The ride of their lives

Assisted living residents at Buckner Westminster Place in Longview spread their wings Friday during a special outing to the Mid America Flight Museum in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. They took turns riding in a Bell 206-4 Long Ranger helicopter and a Boeing PT-17 Stearman biplane.

At 97 years old, the thrill-seeking Octavius Epps couldn't get enough of the adventure. She spent much of the ride joking with the pilot and telling him what to do!

83-year-old Col. Gid Terry, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955-1985, also found the experience especially rewarding. Proudly wearing a signet ring commemorating his days flying the SR-71 at three times the speed of sound, he was just glad to be back in the air again. Flying was something he didn't know if he’d ever get to do again.  

“This was fantastic!” Terry said, sporting a grin as wide as Texas. “It was great! It was amazing! I couldn’t believe how fast we got up off the ground.”

“Creating opportunities like these for residents is what makes my job so remarkable,” said Brandi Edwards, life enrichment coordinator at Buckner Westminster Place. “We get to give these senior adults the time of their lives with new experiences every day. The smiles on their faces are worth it all!”

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