CHERRY RIDGE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As we approach the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a veterans service organization is helping members of the greatest generation take a trip back in time.
On this week’s veterans voices, it was the experience of a lifetime for a select few world wars, two veterans, from our area as they took to the skies once again.
For some of these veterans, it was their first time in a plane in more than 10 years, but this was no ordinary plane. The Boeing bi-plane was restored after its military use was over, but it was similar to planes used to train wartime pilots in the 1940s.
Dream Flights out of Nevada have flown more than 45,000 veterans since 2011 and their pilots say they get as much of a thrill out of the experience as their passengers.
“When they go up, they’re a little unsure of themselves, but when they get back they’re full of energy, it’s almost like you spun their clocks back 10 years,” said Dream Flight Pilot Marcus Smith.
“They were willing to give up part of their lives to protect us so we should honor them as much as we can,” said community volunteer Kim Erickson.
95-year-old Harold Hawley believes he’s going up in the air for all of those who can no longer do so.
“People tend to forget and this is certainly a way of remembering and there’s not too many of us left,” said Worl War II Veteran Harold Hawley.
“I was glad I had the privilege to fly and fight for them. I was a navigator in a B 24 Bomber during World War II,” said Carl Bell World War II Veteran.
Dream Flights will only be flying world war two veterans the rest of this year.