Local War Veteran Celebrates 95th Birthday By Flying Plane

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- With three wars and nearly a century of living under his belt, a local veteran is still putting his pilot's license to use.

The celebration of Hank Hauser's 95th birthday begins on a warm, sunny September day at Fort Smith Regional Airport.

"69 years you've had your pilot's license," remarked Hauser's son.

The grizzled veteran of the sky still conducts his usual plane check before each flight, as he did Tuesday (Sept. 26th).

"(We're) going to fly up over Charleston and maybe Greenwood," said Hauser.

Hauser's son says Hank was one of the first troops into Hiroshima after the end of World War II. Fast forward to his 95th birthday and he's headed off to Charleston.

And when he returned, his landing proved his skills have not gone rusty.

"That's the last time I'll do that," he claimed as he stepped off the plane.

His family didn't buy it, as they embraced again before heading off to lunch.

A celebration of a life well lived.