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August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

I am a 21 year Active Duty Army Infantryman and recently retired Wounded Warrior. I've spent the last years of my career in military hospitals all America while usually assigned to an organic Infantry unit. Having a wife and small child, constantly supporting multiple households, traveling for critical surgeries and navigating some of America's most complex airports is to put it mildly, unbearable and nothing short of humiliating for a Wounded family.

While at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center during the initial phases of my treatment, my wife and I were informed our then 4 y/o daughter could not be in the intensive, critical care and surgical and wards where I would spend many days and night. Additionally, when I needed treatment outside the realm of what the military could offer, the Army would provide that however only pay for my travel as the wounded Service member, my wife's travel as a non-medical attendant, but not our little girl's who I needed just as much as any procedure I've ever had.

Being a military family, we all know "home" is wherever you can make it. Supporting two residences on one enlisted salary, with a small child and given my medical needs, we needed help that military policy would not provide. Sometimes we needed additional family so my wife could be with me in critical wards and to do everything possible to have our little girl interact with me as often as possible. We also needed help so we could travel commercially as a family when not on an air ambulance. In short, we needed a lot of things that fell through the cracks of what military policy would allow for but we needed to heal as a Soldier and family.

I don't recall how we heard of an amazing organization called Veteran's Airlift Command however a few days shy of a scary surgery, we were struggling with how to get family to Walter Reed tend to our daughter so my wife could be with me following surgery and in the intensive care ward. I couldn't imagine going this surgery without having my family there with me as much as possible. My wife and I soon found ourselves filling out and submitting a travel to Veteran's Airlift Command. I honestly didn't think anything would come of it and was already trying to live with the fact that I would have to go through this critical surgery alone.

Within hours, we had confirmation, that a family member was being flown to Walter Reed to help, free of charge. I was sedated with my family by my side. Soon another surgery was scheduled in Houston, TX. Again, we were struggling with the logistics and financial burden of another surgery. Veteran's Airlift Command came through again with round trip travel at whatever dates we needed in a private aircraft. We wouldn't have to struggle through airport security. We had room to be comfortable and bring things we needed for an extended stay. These trips were numerous and lengthy, sometimes over a month at a time. It was beyond my comprehension that an organization formed by one man, grown to over 2400 pilots and aircraft could and would be so generous and sincere! I still don't understand it yet figured the best way I could show my gratitude was to try to raise awareness and give back to Veteran's Airlift Command.

Now, six months into my retirement, although I personally vowed to only give back to VAC, we had a family emergency. My mother had a heart attack, literally while I was at an event in southern Minnesota trying to raise awareness and funding for VAC. Having just transitioned into the civilian sector and VA Healthcare system now surviving on my Army retirement and disability, still trying to get on our feet, my mother needed help hundreds of miles away. I hated to ask Veteran's Airlift Command for help again. I had no choice and typed out a travel request. I lost my composure as I realized the gravity of the situation and went into our bathroom with the lights off, hoping no one would hear nor see a grown man crying. A few minutes later, I heard my wife calling for me. I couldn't answer her. She finally found me sobbing, her with a VAC representative on the phone she was holding to her ear. They had a flight and could have us at my mother's bedside within a few hours.

Yesterday my mother successfully made it through a quadruple bypass surgery. A surgery she would have had to endure with a lot of anxiety and unknowns. However, VAC staff and volunteer efforts allowed my family to be united as my mother's care drifted off into the hands of her physicians and her wishes in mine, she said, "I'm glad you're here, I trust you and everything is going to be alright". Having been on the other end of that statement almost two dozen times, I knew exactly how she felt and will be forever indebted to Veteran's Airlift Command once again for their Selfless efforts and unparalleled, genuine spirit.


