Air Force Veteran Gets Surprise Birthday Flight

Air Force veteran gets surprise flight

MIDDLEFIELD - It was a perfectly pulled off birthday surprise for 80-year-old Don Morrow.

"At 80-years-old you have a hard time figuring out what to get someone at that age," says Don’s wife, Chris Morrow.

So she got the good folks at the Geauga County Airport to go above and beyond to take Don for a ride in the 5 Brothers Flying Adventures RV-12 plane.

They did it for free for Don, a former fellow pilot they remembered around these parts.

"I used to fly over my place and check on my cows. I actually named them all and I could pick out each one by name," says Don Morrow.

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But before that from 1957-1961, Don Morrow was a U.S. Air Force radio operator.

He got his pilot's license after moving to Middlefield, but Don isn’t allowed to fly anymore because of more than his fair share of health concerns.

Four stents in his heart, two cancer diagnoses and diabetes.

“When you see him in the backyard watching planes like he used to fly, going I wish I could do that again, well I told myself I’ve got to find a way to do this," says Chris Morrow

A few weeks from their 21st anniversary, the pair's romance began over hay. 

“I delivered hay and raked horse stables and he had cows and needed hay. So I started delivering hay to him and I fell in love with him,” says Chris Morrow.

All these years later watching Don soar on the wings of her 80th birthday surprise, Chris swoons at the very mention of her husband's name.

"There's nobody better on earth. Come August I'll be married to him 21 years. I wish I would have met him another 20 years before that," Chris Morrow smiles.

As for Don, he pointed out several times at his surprise on Wednesday that he “doesn’t like surprises."

Yes, he can be a little cranky sometimes, but Chris says she can’t say he didn't warn her.

"He said do you really want to marry an old fart like me? Yes. Definitely. Without a doubt," says Chris pointing out there are 29 years between them.

When Don landed, he was smiling when he said, “I feel lucky having had the opportunity to go flying."


His pilot, Dave Nuss, a partner of 5 Brothers Flying Adventures was smiling too, when he said, still seated next to Don, “You’ve got a good wife. She takes good care of you."

"Well when you love a man as much as I do, you do whatever it takes," said Chris Morrow as she handed out homemade bread as a thank you to everyone who made her surprise possible.

“She does that for doctors and everybody else," said Don Morrow.

Then he thanked his lovely bride who replied, “You’re welcome sweetheart. Anything for you because I love you. You are my world."

Brian and Katrina King watched it all unfold with smiles. 

They are the couple who didn't think twice when Chris asked for help in making the surprise possible.

The Kings had their first date in their "Breezy" plane which flew alongside Don and Dave on Wednesday.

The Kings, by the way, are coming up on their 30th anniversary in February.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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