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Chippewa Valley veterans, seniors get ride of a lifetime

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Veterans and seniors from HeatherWood Assisted Living and Memory Care in Eau Claire went along for a unique plane ride Friday.

“Our residents at HeatherWood have accomplished so much and they’ve done so much, but this is something they haven’t done,” said Gine Hudecek, administrator for HeatherWood. “For us, it’s truly and honor to be able to give them this opportunity.”

Each flight was piloted by Darryl Fisher of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit from Carson City, Nevada. They were in Eau Claire as part of an eight-city tour.

“The people we fly have given us so much. They’ve sacrificed them and their families, in ways that we have no idea,” Fisher said. “What we would like to do, is tell them thank you in a really unique and special way.”

The excitement could barely be contained by each resident, as they took turns aboard the 1943 Stearman Biplane.

“It was fun, it was a blast, and it was something I was always looking forward to. I’m one lucky person,” said Gail Sedo, an 83-year-old resident. Sedo’s late-husband was a veteran. “That’s all I want to do is have a good time and let people know that I’m not afraid.”

“This is my first experience in an open cock-pit, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said National Guard veteran, Keith Sommerfeld.

Friday’s event was a day the veterans and their families will remember forever. You can find more information about Ageless Aviation here.

Samantha Wensel

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