Veterans get back in the air decades after they served - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Veterans get back in the air decades after they served

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

Military veterans who served the nation by air were able to take to the skies once again because of a special opportunity.

The group of veterans were taken on a dream flight in Oxford on Thursday. One member of the group flew in WWII, but has not stepped foot on a plane for decades.

The veterans flew in a biplane. It was the first time many of them had flown since they served.

The half-dozen veterans were given the opportunity as part of the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation. It's where a national non-profit organization honors senior military veterans living in senior homes by providing them a dream flight in a fully restored Boeing Stearman Biplane.

To make the day even more special, Tuesday marked the 2,000th passenger of the program.

Llyod Smith, 93, is a retired U.S. Army Air Corp Staff Sgt and was a WWII ball turret gunner. He is also a former P.O.W.

For him, the flight was like being in a time machine.

"I remember taking my first flight," Smith said. "This is almost the same way, because it's been a lot of years."

For founder and pilot Darryl Fisher, that is the entire purpose of the program.

"We're doing it to say, 'thank you' for their service and sacrifice for our country," Fisher said.

Fisher said when he started the foundation in 2011, all he wanted to do was to show veterans appreciation in some kind of way. Now, he is able to do much more than he dreamed to say 'thank you.'

"It's a very, very special day because when we gave our first flight I had no idea it would ever become this," Fisher said.

He took his experience as a pilot and combined it with his father's restored Biplane to give flights that these veterans will never forget. The sound of the engine, according to Smith, makes it one of the greatest days in their lives.

"I appreciate it. It was quite an honor," Smith said.

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