One senior living facility in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania went above and beyond to honor and thank their residents who served in World War II this past week, by taking them up into the skies in historic, tribute flights in authentically restored WWII-era biplanes. Surviving World War II heroes from the local community took to the skies on Tuesday, August 17, as proud recipients of honorary, Dream Flights.
The flights were conducted by non-profit organization Dream Flights, and were part of Operation September Freedom, the largest US barnstorming event of its kind, which aims to recognize and honor brave individuals who defended our country in WWII. Operation September Freedom will run from August 1 through September 30, with Dream Flights planning to fly nearly 1300 WWII veterans in cities and towns across the US in that 60-day period.
Among the participants were Willie Jones and Floyd Segner, residents of Spring Mill At Phoenixville, PA, whose parent company, Discovery Senior Living, recently began a three-year partnership with the Dream Flights organization.
Both Discovery Senior Living and Dream Flights have spoken about Operation September Freedom quite possibly representing the nation’s last, great opportunity to honor WWII veterans and capture and share their stories with future generations. Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, only an estimated 100,000 remain living today, with the youngest WWII veteran being age 95 in 2021.
Discovery Senior Living is a family of companies that include Senior Living Care Facilities and Medicare-Certified Home Healthcare Companies. With almost three decades under their belt, the group is continuing to build and develop across the United States. One of their main focuses is the innovative “Experiential Living” philosophy. Discovery Senior Living is a recognized industry leader for lifestyle customization and ranks among the 10 largest U.S. Senior Living Operators and Providers.
Dream Flights is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to honoring seniors and military veterans by providing them the experience of a lifetime. The organization provides 20-minute Dream Flights in its fleet of restored Boeing Stearman open-cockpit biplanes, the same aircraft used to train many military aviators in the late-1930’s and early-40’s. Dream Flights also helps veterans tell their stories, close the generation gap, and help promote a clearer understanding of ourselves and the world. Dream Flights’ newest initiative, called Operation September Freedom (OSF), is designed to specifically honor surviving WWII veterans throughout a two-month mission to fly as many of them as possible from August 1 through September 30.