Dream Flights for veterans in Ohio

MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – You’re never too old to do something cool. Although when you’re a cool kid in your 90s, a little help is always still welcome.

Walter Melinausks is getting a chance to fly in a plane that is only ten years younger than him.

This Stearman biplane is a veteran and so is Walter, who served in the Army in the 1950s.

A group called Dream Flights, working with the Western Reserve Masonic Community in Medina, got together to give eight veterans a chance to soar.

“A lot of them have different dreams or aspirations that they felt they couldn’t fulfill at some point in their lives, so our goal is to find those things out and fulfill it for them,” Ohio Masonic Home Coordinator Nicole Bertke said.

There is nothing like flying in an open cockpit.

Walter zoomed over the fields and towns of Medina County for about 20 minutes or so.

A short flight but one that was a long time in the making.

His family says he was so excited it was all he could talk about for a week.

Once he got back on the ground, he said the flight is something that he will talk about for the rest of his days.

“You see all the lakes and all the houses and the lakes around.” Army Veteran Walter Melinausks said. “I never thought I would fly in a plane like that.”

Dream Flights takes aging veterans in their biplanes as a way of saying thank you.

Some were former pilots, most were not, but all served and took pride in that service.

This is a chance for many of them to feel like they’re young again.

“I call it a time machine they may be 85 or 90 and then they come out in spirit at 25, 30 years old it puts a spring in their step and gives them it opens some possibilities in their life, and they know that they can They’re not done,” Dream Flight President Darryl Fisher said.

An 88-year-old Richard Geyser is definitely not done with his possibilities.

A Navy veteran, he spent his time in the service on a ship.

But from an open cockpit, you see a different world.

A world that all the veterans flying on this day, whether they saw combat or not, spent a part of their youth working to preserve.

“What really impresses me is how beautiful the world looks from up there and how lucky we are to be here on this earth,” Navy veteran Richard Geyser said.

Over the past two years, Dream Flights has flown close to 2000 veterans.

Some of the oldest was over 100.

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