For many veterans, sharing their stories about combat isn’t easy.
It was a struggle for Vietnam helicopter pilot Bob Ford, until he was asked to speak in front of a third grade class. That sparked the idea for his memoir, Black Cat 2-1, which shares the true story of what he and his crew faced up in the air, on more than 1,000 missions in a year.
"Tremendous adrenaline rush to go in and out of combat and make it when everybody's shooting at you and you're in such demand so as a result, all of my men, we understood that. we knew we were in danger every day but we actually looked forward to getting with it every day," said Ford.
Ford was one of dozens of veterans invited to the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field Airport on Saturday for an event called Honoring Our Nation’s Heroes.
96-year-old John “Lucky” Luckadoo was recognized for his bravery during WWII as a B-17 pilot. For years, he didn’t speak about that part of his life, a part he now freely shares.
"It's hard to remember, truthfully, the sheer terror we experienced, particularly when we were under attack and planes were going down in all directions and sometimes you had a fire on board, or you had wounded on board,” he said.
To honor Lucky, they took him for a flight on a P-51 mustang, which he had never been in before.
"I really wanted to fly it but that wasn't possible,” he said.
98-year-old Fiske Hanley served during WWII as a B-29 pilot engineer, now he speaks all over the country about the torture he faced.
“I wrote this book here about my Jap prisoner experience, which I got shot down in a B-29 over Japan and survived that. Very few people did. They killed, the Japanese; murdered most of them, So I'm lucky to be here."