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Veteran gets joy ride in WWII era plane

Sylvester "Sy" Becker
Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 19:31:14-05

MESA — A Valley non-profit organization named Grounded No More Veteran Flight Lift gave its 469th flight to a hometown hero in a WWII aircraft Saturday.

Sylvester "Sy" Becker served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an engine mechanic on the Consolidated B-24 liberators in England during WWII.

Saturday, 100-year-old Becker climbed into the plane that many B-24 pilots were taught to fly and went for an honor flight with pilot Tony Anger from Falcon Field in Mesa.

"It was a nice flight," Becker said. "[Tony's] a good pilot."

Anger took him around the Superstition Mountains behind Weaver's Needle.

"It was fun watching his face," Anger said. "He was smiling the whole time and looking around."

He said the moments bring a positive rush of adrenaline to the hundreds of veterans as he brings on these flights through Grounded No More.

"It brings back memories of good times," Anger said. "I actually had a gentleman call me up last year and told me he was on the verge of suicide until he came out and went for a ride, and when he saw all these people coming out and loving on him and caring about him and knowing that their service meant something to them, it totally changed his whole perspective on life."

Grounded No More Veteran Flight Lift aims to serve veterans and active duty members of the military to alleviate symptoms of PTSD and depression through honor flights.

If you're interested in donating to this non-profit or learning more about the veteran flights, visit Grounded No More's website.