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Former Navy SEAL helps boy with rare genetic disorder become elite soldier for a day

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mason Rudder suffers from a rare genetic disease that affects his muscles and joints, but that didn't stop the 6-year-old from training with a former Navy SEAL on Monday.

George and Suzanne Rudder of Missouri took their son, who suffers from Escobar syndrome, to Asymmetric Solutions, a company that provides tactical and firearms training for military personnel and law enforcement agencies, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. While there, former Navy SEAL Jared Ogden, operations manager at Asymmetric Solutions, essentially made the boy an elite war fighter.

Mason conducted a number of training exercises during the course of the day, including a "mission" to assault a hideout of a "Taliban" high-value target (a mannequin) with the help of his team.

"Team Mason" successfully cleared three rooms and killed its target, the Post-Dispatch reported.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Ogden pinned a SEAL Trident on Mason's sweatshirt and told him to "wear that with pride."

The boy's family says that his fascination with SEALs stems from his uncle's service in the Navy as a SEAL and his grandfather's in the Air Force.

"He's all boy," Mr. Rudder, 36, told the Post-Dispatch.

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