100-year-old WWII Veteran Fulfills Dream of Flying Again

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Memphis Flying Club and Signature HealthCARE help coordinate effort.

"I think this is part of what we're here for, is making sure every day counts for the resident."– Jo Lewton, Administrator/CEO, Signature HealthCARE of Primacy

Jesse McDaniel, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, recently experienced the ride of a lifetime when his dream of returning to the skies was fulfilled.

McDaniel, a resident at Signature HealthCARE of Primacy, in Memphis, Tenn., served on the front lines in France and Germany during WWII as a member of the 71st Infantry Division. He was injured in 1945 and, after completing his service in the Army, obtained his general aviation pilot’s license. McDaniel went on to buy and refurbish two planes of his own.

For his 100th birthday earlier this year, he had a single wish: to fly again.

“I love flying,” McDaniel said. “I used to get up and just fly, just to be in the air.”

He was able to get airborne once again with the help of his family, the Memphis Navy Flying Club and the team at Signature HealthCARE of Primacy, the Memphis nursing home where he lives.

“I think this is part of what we’re here for, is making sure every day counts for the resident and helping them live something that is so phenomenal and in their heart,” said Jo Lewton, Administrator/CEO at Signature HealthCARE of Primacy.

To read the full story online, visit Signature HealthCARE of Primacy's website. For video, visit Signature HealthCARE's YouTube channel.

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Ben Adkins