Riding Shotgun with a WWII Vet

WWII PilotOur neighbor and good friend Bill is a WWII fighter pilot. He’s also 93. Recently, he invited us to go to dinner with him and we were delighted to accept. He said he’d pick us up and we’d go get a steak–great.

Oh, wait. Did I mention he’s 93? And that he planned to drive us? I was nervous as we started out, me in the passenger seat and my husband in back. I mean, no one’s reflexes are that great after 90–right?

But as we drove along chatting, Bill driving the curvy mountain road with one hand on the wheel, I remembered his stories. He was a fighter pilot, after all, and while he hasn’t flown a plane for quite a few years, he once did. I’ve seen the picture of him standing on the wing of Fickle Flossie. He told us he inherited the plane from a soldier who got to go home and while the painting of scantily clad Flossie was a bit risqué, he opted to keep it.

We made it to the restaurant without mishap and after a good dinner and great conversation he chauffeured us home again. I’d given up being nervous by then. This is a man who risked his life for our country–for the American people–for you and me. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather ride shotgun with.

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