“Jim Schlegel, a resident at Marquis Forest Grove, has always lived on the wild side. Earlier this year, he attended Spirit of ‘45, a Vital Life Foundation event that honors our heroic veterans. It sparked his interest in flying, something he surprisingly hadn’t done before.
Jim expressed his desire to fly in a glider to LaRayne Barrios, Campus Activities Director, and the planning began. She found a soaring club that was able to make his dream come true, and on Sept. 23, 2022, Jim’s wish was granted. It was a beautiful, bluebird day, with not a cloud in sight—ideal flying weather.
As Jim prepared for take-off, his invited guests expressed their excitement for their friend. “I’m just so happy for Jim, this will be a memory that will last forever,” said a fellow facility resident. “I can’t wait to hear all about it when he lands.”
They all cheered as the tow plane pulled Jim and his pilot off the ground. Once up in the air and soaring, Jim was even given the opportunity to fly the glider. When the plane began to descend about half an hour later, Jim’s friends cheered louder and louder as he made a safe landing.
After touching down, Jim was still on cloud-nine. “There is nothing like the serene feeling of soaring through the blue sky with the bright sun beaming and not hearing a single sound,” he said. “No engine, no wheels, not even a bird.” It was a day Jim and all who attended will cherish for years to come.”