Nine seniors from Santa Barbara took to the skies over the weekend thanks to a non-profit’s mission to give back to seniors and veterans.
The residents are from The Samarkand, a senior living community in Santa Barbara, where they signed up for the special flight.
“I saw the fields of crops so beautifully laid out in green, different kinds of green. I saw the fog rolling in. I saw lots of buildings,” said Sylvia Casberg, who has lived at The Samarkand for 5 years.
The 82-year-old flew with a pilot in a 1942 Boeing Stearman–the same airplane used to train military aviators in the 1940’s.
Soaring 1,000 feet in the air in that plane brought back special memories for Casberg.
“I really feel euphoria. It makes me remember my dad, and my brother who were medics in WWII and Vietnam. I feel very close to them, and I didn’t know I would feel this way and it’s so happy,” Casberg said.
Jodi Turley, who is the activities director at The Samarkand said it’s important for the residents to have special experiences which can bring out old memories they may have suppressed.
“I will hear them talk about this for weeks on end, afterwards,” Turley said.
The flights were sponsored by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, non-profit organization founded by Darryl Fisher in 2011 to honor U.S. military veterans and older adults living in senior living communities.
The foundation has provided more than 3,000 dream flights to veterans nationwide.