A hometown hero got to show off his skills recently. And he was just as smooth as he used to be. Ninety-year-old Clyde Bridger got to step into a T-33 jet and demonstrate he can still fly with the best of ’em during a recent celebration.
Bridger is not just a pilot. He’s a veteran of the Vietnam War where he once flew the T-33 jet into combat. Now, more than 60 years later, Bridger is greasing the wheels again. It all a part of the 75th anniversary of the Oconto J. Douglas Bake Airport in Wisconsin. The local man was invited to fly as part of the fun.
And Bridger says he’s still got it.
“It’s like a bicycle, you never forget how, so I’m anticipating that I won’t have a problem,” he said, according to People.
Once he was up in the air, the veteran got to display some of his skills. He wasn’t even a bit rusty as he maneuvered several touch-and-gos and a 360 overhead approach.
“I feel like a teenager all over again. There are not very many times that you see somebody — especially my age — even getting into one, much less actually doing the flying,” the Vietnam vet said.
Additionally, Bridger joined the Air Force shortly after he graduated high school in Oconto. He spent more than 20 years in Texas before he decided to move back to his hometown following his service in the Vietnam War. He’s been in Wisconsin ever since that time.
“To know that a 90-year-old gentleman as Clyde, who happens to be in fantastic shape, did an awesome job, and he’s a hometown boy on top of it,” said Patrick Trepanier, Chairman of Oconto Elks Airport Fly-In.
Trepanier added that it made his hair stand up to see Bridger soaring through the sky – as if that’s where he belongs.
WWII Veteran Travels United States
In another heartwarming tale, a World War II veteran is traveling the United States in order to be able to say he’s been to all 50 of them.
Sidney Walton, a veteran of the Army, is now 102. However, since 2018 he’s been on a “No Regrets” tour. The idea is to do just that – leave behind no regrets in life.
“Three and a half years ago, we set upon this magnificent tour called the ‘No Regrets’ tour. Because all my dad’s life I always heard that he regretted one thing. He had one regret,” Sidney’s son, Paul Walton shared.
Additionally, Walton said he wants young Americans to have the chance to meet him. He remembers being a young lad when he had an opportunity to meet some few surviving Civil War veterans but never did it. He doesn’t want younger generations now to forget those who fought in the second World War.
His mission is both endearing and important. Walton is also having fun traveling to every state and meeting new people. As of July, he was in his 39th state.