Jim Reynolds of Fishers, Indiana, will soon celebrate his 100th birthday and was recently given the opportunity of a lifetime.
He was called to active duty in early 1943 to work as a navigation cadet for the United States Air Force, WTHR reported Saturday, adding he later became a pilot.
“The day I made 2nd Lieutenant, August 4, 1944 was the best day of my life,” he told the outlet. “I didn’t have to go back and milk cows at the farm anymore.”
Throughout his service, he logged over 10,000 hours in the sky. However, he did not know how many different planes he flew. His most important assignment was flying transports after World War II.
World War II has been described as the largest and deadliest war in history, beginning in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, according to History.com.
Meanwhile, his family wanted to make his approaching birthday extra special so they arranged to send him back up into the clouds above Noblesville.
Photos showed Reynolds standing near the blue and yellow plane. Another image caught the moment he gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to everyone watching:
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” 📸✈️This is 99-year-old United States Air Force Veteran Jim Reynolds. For his…
The plane was similar to the kind he flew throughout his time in the service.
His brother, Jon, was pleased to see his brother being honored, saying, “He has had quite a life, including being a World War II veteran and the greatest generation.”
“These kinds of things are just really inspiring to see it done for him, and all of us are glad to not only see it, but to participate in it,” he continued.
The pair are the only siblings left of a group of nine. Therefore, being with loved ones on such a day was something very special.
It was an honor to be recognized, according to Reynolds who retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Social media users expressed their well wishes to the veteran. One person wrote, “Happy birthday Mr Reynolds you look wonderful in the pilots seat God bless you.”
“Happy Birthday and Thank you for your Service!!” another commented.