Reaching the 100-year-old milestone is certainly something to be proud of and celebrate. A WWII veteran recently celebrated his own by taking to the skies, and it was captured in a video that will have you feeling as good as he was.
WWII Air Force veteran Bob Cwiak spent his 100th birthday flying thanks to a nonprofit organization focused on fulfilling seniors’ dreams for more than two decades. Second Wind Dreams often collaborates with an Arkansas-based assisted living facility, Elmcroft of Mountain Home, for events like this. According to Katie Hammett, the director of the healthy lifestyle for Elmcroft of Mountain Home, they do it to “give the residents an experience they can remember.”
This was Cwiak’s first flight since 1963. In 1945 he flew bombardier for the U.S. Air Force while stationed in Spinazzola, Italy. The bombardier stood at the nose of the plane and was in charge of releasing bombs. “The acceleration of being back in the air was great…the wind in my hair,” Cwiak said of Monday’s flight. “I would like to be up there again.”
Speaking to FOX News, Hammett said this is something Cwiak can do every year if he wants to. They “actually told him when he came down that since he is turning a century old, he gets to go up every year.”
Second Wind Dreams has been doing things like this for seniors since 1997. These events function as a “powerful way to connect society to a forgotten truth about seniors: the truth that age does not erase hopes and dreams,” the organization’s website reads. “As each Dream comes true, we witness a ripple effect as the impact of the dream spreads from the elder to everyone who helped make it a reality.”
Oldest WWII Veteran in the Country Shares Wisdom as he Celebrates 112th Birthday
While everyone has their own advice to heed at your age, some of it carries more weight than others. As the oldest WWII veteran celebrates his 112th birthday, he offers straightforward wisdom about how to live your life.
Lawrence Brooks was born in 1909 in Norwood, Louisiana. Drafted in 1940, he served as a private in the Army’s 91st Engineer Battalion, a unit stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines. Brooks celebrated his birthday last Sunday with a drive-by-party at his New Orleans home. The National World War II Museum hosted the party and spoke to WDSU News about Brooks and sage advice he imparted to them.
“This is one of the days that the entire staff of the World War II museum looks forward to. We all love Mr. Brooks. He represents so much. He represents a generation that helped save the world. He’s just a wonderful person. If you ask Mr. Brooks, ‘How did you live so long?’ He’s going to tell you, ‘Be nice to people.'”
Not only does Brooks follow that advice, but he challenges everyone else to as well. Considering how long he’s lived, it’s definitely worth a shot.