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2 World War II Veterans Participate In "Dream Flight" Program

The foundation travels across the United States letting veterans take flight in a World War II open cockpit biplane.
Posted at 7:29 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 21:47:57-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Jim Macris and Tony Santiago both fought on the front lines for our country during World War II - nearly 80 years ago.

This Tuesday, they were celebrated by Dream Flights - a national nonprofit that refurbishes WWII era aircraft, trains teams of flight crews, and then takes veterans on the flight of their life.

Friends and family gathered to watch as both men were slowed hoisted into the aircraft, fitted with WWII-era gear, and sent off into the sky.

"I've never gotten that feeling anywhere else...I loved it...That was the peak," said Tony Santiago, a former World War II Sargent.

"I had so much fun! Other people should absolutely do this," said Jim Macris, another veteran honored.

Flights last about twenty minutes - with post activities including a ceremonial signing of the plane, as well as a signed hat from the captain. In this case, it was Tim "Lucky" Newton, who also served in the Air Force for many years.

"I want to go again!" shouted Santiago from the plane upon landing.

Both Santiago and Macris were the two Buffalo residents that were sponsored by the program on its national tour. The plane's next stop is in Albany, then a few other spots in New York, before being flown back down South for maintenance and other visits.

If you or someone you love is looking to be a part of the Dream Flight program, the link can be found here.