SHREVEPORT, LA. – A heartwarming opportunity unfolded for veterans in Shreveport and Bossier, allowing them to relive an experience many had thought was behind them – the chance to take flight. This remarkable event took place on Tuesday at the Shreveport Downtown Airport, courtesy of Dream Flights.
Bruce Anderson, a former Air Force member, expressed his exhilaration, saying, “Jesus, it was great.” Seven veterans, hailing from various branches of the military, found themselves soaring through the skies in a meticulously restored World War II-era biplane.
For Robert Walls, an Army veteran who served as an E5, this experience was nothing short of extraordinary. He remarked, “It’s one of the best opportunities I’ve had since I’ve been in the home.” These veterans, all residing in nursing homes in Shreveport and Bossier, were given the opportunity to rekindle the spirit of their youth during the 20-minute flights, reaching heights of 1,000 feet in the air.
Dream Flight pilot James Sims expressed his profound belief in this unique initiative, stating, “I find the senior veterans that are out across our nation, they do get thanked, but this is the best possible way I’ve ever seen that we can actually say thank you to them in person.”
One poignant moment came when Robert Hagstrom, a World War II Army veteran, had the honor of signing the plane, leaving a lasting mark on this memorable event.
Those who play a role in making Dream Flights a reality are deeply grateful for the opportunity to express their gratitude to veterans. James Sims underscored this sentiment, saying, “I saw an opportunity to be able to say thank you to veterans across the country, and there’s no better way I’d rather spend my time.”
Since 2011, nearly 6,000 veterans have been fortunate enough to partake in the Dream Flights program, an initiative that continues to touch the lives of those who have served our nation.