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MILITARY MATTERS: World War II veteran takes a Dream Flight in Alabama

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - A World War II veteran got the treat of lifetime at the South Alabama Regional Airport in Covington County, thanks in part to an organization called Dream Flights.

95-year-old Richard Warnick’s big day began with music, “America The Beautiful” then continued on the tarmac with a military fight song. Warnick is a WWll veteran who was also in the military during the Korean War and Vietnam.

“I used to do a lot of flying, helicopters,” Warnick said.

Recently, this Andalusia, Alabama veteran soared in a flight he’ll never forget in a Boeing Stearman bi-plane, a two seater, with an open cockpit. Warnick sat in the front with his trusty pilot behind him, James Sims.

“I do get to see them on a little mirror we have mounted on the wing and seeing them smile and giving me a thumbs up.. it just brightens up my day,” Sims said.

Dream Flights is an organization dedicated to honoring America’s heroes like Warnick, a recipient of some 20 service decorations including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Warnick’s flight lasted all of 20 minutes over the South Alabama countryside. The old soldier took all it in stride, asking for “one more.”

After all, it reminded him of the days when he was doing his part to win the war.

When asked his favorite part, Warnick said, “It was taking off and circling.”

He signed the plane for good measure. Across the nation, the Dream Flights Foundation has 75 volunteers, including 20 volunteer pilots.

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