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3 North County WWII veterans honored with 'Dream Flight'

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Posted at 4:36 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 22:22:10-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) -- Thursday, three World War II Veterans from La Costa Glen Retirement Community experienced their dream flight.

"This is something unique, and I would not have missed it for the world," said US Navy Veteran Howard Kern.

Howard Kern, Bixby Smith, and Allen Wesson are all WWII veterans.

They boarded a Boeing-Stearman biplane and were able to see Northern California from 1,000 feet high.

"I hadn't seen a tail-wheel plane up close since I served on an aircraft carrier off of Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped," reminisced Kern.

"I've always wanted to fly in one of these," shared Smith, "so this is a number one."

This 'Dream Flight' is part of a larger non-profit that gives veterans a free ride in a fully restored biplane. But it is not just about the flight.

These La Costa Glen residents received recognition for their time and sacrifice years ago.

It is a twenty-minute trip that is just a small way to say thank you.

"There's less of us everyday, but while we are still here to get a treat like this, is really rewarding," said Kern.

"It's unique, it's different," shared Wesson, "and hey I was just average in the service. Maybe below average," he furthered, "But thank you, really that's from all veterans."

These brave men said that they would do it all over again. But for now, they will sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the view.

Wesson said, "It was lovely, and that was the only word to describe it, lovely. Thank you."

Thanks to La Costa Glen Retirement Community in Carlsbad, the National 'Dream Flights' non-profit, and Operation September Freedom program, the special flight was made possible.