With a life expectancy of just six months, Navy veteran Joseph Teeny turned to the Dream Foundation’s “Dreams for Veterans” program to fulfill his final dream.
In June 2022, Teeny, from Troutdale, Oregon, spent 10 days in Hawaii creating final and lasting memories with her family, thanks to the Dream Foundation, the only national organization that grants dreams to terminally ill adults.
Launched in 2015 to tailor the dream experience to veterans and their families, the program recognizes veterans. He honors their service by making their last dream come true, providing them, their families and caregivers with inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life.
In 2016, the foundation formed a strategic partnership with VA to improve the lives of veterans with life-threatening illnesses by facilitating positive events and providing motivational support.
Link to Lost Pearl Harbor Veterans
Teeny dreamed of visiting the islands with his wife, Reena, their adult children, Jasmine and Jacob, and their South Korean student, Joy, who they affectionately refer to as their bonus child.
Along with spending time with loved ones and celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary with Reena, Teeny dreamed of a visit to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. He served in the navy from 1991 to 1995 as a member of the hospital corps and feels a deep connection to his fellow sailors who lost their lives there.
A special tour was organized by the Dream Foundation and led by David “Duna” Hodge, another veteran who is community relations manager at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Prior to departure, Portland VA Acting Director Karla Azcuy, along with Tiffany Knight and Shaun Benson, honored and celebrated Teeny by hosting a Dream Delivery at the Teeny Residence in Troutdale, Oregon.
The Oregon Patriot Guard attended the dispatch
Knight and Benson are on staff at the Portland VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement.
In addition to presenting Teeny with a Dreams for Veterans challenge coin and pin, Knight and Benson arranged for Oregon Patriot Guard participation, a visit from Troutdale Mayor Randy Lauer, and airport limo service. when the family left for their dream trip. .
After their dream trip, Teeny said, “We had such a smooth trip. From the Dream delivery to the last day, everyone who helped really wanted to. The genuine love we received was amazing. The amazing people involved overdid what we could ask of them.