Todd D. Landen
US Army, Infantry (Ret)
101st Airborne Division
"No Slack"
October 27, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 27, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Veterans Airlift Command is an excellent nonprofit that helps wounded service members, veterans and their family travel. At no expense to the veteran, the veteran has more time worry about their recovery. I am a veteran myself and I'm a triple amputee, I've used veterans airlift command on many occasions and my experiences always exceed my expectations. This organization truly is amazing that does what it can for our nation's finest.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't think I would change anything.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 23, 2013

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October 23, 2013

I can not thank Veterans Airlift and our pilot enough. The service they provide by making sure veterans are able to be with family at the most important times is amazing. The pilots that donate their time and planes are wonderful caring people. Our pilot went above and beyond to make sure we had a comfortable flight. Thank you Veterans Airlift!!!!!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 18, 2013

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October 18, 2013

Veterans Airlift Command is a great non-profit that does exactly what it says, helps veterans and wounded warriors. I am a bilateral above the knee amputee that has had the pleasure of flying with VAC several times but most recently for a medical emergency. I had to fly from Walter Reed National Medical Center to St. Paul, MN ASAP to correct a bone lengthening device that had broken through my femur VAC was able to get me a flight that night and help me arrange ground transportation to the hospital. The only other possible for me to have flown would have been commercial and I would have paid out of pocket for a ticket with no guarantees that I was going to be reimbursed. Also with the pain I was already in from a broken femur VAC made everything as quick and painless as possible. Thank you Veterans Airlift.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2013

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October 16, 2013

VAC's commitment to veterans is unsurpassed. They are 100% accommodating and efficient in organizing travel via private aircraft for veterans. Often veterans are from small town hours away from major airports, VAC can take them close. Those with severe disabilities have a much easier time flying with VAC, foregoing the major airport headaches. Their aid and assistance has been a tremendous help in my recovery from my battlefield injuries. Thank God for organizations like VAC.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have an option to plan further into the future. Private plane schedules change rapidly and upredictably, but the 10-day window preferred by VAC makes buying a commercial flight in the event a pilot and plane isn't available very expensive.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2013

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October 16, 2013

We have had the honor of flying with the VAC 3 times since my husband was wounded in 2006. Because of this organization our family was able to get home in time to have our final farewell's with my father-n-law when he passed in 2011. Without the VAC we would not have gotten that chance. My husband suffers from PTSD and a TBI, air travel is a wire walking act to say the least. Everyone we have dealt with in connection with the VAC have been so awesome, they consistently impress us with their humility and professional manner. The VAC is one of the best nonprofits out there, without them it would be so hard for us to travel home.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not a thing!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2013

more

October 16, 2013

The Veterans Airlift Command has helped me get home multiple time and allowed me to see my family when I wasnt able to afford the trip myself. And by taking a private jet allows the ease of travel without having to go through airport security and getting searched like Im a criminal instead of a soldier who sacrificed for my country. Thank you so much for everything you do pikots, staff and VAC members.

Sincerely,
JP Lane

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 10, 2013

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October 10, 2013

The Staff was amazing, the pilots were professional and personal. VAC continues to exceed my expectations! Best nonprofit organization for veterans out there. Thanks!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a thing!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 7, 2013

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October 7, 2013

OUTSTANDING services through the Veterans Airlift Command are being provided to some of the greatest heroes our nation has ever known - the Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. As Staff Photographer for the CMOHS I have had the pleasure of providing a conduit between the VAC and their incredible team of volunteers and the Medal of Honor Recipients. To date, five Medal of Honor Recipients have traveled and completed more than a dozen missions in the past 2 years. On one occasion, Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Littrell, living in Florida had 2 family members die in a boating accident. Gary and his wife were unable to travel to Tennessee in time to get to the funeral but THANKS to VAC, Gary was able to get the viewing and be with his family in a time of grief.

Thank You VAC!!!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 7, 2013

more

October 7, 2013

VAC consistently allows me to travel to and from home to see my family during long-term medical treatments, for follow-up treatments, and allowed me to see my unit return home and redeploy again when I otherwise would have had to miss these important events. I sincerely appreciate all that they do, in allowing me to do the things and see the people that matter most, while treating me and mine with the utmost respect. Every detail is taken care of so that nothing is overlooked. Their professionalism and caring demeanor has always surprised me. They make a difference in people's lives. I would be worse off without this organization taking care of us.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would allow clients to book their flights further out if they know they're not going to be able to afford a commercial flight further in advance, if possible. An exceptional organization anyway.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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