Doctors estimated in September that Jay Tenison, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, had 3-6 months to live. One of the things on his bucket list was to fire a tank one last time.
Tenison, 39, is a former tanker who served from 2004 to 2008 on active duty and another five years in the Army Reserve. On Tuesday, he got to check that item off the list — he fired his last shot at Fort Moore, Georgia.
“It was everything I had hoped for, and went beyond my expectation,” he told Military.com. When asked how he did on the gunnery event, which included the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank engaging multiple targets, he said, “I killed everything.”
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It was the culmination of a major movement in the Army community to get Tenison into an Abrams tank one last time after he posted the request on Reddit late last year. He reported his hair had started falling out, he was growing increasingly fatigued and had lost at least 60 pounds.
“To me, this is one of the most special things I will do in command,” Col. Ryan Kranc, commander of the 316th Cavalry Brigade, which oversees training for cavalry and armor troops, told Military.com. “It's humbling.”
Tenison was also awarded the Order of Saint George, a unique and prestigious medal worn around the neck, given to cavalry and tanker soldiers for outstanding service.