Fountains resident Don Sly waving from airplane

Up, Up and Away!

On Tuesday morning, June 9th, Fountains resident Don Sly took a ride in a vintage Boeing-Stearman N2S-5 Kaydet that served as the U.S. Navy’s trainer aircraft in World War II. The plane is owned and operated by local pilot Alan Wright, who takes veterans from WWII and Korea up as a “thank you” for serving our country. Community Life Director, Nancy Kotarski, coordinated the event, which is offered through the Kalamazoo Air Zoo Museum during the summer. The opportunity to ride in the plane is open to any veteran who has not previously participated in the program. Don is a veteran who served in the Korean War, and was thrilled to have the chance to ride in a plane like this, which is something he hadn’t done in over 60 years!

On a beautiful summer morning in late July, three more of our residents had the privilege of flying in a WWII biplane over the Kalamazoo area. Residents Keith Bailey, Ken Long and Jud Knapper were those brave and lucky enough to take advantage of this opportunity, which is offered free to veterans from WWII or Korea. Previously this summer, resident Don Sly took the flight. All four men were thrilled at the chance to fly with pilot Alan Wright of Oshtemo, MI. The event was coordinated through the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, and has been described by the participants as “the chance of a lifetime”. Family members and fellow residents came along to cheer the veterans on as they took to the sky!


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