One-hundred-two-year-old WWII vet gets final wish -- to ride in a hot air balloon
A 102-year-old WWII veteran found out that it's never too late to make a wish.
Russell Hendersen is currently in hospice care at Three Rivers Hospice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, he learned of an organization, Don't Stop Dreamin', that grants end-of-life wishes.
Hendersen sent in his application and regaled the organization with his lifelong dream of riding in a hot air balloon. However, because he's confined to a wheelchair, he wasn't sure if his request would get the green light.
Don't Stop Dreamin' immediately looked around for handicap-accessible hot air balloon rides. Their efforts paid off when they were connected to the United States Hot Air Balloon Team, who had a basket perfect for Hendersen -- and they told him the wonderful news.
Hendersen went on the flight of a lifetime Thursday, taking off just outside Lancaster, for a full hour. Don't Stop Dreamin' posted a video to their Facebook page of the veteran soaring through the air.
"I don’t know why I was chosen," Hendersen said. "I’m not a celebrity and it’s not my birthday!” He added, “Even at 102 I can still do big things, I knew I could do it and it was wonderful!”