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  • J. Olson

Dying Army Vet Gets His Final Wish, Does Tank Gunnery One Last Time

Army Veteran Jay Tenison, a true hero in every sense of the word, is facing his most challenging battle yet - a fight against stage IV stomach cancer. Despite the grim prognosis and the shadow of illness looming over him, Tenison's spirit remains unbroken. His final wish? He wanted to relive his glory days as a tank gunner.


Tenison, who dedicated his youth to serving as a tanker in the Army, harbors an unwavering love for the mounted community. He outlived his initial prognosis, but his health has since taken a turn for the worse. Doctors had given him a heart-wrenching prognosis of just 3 to 6 months to live (as of the original publication of this article).

US Army veteran

A Tale of Bravery, Love for Country, and a Lasting Legacy

Tenison's story is about resilience, bravery, and an undying love for his career. He stands tall among famous army veterans who have shown that pursuing one's dreams is paramount, even in adversity. His story is a stark reminder that life is fleeting, but the legacy we leave behind can echo through eternity.


Essentially, it's not just about being an Army veteran for Tenison. It's about the bonds he formed, his experiences, and the lessons he learned along the way. It's about hearing the "thunder of doom" one last time and passing the torch to those who will follow in his footsteps.


Tenison's Final Wish: A Tribute to Glory Days and Passing the Torch

At Fort Moore, Georgia, Tenison's poignant final wish to relive his tank gunner days inside an Abrams MBT came to fruition. Here, he engaged in offensive and defensive engagements, reclaiming the 'thunder of doom' he once cherished. This momentous opportunity stands as a testament to the unbreakable bonds within the armor community, a testament to the solidarity among revered army veterans.


This opportunity has been made possible through the concerted efforts of the armor community, a testament to the tight-knit nature of these famous army veterans.


In Tenison's own words, he describes being a tanker, "Being in a tank is like being in a different world. You feel the power, the thunder of doom. It's an experience like no other." His passion for his service is palpable, testament to the mounted community's deep significance for this seasoned soldier.


But Tenison's journey isn't solely about fulfilling his final wish. He also hopes to impart career advice and offer perspective on life to those entering the Army with a single-enlistment plan. His experiences, both during his service and in his battle against cancer, have endowed him with unique insights that he is eager to share with the next generation of soldiers.


"I want to tell them to cherish every moment. Life is unpredictable, but it's the choices we make that define us," Tenison said. "I chose to serve my country, and I wouldn't change a thing."


US Army veteran
Jay Tenison, a retired Armor Crew Member battling stage IV stomach cancer, visits the Maneuver Center of Excellence to fire his final shot from an Abrams Main Battle Tank. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, MCoE Photographer)

As we honor Jay Tenison's service and courage, we are reminded of the army veterans meaning – people who have served their country with honor, bravery, and unyielding dedication. They have put their lives on the line for our freedom and safety. In the end, they are the ones who remind us of the power of dreams, the strength of the human spirit, and the importance of living each day to the fullest.


Jay Tenison embodies the spirit of army veterans - relentless, brave, and unwavering in the face of adversity. His story is a testament to the power of dreams and the strength of the human spirit. As he was granted his wish of hearing the "thunder of doom" one last time, he leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those he has touched, reminding us of the true meaning of service, sacrifice, and honor.


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