TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The heroes are coming home. The Brookshire’s Hero Flight is due back at Tyler Pounds Airport today. Today was the final day of the very memorable trip for more than 20 veterans. The heroes spent their last day up in the air without ever leaving the ground at the Air and Space Museum.
The Air and Space Museum in Virginia is almost like a big time capsule.
First stop, a 3-D movie taking these guys back to June 6, 1944, D-day.
Afterward, a man who paved the way for that day, Army Air Corps vet Kay Gabel from Tyler better known as Kermit, was already standing outside of the group, something that seemed to stick.
A guy who got his pilot license when he was 13. And years later in the war, he flew over;
“England and Germany. Five ton of bombs every trip. Might be an oil refinery on one mission. Or it might be an industrial plant or something. And they talk about 30 missions and they’re cracking up. We’d do 50 and get a furlough. And go back and do 50 more. And bombed the hell out of Sicily and Italy getting ready for the invasion.”
After that, Kermit was ready for a break.
“And I get to Gibraltar and I want to know where the hell’s my furlough papers. A colonel says, “what the hell you talking about.” I said, “I’m due a furlough.” He says, “you just got here. Start counting all over again.”
After the war, he continued flying until he was 84..that was 10 years ago. And he still never tires of hearing from other pilots. Especially those who received the Medal of Honor.
“I love to hear these stories," Gabel said. "Those guys earned that. They don’t just past them out. There aren’t that many.”
He never did go back to the tour group. He like all the rest of these heroes had plenty of his own stories to tell