Local Military Vets Soar Above Santa Barbara

Source: The Samarkand

Ten military vets and aviation enthusiasts, ages 68-89, took off from Santa Barbara Airport on Oct. 24 and soared the blue skies in a fully restored World War II-biplane, courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation (AADF), a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring military veterans living in senior living communities and long-term care facilities.

The flights are part of the 2017 Dream Flight Tour. One at a time, each flyer strapped on a helmet and headset and climbed aboard the red and white Boeing Stearman, the same aircraft used to train military aviators during World War II.

U.S. Army Veteran Art Nelson

AADF volunteer Mike Sommars piloted the flights and his wife, fellow volunteer Lynn Sommars, served as the crew member.

Dream Flight recipients included Alan Anderson, U.S. Navy; John Hill, U.S. Army; Ed Childs, U.S. Army; Art Nelson, U.S. Army; George Rivara, U.S. Marine Corps; Eldon Larsen, U.S. Army; Joe Blanton, U.S. Air Force; Terry Johnson, U.S. Army; Robert Sherman; and Jean West, the wife of a late veteran.

U.S. Army Veteran Ed Childs and his wife Louise

“Ageless Aviation shares the same spirit and appreciation of our military servicemen and women as we do,” said Bob Howell, executive director at The Samarkand. “We’re proud of all our nation’s heroes and are especially grateful to those who live in our community. The Dream Flights are our way of saying ‘thanks’.”

This is the third year The Samarkand has partnered with AADF to honor military veterans and their spouses for their service. On Nov. 10 in Georgetown, Texas, AADF will celebrate its 3,000th flight. 

Jean West


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