These events would be considered life changing to anyone else, but Ian's life changing experience occurred in July 2009, when the high school football star learned he had brain cancer; and again in September 2010, when after being in remission, he learned he had a new growth of cancer and that surgery was no longer an option.
For most people the news would be devastating, but for Ian it was an opportunity to see and do what he had always dreamt of. On Dec. 15 Ian and his father traveled from Pensacola, Fla. to White Sands Missile Range for an aerial tour of the testing site and the White Sands National Monument.
"I've had doctors tell me how long I had to live...and how bad my cancer was, but I just kind of put it past me and live each day for what I have now," Ian said, in a previous TV interview.
Ian's father, Kenneth Lockwood, the director of engineering for the Long Range Systems Division at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., requested to bring his son along on a mission at WSMR so that he could see the mission with his son.
The mission was a test of a continuing assessment of the Joint-Air-to-Surface Missile. Though the test had to be cancelled due to severe winds, Ian and his father were still able to get an aerial and ground tour of the testing site and the White Sands Monument, known for its pure white sand dunes.
Before visiting the testing site, Ian received a brief tour of WSMR and its facilities. The tour included a visit to the new 2nd Engineer Battalion Headquarters and the Battalion's Motor Pool area, where Ian was able to test Army equipment, under supervision.
"He looked like he was having a really great time, it felt good to spend some time with him and give back to the community," said Staff Sgt. Michael Anderson, Operations Sergeant for the 573rd Clearance Co.
Under supervision, Ian searched for Improvised Explosive Devices in a Buffalo vehicle, using the vehicle's Interrogation Arm. Ian was also given a brief overview on the weapons used for daily combat and their functions.
"I'd have to say that was my favorite part of the day," Ian said. "It was pretty cool."
After receiving an extensive tour of the Navy facilities, and lunch at the Frontier Club, Ian received a tour of Cherokee, the Air Traffic Control facility located inside Cox Range Control Center.
Prior to his flight, Ian met with the Installation Commander, Brig. Gen. John S. Regan, and Test Center Director, William Ellis. Each awarded Ian a commemorative coin. Helicopter Pilot Jon D. Edwards and Co-Pilot, Randall Gyllespie, presented Ian with an official Army Air Division Pilot Suit, with his nametag stitched on. The flight, which only a handful of people get to take, was Ian's first helicopter ride.
"I just want to the thank everyone. I know how much it took to put all of this together. I really appreciate it," Kenneth said.
After getting a bird's eye view of the testing site, Ian, his father, and JASSM Test Director, Kenneth Bandy, toured the area on foot, looking for pieces of metal from previous tests. For Ian it was an opportunity to get a bigger piece of metal than his father had brought home for one of his siblings following a test. Both Kenneth and Bandy explained the logistics of the site and how tests are usually conducted, and what it takes to capture it on film.
"I had always wanted to come out here, but I never thought I'd get the opportunity to," Ian said.
Back home, Ian is class president and co-captain of his high school football team, the Raiders. Ian played his last game Oct. 8 after being informed he would need to undergo double treatments since surgery would not be enough. In his last game of the season Ian scored two touchdowns and his team won by twenty nine points. The Raiders have had their best season in school history, and according to the area media outlets, attribute their success to Ian's spirit in the face of adversity.
"We're all a real close group of guys. With my situation, I've made them realize what they had," Ian said. "They wanted to do good because they knew I might not be able to play next season."
Ian was invited to the Outback Bowl as the guest of honor. He said he would visit his family in New York after the Bowl and then go skiing in Colorado. Ian said his plans are to finish high school and continue to study either communication or nursing. Ian recently received an acceptance letter to Florida State University.