Air Miles for Heroes

Dear Viewers,

Here is some great news!

I just received a call from the CEO of Midwest Airlines (Timothy Hoeksema) who started the conversation with "I want to take your miles!" He then went on to explain that Midwest Airlines has decided Wednesday (with my “encouragement”) to join the Hero Miles program.

In other words, all of us who have frequent flyer miles on Midwest Airlines can now donate them to fly our soldiers in Iraq home to see their families (the military flies them to three USA cities but the soldiers need to fly from those cities to their homes on their "own dime"). I am thrilled to turn over my 85,000 miles to soldiers to travel home! It will take a few days to get the program "up and running" for Midwest, but this is fabulous news.

Incidentally, I must confess, I am terribly partial towards this airline! It is a Wisconsin-based airline and they make and serve chocolate chip cookies on board. The odor of the baking cookies is to die for!

I am also thrilled to see such fast corporate response. This CEO blew through any and all red tape and has made it happen less than 24 hours after my call and request on air last night. I never met the CEO, but I sure like the way he operates!

He also told me that Midwest Airlines has been involved in many projects to help people. They have a special program for soldiers to get reduced fair tickets (in some instances, 75 percent off) and offer a mileage donation program to people with serious illnesses.

On a personal side, he said he watches the show and knows I am from Wisconsin. And, we both "bragged" about owning one share in the Green Bay Packers.


We are getting tons and tons of e-mails about the frequent flyer miles for our soldiers overseas.

The Web site is

Here is just a random small sample of your comments:

No. 1

Donating frequent flyer miles is a good idea, but have the airlines forgotten about the $3 billion dollars we tax payers donated to them after WTC bombings? They are going anyway, what would it hurt if they let them fly free if they have no flyer miles. After all the soldiers are fighting over there for them also to be able to fly their planes.
Please bring this to their attention on the air.

No. 2

Excuse me but ALL military personnel have flight benefits called
military hops. True they may take longer to get to their final destination but they will get home. As a former member of the Armed
Forces, I know all to well of the difficulty of trying to get home for
the holidays, Uncle Sam says you can go home for a few days but you have to find your own way. I was on deployment to the country of Honduras Christmas of 1985) when the United States claimed that there were no troops in Central America and after being released from my assigned duties, I managed to get back to McGuire AFB, NJ in 14 hours by catching military hops, NO FREQUENT FLYER MILES on commercial airlines.

Note: I disagree with the above e-mailer. It does not seem "right" or "fair" or "good manners" to ask our soldiers who only have two weeks leave to sit around for a day or two or three waiting for a "free military hop." These "hops" are not always available. The soldiers have flown 22 hours to the USA from Iraq and should get to their families ASAP instead of sitting around some airport.

No. 3

I was just watching your show and I also fly Midwest Express. They have a program in place that allows you to donate your frequent flier miles to certain charitable organizations. I'm sure you can get them to add the "Hero Miles" to the list.

Note: I am trying to get Midwest to do so. I just can't get them to take my call!

No. 4

Help, please? I caught just enough of this evenings show to know I want to donate my frequent flyer miles to our heroes. However, I did not get
the Web address that the you were discussing. Please forward the Web address.

Note: The Web site is:
The congressman who is spearheading this is effort is Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.

No. 5

Since the federal government gifted the airline industry $15 billion in relief after 9/11, it seems appropriate to me for the Congress to require them to sell soldiers on leave a last minute ticket at their
lowest published fare without penalty.  Since they are all complaining
about still not making money, surely they have seats available and the
marginal cost for transporting these heroes is minimal.

The industry has not been reticent to stick its hand out, now seeking
relief from their pension obligations.  I think it is appropriate for
the Congress to demand something for the public in return.  While I
favor broader reform of the airline industry, this would be a welcome
first step.

I salute Rep. Ruppersberger and his staff for the work they have done. And words cannot begin to express the thanks for the troops and their

Keep up the good work!  I enjoy your program.

No. 6

Love your show!!!  I called American Airlines to offer a ticket that I
have credit for that was unused. No cigar (pardon the expression). “Not
transferrable", was the word.  American Airlines is so anal about their
rules and regs.  We weren't that sticky when we bailed their tushies out of the garbage after 9/11!

I am going to call the exec. office.  Just wanted to let you know.
Rhory Lamboy
Ventura, CA

No. 7

Dear Greta,
You were very lovely to inform your viewers concerning the Sky Miles for Heroes Program. I was not sure if I still had valid sky miles with
Delta. After seeing your show last night, I called Delta and found that
I had 9,658 sky miles! Over the telephone, I learned the procedure for
making the donation.  It was easy and fast and I am very happy to have
been able to make the contribution.
Thank you for your fine work and Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Heidi Renz
Seattle, WA.

Note: I usually don't include names of the writers of e-mails, but I thought we should all salute Rhory and Heidi for doing this! Incidentally, they are “not” the only ones who jumped on this... many, many viewers are also doing it and I salute them, too.

But, here is where I “need” your help. I have 86,769 miles on Midwest Airline that I would “love” to give to this program so that some of our soldiers can fly home to see their children, etc. Here is my problem: Midwest Airline is “not” a member of this wonderful program.

I called the CEO of Midwest Airline Wednesday and asked that he call me about joining the program. So far, he has not returned my call. I really wish he would call me back. This is a great idea by Rep. Ruppersberger and our soldiers need our help.

Perhaps if you "pounded" Midwest Airlines with calls, you could help me "persuade" Midwest Airlines to join this program. It really is no big deal to them -- either I use the miles or some soldier who wants to see his/her family uses them. I would much prefer to give them to a soldier. My 86,769 miles is more than three roundtrip flights -- so three soldiers could see their families on leave if Midwest Airlines would join this program.

The CEO of Midwest Airline is Timothy Hoeksema (pronounced "hock-sema" )  and his receptionist is Darla. The headquarters is in Milwaukee and I am trying to find his direct phone number to give you. In the meantime, I suggest you call the routine 800 number (800 452-2022) if you want to call him. Tell him this is a great program for our soldiers.

If you don't want to call him, try his e-mail: This might be the better way to reach him since CEO's can dodge unwanted calls.

I would very much appreciate it if you could contact him and ask him to join Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's "Operation Hero Miles" so that I can immediately donate my 86,769 miles to our soldiers in Iraq. I am sure if he gets enough interest from viewers, he will be persuaded to join the other airlines quickly.


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