Final wish: Vietnam vet granted motorcycle escort - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Final wish: Vietnam vet granted motorcycle escort

Ladner said deBie is overwhelmed and happy after seeing the large crowd of people who turned out to support him. (Photo source: WLOX) Ladner said deBie is overwhelmed and happy after seeing the large crowd of people who turned out to support him. (Photo source: WLOX)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A terminally ill Vietnam veteran received his final request Monday, as dozens of bikers from all over the Southeast escorted him to the Biloxi VA hospital from Gulfport Memorial.

Hancock County resident Teresa Ladner said she and her family have taken in Army veteran Martin deBie as their own for the past several years.

"He's just so happy that everybody came out for him and showed him he's not alone. I just need to let him know he's not forgotten. None of the veterans are. His family gave up on him, but we didn't," said Ladner.

Ladner said deBie went to the hospital for a broken hip a month ago, only to be diagnosed with cancer that had spread throughout his body.

He was being treated at Memorial Hospital Gulfport, but needed to be transferred to the Biloxi VA Hospital.

When deBie knew he'd be moving locations, he requested an escort from biker groups, like the Patriot Guard Riders, Bikers for Trump, and the Christian Motorcycle Association. Ladner helped make it happen.

"There's no words to describe it, but it's a wonderful experience," said deBie

Ladner said deBie is overwhelmed and happy after seeing the large crowd of people who turned out to support him. Before he got sick, motorcycle riding was one of his favorite things to do.

"All the people that showed up, they're his family, too. He knows this is going to be his last ride, so we ought to make it good," said Ladner.

"I sure wasn't expecting it, but I had a little help,” said deBie.

Thomas Bessonette, with the Patriot Guard, said he's honored to ride for deBie, who wanted to see his biker friends and hear the motors one last time.

"I knew we were coming here to let the guy see what he requested.  It's not often that we give a ride while they're still alive, so it's humbling," said Bessonette.

Ladner tells us doctors said deBie could have anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to live.

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