Grand Oaks of Palm City WWII Veteran Receives Dream Flight
Recently, our very own Grand Oaks of Palm City resident, Walter Alesi, was selected for the adventure of a lifetime— a flight in a Boeing-Stearman biplane, courtesy of Dream Flights!
“I feel humbled. More men are more worthy than me,” said Walter.
Dream Flights, which was created in 2011 to honor seniors and aviation, is committed to honoring as many World War II veterans as possible with free flights. Our Activities Director, Heather Morris, learned about Dream Flights and immediately contacted them with Walter’s story.
After graduating from high school, Walter enlisted in the Marines following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. “I felt that the country needed young men to help fight and win the war against Germany and Japan,” he says. Walter trained with the I Amphibious Corps in New River, N.C. prior to being deployed.
On the day his Dream Flight was scheduled, Walter was honored with a classic car parade and a patriotic send off by his family and his Grand Oaks friends, as well as veterans from the local VFW, deputies from the sheriff’s office, and members of the fire department. “Today we want America to know that we have not forgotten our veterans,” Walter said as he received a police and fire truck escort to Witham Field in Stuart. The Dream Flights team was waiting for Walter at the airfield, along with more friends and family.
“We’ve had the privilege of caring for many veterans among our residents and we make a point of honoring their courage and sacrifice on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and other important occasions,” said Don Crow, Grand Oaks’ CEO. “But this opportunity is uniquely special, and we’re thankful that we got to play a part in bringing it to fruition.”
Walter had beautiful weather for his flight, with lots of sunshine and stunning views. After the flight ended, Walter said, “It was outstanding…a trip over the ocean…it was wonderful.” He was given a special ball cap signed by the pilot, and Walter himself was asked to sign the plane’s rudder, which is adorned with the signatures of other WWII veterans chosen for a flight.
Thank you for you service, Walter, and congratulations on being a Dream Flight recipient!
To see more of Walter and his Dream Flight, visit https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/martin-county/2021/09/25/palm-city-world-war-ii-veteran-goes-airborne-vintage-biplane-flight/5801746001/
To learn more about Grand Oaks of Palm City, call 772-320-5277.