WAYNESBORO -- Cadets at Fishburne Military School honored 10-year-old Tripp Ryder, who was born with dwarfism.
His parents, Jamie and C.G. Ryder, want the best for him.
“We just want him to know he can do whatever he wants to do,” Jamie said.
Tripp went through surgery for his dwarfism in 2012.
Cadets called Tripp a hero for his bravery during surgery. That's why they made him deputy battalion commander for the day.
Carrie Miller-Blackburn, a math teacher at the school, helped organize the event for Tripp. She said cadets at the school can learn from him.
“He just took control and showed his charm, as he's always done, and the boys reacted just as I expected them to. They'll be talking about it for a long time to come,” Blackburn said.
“I just think it's great that these guys care," Jamie said. "I think a lot of people would not have expected it out of these cadets. I think they've been very sweet, very caring and kind, and it has just been really awesome."
Tripp had a message for other children who face challenges.
“I got through this, and they can get through whatever is going on with them,” Tripp said.
Cadets honored Tripp's courage, strength and heroism.
Tripp had a few words to say to those whom he considers to be heroes too.
“Thank you, and it was really, really, really, really, really, really fun.”
Fishburne Military School is one of the oldest military schools in Virginia. It has more than 150 cadets on campus.
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