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Dream Flights: Local veterans soar the skies in WWII biplane

URBANA — Local veterans got a chance to soar Urbana skies in a WWII-era biplane.

Nine fearless veterans took flight in a restored 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane at Grimes Field Airport, all thanks to the non-profit Dream Flights.

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“Our mission is to give back to those who have given, and we do that by giving free flights to veterans, senior veterans, that live in nursing homes, assisted living centers or retirement centers,” said Darryl Fischer, president of Dream Flights.

Family and friends got to watch as the WWII veterans, ranging in ages 75 to 98, got to experience an opportunity of a lifetime. The veterans are residents of the Ohio Masonic Home.

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“Personally, it brings back a lot of memories of when I was flying,” said 84-year-old veteran Ken Magill, “It’s amazing how much when you get up in the air, and you look at how symmetrical everything is, it’s just wonderful.”

Since 2011, Fischer has taken thousands of veterans up in 1940s Stearman Biplanes that were used to train pilots during World War II.

“I mean, these people, what they’ve done for us is amazing,” said Fischer. “The sacrifice—I just hardly can put it into words.”

Dream Flights also made an appearance at this year’s CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show, where people were allowed to explore the plane, as well as donate so veterans can keep going back up in the air.