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100-year-old World War II veteran honors local military families during Tampa Bay Lightning game

Posted at 6:38 AM, Nov 12, 2018

Every veteran has an incredible story. Robert McClintock's started in the 1940s and he is still impacting military families today. 

"I sat in the cockpit of that thing and cranked it up - oh the sound of that engine - I gave that thing full throttle," said McClintock as he describes his flight time like it happened just last week. "The plane was taking out from under me."

Lt. Robert McClintock was drafted in 1941 and ended up a fighter-bomber pilot during World War II. He served his time and then turned his focus to music and his wife Betty. McClintock said for all intensive purposes, he separated from service or so he thought until decades later when he had the chance to get back into the cockpit while living in Alabama.

"Boy now that is flying - it brought back all these kinds of feelings that I had," said McClintock. "But, there was no yearning to fly."

McClintock said he respects current military members so much, that he wanted to still do what he could to show them they are appreciated.

"Through Mr. Burkett and the [Troop] Rewards foundation - I get to meet the men and women coming back. I can tell them how much they mean to our country," said McClintock. "Through the foundation, I get to talk with these people and encourage them. That is a wonderful privilege for me to do that."

Troop Rewards is a non-profit organization that is meant to "serve those who serve." The organization provides mainly vacations and other rewards for military members returning from duty, so the can more easily adjust back to civilian life.

McClintock also honors his brothers through his love of music. On Thursday, McClintock sang the National Anthem at the Lightning game

"Well that morning, eight of us went out and five of us came home. I think of those three men every time I sing the National Anthem," said McClintock.

Lt. McClintock turns 100-years-young on November 12, 2018, the day we observe Veterans Day.