"We had orders to shoot anything after 12:00...point blank," he adds.
"The applications really poured in, and as of last week we still had 185 applications that are active that we'll be picking from for the spring flight," adds Mathis.
He says honor flight isn't going anywhere...except to Washington.
"We're determined to fly as long as we have the financial resources needed to fly the planes and the applications," adds Mathis.
But even he will tell you, time is ticking for the aging veterans.
"When we started honor flight there were about four million left and today it's just a little over 2.5 million."
It's another reason Boyett's thankful a seat was saved for him - in appreciation for a much greater accomplishment.
"My generation. Our generation, we saved the world."