October 7th, 2019 | Press Releases
Eight residents of The Regent, an independent living community in Wichita, will fly this year with The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation (AADF). The Dream Flight will take place Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Stearman Field in Benton, Kansas.
Honoring those who served in the military is something the team at The Regent takes to heart. Kylie Jefferis, Life Enrichment Coordinator at The Regent, first heard about the program three years ago. “The Kansas Honor flight, who hosts meetings at The Regent every month, told me about it and I immediately went to the website and inquired,” she said. “Within a few months residents of The Regent were scheduled to fly.”
The AADF is a non-profit organization established and dedicated to honoring seniors and U.S. military veterans. The primary focus is on individuals living in long-term care communities and its mission is “to give back to those who have given.” Through donations, the AADF provides Dream Flights in a Boeing Stearman biplane. “The first year, the plane they flew in was actually manufactured in Wichita and came back here to fly residents of The Regent,” Jefferis said.
The day will have a full schedule. Stearman Bar and Grill is allowing The Regent to use its enclosed patio for observing the flights. Family members of the flyers and other residents are encouraged to come and support the flyers. The restaurant is also catering for the day.
This is Jack Turner’s third Dream Flight in a row. Any veteran over 100 years old can fly every year. Now 101, he’s looking forward to going up again. Turner served in the Army Air Corps, before it was the Air Force. Seven other Regent residents are flying this year, including Doris Kriks, whose husband was in the German military after World War II. He worked on the U.S. military vehicles and the Americans talked him into coming to the U.S. for a better life. He did, and later met Doris, where they married.
Jefferis said she gets a little choked up watching the residents take a Dream Flight, especially the veterans. “It’s very emotional seeing them take flight. Most of them never thought they’d fly again, especially in a plane some of them trained in.”