Mason Rudder peppered bullets from a fully automatic M4 rifle into a car, charged through a field while firing an AR-15, and helped build and set off a wall bomb that blew the door off a building.

Though Mason is no war hero, he got to feel like one Sunday. He is 6 years old and dreams of joining the Navy SEALs.

Mason’s parents, George and Suzanne Rudder, former St. Louis County residents who now live near Kansas City, surprised Mason for his birthday by driving across the state to a tactical training center near Farmington, Mo., to shoot and train with a former member of the Navy SEALs.

“He didn’t know until today,” said Suzanne Rudder, 36. “I think he was just stunned when we got here.”

Mason was born with a genetic disorder (Escobar syndrome) that causes limited movement and a decreased range of motion, his parents say. Mason is about 3½ feet tall and weighs just 32 pounds. Mason’s sister, Haley, 7, also has the disorder; their brother, Collin, 9, does not.

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Image courtesy of St. Louis Post Dispatch 

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