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WWII & Purple Heart vet gets birthday flight

A local World War II and Purple Heart veteran got his birthday wish granted Sunday. We were there as Paul Rosenblatt ...

Posted: May 7, 2018 2:34 PM
Updated: May 7, 2018 2:34 PM

A local World War II and Purple Heart veteran got his birthday wish granted Sunday. We were there as Paul Rosenblatt flew "high at 95."

To make his day extra special Rosenblatt got to fly in a WWII Trainer. A flight made possible by the Roy Ray Flight Demonstration Team.

Rosenblatt served in the 9th Armor Division during ht Battle of the Bulge, which received his Purple Heart. He's the last survivor of his unit. According to his daughter, he always had a passion for flying -- even working for more than 40 years in the aeronautical industry for the Air Force.

"When I asked what he wanted to do for his birthday... We had some health issues coming up to this period of time -- he said I want to go flying," said Shoshana Treichel, Rosenblatt's daughter.

Treichel made some calls an made it happen. It took a team to get him up in the plane, but once there Rosenblatt couldn't stop grinning.

With his ground crew of family and friends on the ground cheering him on, it was an emotional day as this local hero returned to the skies.

"I'm glad he is here to enjoy this and to see his dream come to fruition. Very emotional -- It's an amazing experience and I'm so grateful to so many people who helped make this happen," said Treichel.

Flying over Roy Ray Airport in formation -- celebrating "95" was a rush for Rosenblatt.

"Oh the flight was exhilarating! My favorite part was taking off and landing," said Rosenblatt.

For pilot Bill Ross the flight was an honor.

"I could see Paul's expression in the mirror when the airplane broke ground. He was smiling. We went out toward Dauphin Island, we flew over the bay and he was grinning the whole time and every time I looked up there it made my heart twitch too because I can see he was enjoying it," said Ross.

It's a smile of a man, who knows just how much he's loved.

"I think it's amazing.. My daughter does a wonderful job. I'm very lucky," said Rosenblatt.

It wouldn't be a party with a singing "Happy Birthday" and not one but two cakes.

For his 90th birthday, Rosenblatt was living in Israel and flew over Northern Galilee in a hot air balloon.

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