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Vital Life, a Marquis and Consonus foundation, coordinated with the nonprofit Ageless Aviation to arrange the event and select the veterans: (Front, L-R): Elizabeth Betty Wedell, Ed Rosenfield, Larmie Flowers, Richard Clemence, (Back, L-R) Neill Martin, John Bogen, Ray Lindsey, Joe Rolison, Robert Cloos.Robert Cloos was one lesson away from getting his pilot’s license when his instructor had a heart attack.


After decades of wishing he'd gotten that license, Cloos — now 73 — got to fly a plane anyway last Thursday, when he took the controls of a 1942 Boeing Stearman during a special afternoon with fellow veterans and residents of Marquis Forest Grove Assisted Living.

Hosted by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit that honors U.S. veterans living in long-term care facilities, the eight Forest Grove men and one woman were each treated to a half-hour flight on an open-air, two-seater plane 1,000 feet above the Willamette Valley.

Ray Lindsey took off on his Dream Flight from Aurora Aviation last week.“That was so much fun,” said Ray Lindsey, the only veteran who still lives in his own home. “I would have liked it to be an hour longer. I never saw such a beautiful valley. I was in awe looking at all the nurseries.”

Lindsey, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, never flew a plane but his destroyer, the U.S.S. Harrison, rescued plenty of U.S. pilots who had survived being shot down in the Asiatic Pacific. And he shot down a few pilots himself — enough to earn a Kamikaze Survivor hat.

He clearly remembers a Japanese pilot strafing the ship with bullets. “I could see him in the cockpit when he was coming right at us,” said Lindsey, now 89. “We shot him down and he exploded.”Ray Lindsey served on a destroyer in WWII.

Marquis resident Ed Rosenfield, now 81, remembers his own close call while he served in the Navy from 1952 to 1960 during the Korean war.

Rosenfield's helicopter had just picked up a wounded soldier when enemy fire began battering . After landing safely back at the base, he could see bullet holes in the aircraft.

LaRayne Barrios, campus activity director at Marquis Forest Grove, said all the veterans have stories.

005: Betty Wedell was an Army Medical Corp Lieutenant during WWII. 006: Ray Lindsey was in the Navy from 1944 to 1946. 007: Richard Clemence served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.Elizabeth “Betty” Wedell, for example, was a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corp from 1942 to 1945 during WWII. Now 96, Wedell turned down a job as a dietician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in order to stay in the Army.SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Army Air Corps veteran Elizabeth Betty Wedell got a 1,000-foot treat last Thursday in a Dream Flight over the Willamette Valley.

Now 79, Neill Martin first joined the National Guard at 15 by lying about his age. He finished his service in 1960, working with radar at Ellsworth Airforce base in South Dakota.

Larmie Flowers, 82, served as a typist for the National Guard in Elko, Nevada, when he joined in 1952 after graduating from high school.

Richard Clemence, 72, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, from 1963 to 1967, and worked the switchboard on an aircraft carrier that held 3,700 men and was three football fields long. He remembers shot-up planes returning from missions.Roger Clemence served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

The event also included lunch, music, a Color Guard Posting of Colors and "Taps."

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