'Dream Flight' offers opportunity to fly again for World War II veterans

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- For 98-year-old Buster Grinstead, Friday was a familiar feeling -- A refurbished Boeing Stearman from the 1940s, similar to the planes Buster knew well while serving in World War II.

"I was a radio gunner on a dive bomber. I had two 50-caliber machine guns that I used when necessary," Buster said.

Buster is now fully blind and it's been decades since he served our country. But on Friday he jumped into the plane like an old pro.

Soaring high above the Lake Ridge Aero Park, he and three other local veterans took their Dream Flight with the organization's youngest pilot who travels around the country giving back to veterans like Buster.

"For them, they see this, they get to step back into 1940 and they get to step back into a time when they were my age," said Marcus Smith, Dream Flight pilot.

Even though they're back on the ground, Buster said he's still flying high.

"I don't have many opportunities, so this is an exceptionally nice one," Buster said.

The Dream Flight organization takes veterans on rides across the country. So far more than 1,000 veterans have participated.
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