SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A World War II Veteran was taken on the ride of his life. After nearly 70 years since his service, 97-year-old Cal Swagerty got the opportunity to take a ride in an aircraft from the era in which he served.
World War II Veteran Cal Swagerty had the opportunity to fly on a 1940’s Boeing-Stearman biplane. This made possible by Dream Flights, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring seniors and military vets across the country with an adventure of a lifetime.
“There’s six airplanes plus a training airplane that are piloted by volunteers. We have volunteer staff, schedulers, public relations, crew chiefs, mechanics. Everybody is virtually a volunteer because it’s in everybody’s heart to make this happen,” said Molly Littlefield, the pilot of the Boeing-Stearman biplane.
“So we kind of twisted his arm a little bit and convinced him to go on it today, and I think he’s real glad that he did,” said Betty Wood, the daughter of Swagerty.
The flight lasted nearly 15 minutes and traveled around Sioux City, with Swagerty circling over the Sergeant Floyd Monument and coasting above the Missouri River.
“You know, it’s a nice ride. I enjoyed it very much,” said Cal Swagerty.
Making memories Swagerty and his family won’t forget.
“Well, it’s pretty emotional I must say, he never talks about his service, and so I think this is probably the most I’ve seen of any of it. So this has been great for him and us,” said Wood.
Dream Flights have scheduled more than 1,300 flights across the country between August and September.