MESQUITE, Nev., Nov. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. Army veteran on hospice care defied the odds in the early morning of Nov. 4 at Mesquite Municipal Airport. With a bit of help from nonprofit Dream Flights' crew, 93-year-old Earl Lee climbed out of his wheelchair and into the cockpit of a restored WWII-era biplane, where he strapped in for a 20-minute flight 1,000 feet in the air, courtesy of nonprofit's founder and pilot Darryl Fisher. "The joy on Earl's face and his family's was priceless," he said.
"Our senior veterans have given us so much, starting with our freedom. The least we can do is give them an unforgettable experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives," said Fisher. "For many, a Dream Flight is their last hoorah."
Lee was among eight veterans honored from Mesa Valley Estates Senior Living, a Mission Senior Living community located in Mesquite. This is the community's fourth year partnering with Dream Flights.
"You're never too old to dream and you're never too old to have a day, just for you, that's full of magic and the people you love," said Mission's Vice President of Operations, Sarah Green. "With Dream Flights, we're enhancing the lives of our residents and recognizing our nation's veterans for their service and sacrifice."
Dream Flights pilot volunteers have given nearly 6,000 Dream Flights since 2011. Last year, Dream Flights honored 891 World War II heroes during a historic 61-day Operation September Freedom Tour, the first and last national event to honor members of the greatest generation, said Fisher.
Dream Flights concludes its 2022 Tour on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the First Annual Veterans Appreciation Day at Castroville Airport, 10500 Airport Road. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., Dream Flights will honor veterans, the oldest 91, who served in Vietnam, Korea and the Cuban Missile Crisis, with Dream Flights in a restored open-cockpit biplane.
Dream Flights are always free to veterans and their families. The nonprofit based in Carson City, Nev., relies on the generosity of sponsors, including Sport Clips Haircuts, corporate donors and individual donations to cover the cost of operating and maintaining its fleet of 6 Stearmans. Donations can be made via Dream Flights' Facebook. Visit www.dreamflights.org or watch "Dream Flights Journey" on YouTube.
Photo Credit David Boyarski
SOURCE Dream Flights
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