By ALIX KUNKLE
It was an experience Sgt. 1st Class Jason Deming said he couldn't say no to.
"This is bucket-list stuff right here," he said.
Deming was referring to taking a ride in a P-51D Mustang World War II fighter airplane, named "Charlotte's Chariot" as part of a Wounded Warrior Association (WWA) trip to Houston, Texas, to allow Deming and other wounded warriors to interact with one another and also experience one-in-a-lifetime activities.
Deming is part of the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, part of the 4-10 at Fort Polk, and is originally from Carrollton, Ga. He got involved after Dan Fordice, founder of the Warrior Bonfire Project, got in contact with Chuck Williams, who's involved with the WWA, and Williams recommended Deming's name to Fordice. Williams also asked Deming, who couldn't say no.
"How do you say no to riding in a P-51 Mustang?" he said.
As part of the weekend's activities, Deming wasn't quite sure what exactly was on the docket, but he said plans were to go to the Wings Over Houston Air Show, where, among others, the Tuskegee Airmen would be performing.
This isn't Deming's first trip with the WWA. He's previously attended the Warrior Bonfire Project in Vicksburg, Miss., as well as a fishing trip in Venice, La., put on by the Wounded War Heroes. In May, he said he'll also be traveling to Oregon to take part in a bear hunting trip. The Wounded Warrior Association also held an archery shoot at Fort Polk earlier this year, to raise even more awareness for the project.
"A lot of people don't realize how relaxing it is to sit in nature, and at the end of the day, be around other guys who relate to you," Deming said.
Deming applauded the Wounded Warrior Association's efforts.
"It's all about trying to get wounded warriors and wounded veterans to unwind in a more natural setting," Deming said.