Dream Flights honor veterans with free flight in open-cockpit biplane in Pineville
The following has been provided by Hilltop Nursing & Rehabilitation Center:
Non-profit Dream Flights landed at Esler Regional Airport on Nov. 8 to honor seniors and veterans from various nursing homes in the Central and North Louisiana areas.
Local facilities that participated in Dream Flights included Hilltop Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pineville and Naomi Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria.
The first flight began at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov 8, at Freeman Holdings at Esler Regional Airport in Pineville.
Dream Flights’ mission is to give back to those who gave. During their 20-minute flight, Dream Flyers experienced the freedom and exhilaration of soaring 1,000 feet in the air in an iconic, open-cockpit-biplane.
“The magic of a Dream Flight is an exhilarating experience, one that stays with them until their last days,” said Dream Flights founder Darryl Fisher. “They take off in the Stearman at 95 or 100 years old and they land feeling 25-30 years younger.”
Dream Flights has honored close to 6,000 veterans and seniors living in long-term care communities since 2011. In 2021, Dream Flights launched Operation September Freedom, the largest barnstorming event in U.S. history and its first to honor veterans who served in a particular war. During the 61-day tour, Dream Flights landed in 333 cities/47 states to honor 891 World War II heroes with free Dream Flights.
Dream Flights pilots, who primarily fly for major airlines and are active duty or retired military veterans themselves, volunteer their time to fly these veterans in the country’s largest fleet of restored/fully operational Stearman bi-planes.
Dream Flights are always free to participants. The organization relies on corporate sponsors, donors and individual donations to support its mission of giving back to those who gave. Tax-deductible donations and sponsorship opportunities are available at https://dreamflights.org/donate.
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