CALERA, Ala. (WIAT) – Saturday, friends and family of military veterans from the area gathered at the Shelby County Airport for the 2nd Annual Wings for Warriors.
The event is put on by the Birmingham Aero Club, Over the Mountain Aviation and the Shelby County Aviation Association.
It’s a tribute to wounded veterans who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The men, women and their families are given free plane rides and enjoy a cookout at the airport. Veterans of other wars are also honored.
Jerry Bentley was one of the many veterans who took to the skies Saturday. He says the event is a nice gesture from the community. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967.
“It’s nice to be recognized. Back in the 60’s you weren’t recognized that well or thought of what well when you come back but things have changed,” said Bentley.
Flight instructor Stephen Ray helped organized the event. He says it’s a way to show those recently returned from service that their community is thankful for their sacrifices and are behind them as they readjust to civilian life.