Taking care of our wounded warriors is priority for the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC).
The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical purposes, through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.
Army veteran Walt Fricke was severely wounded while flying a helicopter during the Vietnam War. After spending several months in recovery miles from his family, he vowed to one day help other injured service men and women facing similar challenges.
In 2006, Fricke launched the VAC in hopes of creating a charitable organization. VAC uses volunteer pilots willing to donate their time, planes and resources to fly the wounded soldiers and their families.
All the flights, fuel and operating costs are contributed by the aircraft owners. Other cash donations go to support the mission coordination efforts and costs of administering the program. Over 96% of all contributions are utilized directly in support of program expenses.
According to Frank Gilanelli, of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, VAC has flown over 5,700 passengers since inception.
Meanwhile, they have flown 1,650 combat-wounded veterans and their families over the last 12 months.
These personalized private flights, recognized by the FAA, allow for a comfortable and free-of-charge flight for the wounded.
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For more information on the Veterans Airlift Command click here