COLLIERVILLE, TN (abc24.com) - It's the trip of a lifetime for a 92-year-old WWII veteran from Memphis. He's going to Europe in the spring to revisit the places where he fought in the 1940's. The trip is possible thanks to a local senior wish organization and a very special group of Mississippi high school students.
He was drafted in 1942. The choice was out of his hands, setting a path for the rest of Hulan Roberts' life. At 23 years old, he became a bombardier.
"I flew 32 missions over Germany," he said, "I flew the last 11 missions in 11 days in the Battle of the Bulge."
The Mississippi native has never revisited the site. He'll get the chance next spring. From April 30 to May 8, Roberts and a few other WWII vets will visit Germany, Luxembourg, Normandy and Belgium where the Battle of the Bulge took place.
Roberts is traveling with the Forever Young Senior Wish organization, a Collierville nonprofit that helps veterans travel free of charge. For Roberts' trip, the group received money from DeSoto Central Middle School students. They raised $4,400 to send him overseas.
"We have 91 beta club students; they were all here, they were all helping," said Jennifer Davis, the school's librarian. "To see their faces when Mr. Roberts got here the other day to present this check to him; there were tears that were shed, smiles, hugs."
Roberts told abc24.com, "It was just wonderful, just wonderful."
Roberts will travel with vets from all branches of the military. Most of the sights will be new to him, only seen during the war from his B-17.
"When we'd go on a mission I'd look down and sometime you couldn't see for the cloud, but you'd see snow and I'd say I wouldn't be down there for anything in the world."
He wouldn't give up his coming trip for anything either.
Forever Young has several other trips planned and many more veterans they'd like to send on them. If you can make a donation, it can help others like Roberts get the chance to relive history.For more information, visit http://foreveryoungseniorwish.org