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Dying veteran will be granted final wish: to see 'Last Jedi'

Union Leader Correspondent

December 14. 2017 12:55AM
Ron Villemaire, 69, will be escorted to the new "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" by fire crews from two communities on Saturday. (Kimberly Houghton/Correspondent)

Rob Villemaire and his daughter, Elizabeth Ngo, are thanking members of the New Boston and Bedford fire departments who will be transporting Villemaire, a hospice patient in Bedford, to the new Star Wars movie this weekend. (Kimberly Houghton/Correspondent)

BEDFORD — A dying veteran says his heart is overwhelmed after learning that his final wish — to view the newest “Star Wars” movie — will be granted this weekend.

The New Boston and Bedford fire departments have worked together to ensure that Ron Villemaire will have medical assistance, transportation and constant care during the nearly three-hour movie.

“I have been a Star Wars junkie since the movie first came out in 1977. I was totally hooked,” Villemaire said Wednesday from his hospice bed at Bedford Hills Center.

Villemaire is struggling with stage-four colon cancer, which has spread to his lungs, kidneys and bones. Although he cannot sit in a typical movie theater seat, Villemaire’s daughter has been on a mission to find a way for her father to watch “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which opens Friday.

The Bedford and New Boston departments will provide him with ambulance transportation to ONeil Cinema in Epping on Saturday afternoon, and offer him a special cot that will enable him to lie down to watch the entire movie — a necessity for the 69-year-old veteran.

Medics will be on hand to assist him throughout the afternoon, and his hospice facility has offered to have a licensed nursing assistant available during the field trip.

“This has been fantastic. I get more excited every day,” said Villemaire, who praised his daughter’s online mission to help grant his final wish.

He has read all of the Star Wars books and is completing “Rebel Rising” before he starts the just-released “Canto Bight.”

“I can’t think of a dying wish that anyone would be granted that would be better than this,” Villemaire said of his upcoming viewing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Villemaire knows that he will miss the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy but is optimistic the latest movie will provide him with some clues and hints about the final film.

“Hopefully God will grant my wish and I will see that one in heaven,” he said. “But right now I am in seventh heaven. I could not have imagined this would happen for me.”

Villemaire said his daughter, Elizabeth Ngo, would not give up. She was determined to find a way for her father to watch the movie.

“Everything has spiraled at this point and we are so happy,” said Ngo.

Villemaire, who served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force and two years in Vietnam, says he is one of the lucky ones.

“I have never even won the Powerball even though I play, but I consider myself one of the richest men on earth with the friends and family that I have. I am perfect,” said the man who has been given a few weeks to live. “I am not letting this thing get me down.”

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