BANGOR – A 93-year-old veteran of the Second World War had a high-flying wish, and it’s a wish that was granted Thursday.
World War II veteran Earl Boyd wanted to go flying one more time.
“I miss it,” he said.
Boyd was a senior at Calais High School in 1944 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served his country, returned from the pacific to marry his wife, Ann, and lived in Millinocket for decades.
For years, he has wanted to fly again.
“Today was about a very special man getting a very special wish come true,” said Deb Ashmore, a nurse at the Maine Veterans’ Homes in Bangor. “This is our resident Earl Boyd, he’s a long-term care resident of ours. One of his last wishes was to be able to fly again. He was a pilot here in Maine for a very long time.”
A partnership came together to grant the veteran’s wish.
Members of the Maine Air National Guard, Bangor Savings Bank and the Maine chapter of the Patriot Riders of America were on hand with Larkin Enterprises Inc., who supplied the aircraft.
The Patriot Riders did a flag line for Boyd leading to the six-seat Cessna, piloted by Jim Cox who got Boyd in the air.
“It’s a mission that we do. Everything we do, we do for veterans,” said Randy Jordan, president of the Maine chapter of the Patriot Riders of America. “It’s very rewarding to see the face of the veterans.”
A few tears fell as the plane took off.
“They become such a part of us and the opportunity to take care of someone, to take care of a veteran, it’s not something we take likely,” Ashmore said. “So it’s very, very special. Very emotional.”