The late Robert Lawrence built model planes as a young boy and by the time he was nineteen he was in the cockpit.
"Oh he loved it. He absolutely loved it," said Ernestine Lawrence who is proud to say she was married to a Tuskegee Airman.
"They opened the door. They proved it first," said Ms. Lawrence of her husband's service as a pilot in the all black unit trained in Tuskegee, Alabama.
We sat down with Ms. Lawrence to talk about the challenges her husband face as a young black pilot in a segregated military.
"Tales were told that they had tails and just really all kinds of things that were humiliating," said Ms. Lawrence sitting at her dining room table surrounded by newspaper clippings detailing her husbands heroics and the honors he received along with the other four hundred-fifty Tuskegee Airmen who flew overseas protecting bombers in World War II.
"Their camaraderie was just amazing. I mean if you had seen the guys when they were in the eighties, they were still just like real brothers," recalled Ms. Lawrence.
1st Lieutenant Robert Lawrence died in 2007 at the age of eight-five but not before President George W. Bush presented Mr. Lawrence and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen a congressional medal saluting their service.
"A lot of young people who would come up to (Mr. Lawrence) and say...I can't thank you enough because I would not have had this opportunity if it hadn't been for you," recalled Ms. Lawrence.