Vietnam War veteran goes for one last motorcycle ride with help from retired police officer
A Vietnam War veteran was given the opportunity to spend one of his last days doing something he loved this week.
After two debilitating strokes in 2015, Kenneth Jones didn't think he would ride a motorcycle ever again.
However, the 71-year-old war hero and retired police officer took his very last ride yesterday, thanks to the Hospice of the Valley at Arizona State.
According to Fox 10, Jones is currently receiving end-of-life care at the hospice. But, when a member staff found out that one of his favourite pastimes was riding motorcycles with his wife, she came up with the genius idea to let him hit the road one last time.
McKella Williams, Jones' caretaker, arranged for him to go on a near-20-mile motorbike ride that started and ended at the Arizona State Veteran Home.
The 71-year-old - who is reportedly disabled due to his strokes - was loaded into a sidecar attached to a motorcycle driven by retired Mesa Police officer John Duhigg, with Patriot Guide Riders also riding alongside.
Amazingly, more than two dozen riders from the American Legion and Patriot Guard came down to celebrate the veteran's life. His massive entourage gathered together to send him off on his last ride, with his wife offering some emotional words beforehand.
"I didn't think that he would ever have this opportunity again, so it's just such a blessing," she said."It is going to feel amazing and overwhelming and excited. Just so excited for him."
As well as being a Vietnam War veteran, Jones worked as a state trooper in Pennsylvania, as well as an undercover narcotics officer. He was also a Deputy Sheriff in Fountain Hills and worked in the military police.
When asked if it was "the ride of his life" by a Fox 10 reporter, Jones responded saying "Yes".
Speaking afterwards, his wife revealed the heartbreak of not being able to speak to her husband properly, but admitted that all she needed to know was "in his eyes and face".
"The thing that I wish the most, I wish he could talk to me and I wish he could tell me. But it's in his eyes and his face," she said.
Jones isn't the only war veteran to hit the news this week: a 93-year-old veteran in Tennessee has made headlines for receiving his high school diploma 67 years late.
Korean War veteran, Bill Grimes, reportedly left Richmond High School in Indiana for the Navy during his junior year in 1950, so never received his qualification.
He joined the Navy on June 25, the exact same day North Korea invaded South Korea and was "on an aircraft carrier when his classmates graduated in 1951".
However, almost seven decades later, the now-85-year-old returned for a mini-graduation ceremony. Indiana law allows veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam to recieve a diploma if they enlisted or were drafted without finishing high school.
His daughter Kathy Dudas, who worked with the school to arrange the honour, told WTHR-TV: "I think it was important for him. I could tell that it meant a lot to him."