A model airplane is bringing back a lot of memories for some heartland veterans. The plane was a gift for the Missouri Veteran’s Home from prison inmates.
"I'm lucky to be alive," Veteran Lawrence Eftink said.
Eftink, who served in World War II, said the model airplane is a symbol of his past.
"I sat back in here,” Eftink said as he pointed to the back of the model airplane.
A staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps, Eftink remembers the B-17 well.
"The engines are right up here,” Eftink explained.
He said the model, made out of Popsicle sticks, looks just like the real thing.
"The pilot and the co-pilot was up here,” Eftink said as he pointed to cockpit on the model.
The artists are inmates at Southeast Correctional Center. While KFVS wasn’t able to speak with them, a prison official said the inmates volunteered their recreational time for this project. It was a gesture that is bringing back a lot of memories for this 94-year-old veteran.
"I was up there through the Belgian Bulge and I was over there during DD,” Eftink said.
He served along with his two brothers.
"When I [heard] the German planes come, they didn't have a hum like American planes...they go whoo whoo whoo...just rough-like. When I heard that I knew the Germans were coming,” Eftink said.
All three boys made it home.
"Old Hitler wanted me but he didn't get me,” Eftink said.
Now, more than 60 years later, this symbol of gratitude, made by maybe the most unlikely of Americans, is bringing a part of history back to life.
"I [saw] a whole lot. I couldn't go through it again, “Eftink said.