On Tuesday, April 16th, 2019, the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation took three Air Force Veterans from the Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home up in the air to experience the thrill of flight. All three Veterans flew out of San Antonio Stinson Municipal Airport in the cockpit of a Boeing-Stearman Model 75, the airplane used to train military aviators in the late thirties and forties.
Retired Senior Master Sergeant Ed Conrad, a 100-year-old Veteran, joined the Army Air Force at age 17 and served from 1935 to 1966. Completing tours during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was part of the 7th Bombardment Wing and is directly responsible for the regeneration of all B-52 aircraft returning from combat missions during the Vietnam War. Mr. Conrad served as a flight line supervisor and received Airman of the Year twice during his career in the Air Force.
Airman 2nd Class Bobbie Lyons served from 1956 to 1962 with the Air Force Air Police. He was stationed at McChord Air Force Base in Pierce County, Washington and Chennault Air Force Base in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he would meet the planes upon arrival.
Major Frank Burroughs enlisted as a Corporal in the Air Corp on January 1, 1951, completed his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He served from 1951 to 1972 during the Korean and Vietnam Wars as a jet pilot flying wounded soldiers in cargo jets to Travis Air Force Base. In April 1953, Burroughs was transferred to Nellis Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada where he met his wife, Ilene Hafner, at a church dance. He is extremely passionate about flying.
“It was so fulfilling to see them have this experience,” said Nanci Struble, VLB On-Site Representative. “Off they went into the wild blue yonder!”
The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization established and dedicated to seniors and United States Military Veterans living in long-term care facilities who have always had the burning desire to soar like an eagle. For these “Golden” individuals, this organization provides the opportunity to experience the thrill of flight.
“Today, many of our former United States military pilots live in senior communities. We want to take them back to a place in time when they were invincible, ruling the skies as proud military aviators.
Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is dedicated to every senior, living and deceased, that helped build this great nation. Let their memory live on in every DREAM FLIGHT flown from this day forward.” ~ Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation
Many thanks to KENS5 for covering this story.
The VLB Texas State Veterans Homes provide affordable, long-term nursing care for Texas Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents. Conveniently located across Texas, each first-class facility is designed to enhance quality of life with a clean, caring and dignified setting appropriate to those men and women who have served our country with honor.