on Wednesday with his brother and sister-in-law. They're getting a private tour of the battleship USS Missouri.

Hooker says his dream stems from a 20-minute stop in Hawaii in 1971 on his way home from war. He was let off the ship just long enough to make a phone call and eat some ice cream.

He vowed to return "to honor the men and women that gave their life at Pearl Harbor."

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