When 95-Year-old WWII veteran Johnnie Dimas lost his wife of 67 years, he thought he would have to spend the rest of his days alone in a retirement home. However, it was his grandson who said he would give him a much better option: a bucket list road trip. Johnnie moved in with grandson Roger and his wife Jo in Arizona while they planned their journey around the United States. They went to Louisiana for Mardi Gras, the Mexican border, Las Vegas, and much more.
Perhaps most importantly, Johnnie also got to visit a lot of World War II museums and meet fellow WWII veterans. Roger says that seeing his grandfather in that element made him and his wife emotional.
"I think it was deeply cathartic for Grandpa to be able to process everything that had happened at such a young age," said wife Jo. Clearly, this trip was well worth it for the old-timer. Together they travelled to Tombstone Arizona; White Sands, New Mexico; and the Texas cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.
"It was such an honor to see how people respected his service in WWII, and how fascinated they were by him and his stories. As we walked down the street people would stop Grandpa, shake his hand and thank him for his service," recalled Jo, "They didn’t often stop long enough to see how Johnnie would always well up with emotion and gratitude for their kind words, it touched him so deeply every time."
At 96, the veteran passed away on 9/16/20. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and the many locations that got to meet him.