Alabama war veteran, 95, gets ride on Dream Flights biplane
COVINGTON COUNTY Ala. (WSFA) - A World War II veteran got the treat of lifetime Wednesday at the South Alabama Regional Airport in Covington County. Richard Warnick’s big day began with ‘”America the Beautiful” from a trumpet player.
Then there was a military fight song for the 95-years-old veteran who served his country through WWII and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
“I used to do a lot of flying, helicopters,” said Warnick.
On Wednesday, this veteran took a plane ride he’ll never forget on a Boeing Stearman biplane, a two-seater with an open cockpit. Warnick sat in the front with his trusty pilot James Sims behind him.
“I do get to see them on a little mirror we have on the wing, and seeing them smile and give me a thumbs up, it just brightens up my day,” said Sims, a volunteer pilot for Dream Flights,
When asked if he was excited, Warnick said, “Always. Anytime you get to go for a plane ride, yeah, you better believe it.”
Dream Flights is an organization dedicated to honoring America’s heroes, with Warnick among them. He’s a recipient of some 20 service decorations, including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
The Dream Flights Foundation has six Stearman biplanes across the country, along with 75 volunteers, including 20 volunteer pilots.
The flight lasted all of 20 minutes over the countryside of Covington County. Afterwards, the old soldier took all it in stride. After all, it reminded him of the days of old when he was doing his part to win the war.
“It was taking off and circling,” said Warnick, when asked about what part he found best.
Dream Flights fulfilled another dream - Warnick’s dream of flying - once again. And he left his signature on the plane’s tail beside others who have also seen their dreams come true.
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