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WWII veteran wasn’t expected to live long enough for special Knoxville flight

Bob Sliger is in short-term hospice care and will turn 99-years-old this month.
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 7:23 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2021 at 10:50 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A World War II Airforce veteran, who is now in short-term hospice care, said he wasn’t expected to live long enough to experience what happened Friday.

A nonprofit called Dream Flights takes seniors and United States military veterans, living in long-term care facilities, on special flights. According to the group’s website, it serves veterans who “have always had a burning desire to soar like an eagle.”

Bob Sliger worked as an engineer on B-24 bombers test flights in San Diego. He enlisted when he was 20-years-old. He’s turning 99-years-old this month.

“I’m on hospice now, short term hospice, they expected me to leave a month or two or go and here I am,” said Sliger.

Sliger said he has had problems with his heart. He is currently on a pacemaker.

Dream Flights gave Sliger and two other Knoxville veterans who live in the Arbor Terrace Community a chance to fly.

“I would have been a pilot, if I didn’t have to wear glasses,” said Sliger.

He was grateful for the experience and it left him smiling ear to ear.

Fly with Bob

Here's an uncut video from yesterday's story. Bob Sliger is a World War II Airforce Veteran about to turn 99 this month. He worked as an engineer running test ops on B-24's in San Diego. He was happy with his assignment. He always wanted to be a pilot, but he couldn't because he wore glasses. He has been looking forward to flying again since he got a letter from the nonprofit Dreamflight that gets veterans out of their assisted living homes and gives them a chance to soar. You see, Bob told me he is in hospice. His heart is failing and they had to put him on a pacemaker a few months ago. He was only supposed to make it until July, now he says he's waiting for his "next assignment." Thank you Bob for serving our country and thank you to Arbor Terrace of Knoxville and Dream Flight for making the possible.

Posted by Abby Kousouris on Saturday, September 4, 2021

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