Veterans Airlift Command

Rating: 4.97 stars   138 reviews

Issues: Human Services, Veterans

Location: 5775 Wayzata Blvd Ste 700 Saint Louis Park MN 55416 USA

Mission: The Veterans Airlift Command provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Our priority is on the veterans of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). As capacity allows, our mission will expand to serve veterans of other conflicts.
Geographic areas served: National
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-4567769
952-582-2911
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

One of the best vetrean support organizations in America! Having been a soldier and wounded in combat and to have a resource like this is absolutely one of the most important things for the service member and the family. Being able to get severely wounded troops back home to see there loved ones helps the healing process, not only physically but mentally. Thank you so much for a life of paying it foreword so others don't have to suffer like those in the past did!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with VAC was absolutely amazing, Andrew Lourake and his volunteer pilots are caring, flexible, and professional. The mission was filled quickly and they were extremely flexible and worked off my time restraints. I am a double amputee wounded in Afghanistan, they treated my luggage and wheelchair very carefully, commercial airlines don't treat your luggage well. I will always attempt to fly with VAC before I use commercial airlines. Thank you Andrew, Jon, Mark and Phil!

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Rating: 5 stars  

VAC makes our life so much easier!!! My husband has a difficult time flying in commercial planes and driving long periods of time. VAC gets him where he needs to go with so much ease and the pilots are always happy to help us get where we need to go!! This organization has been a huge blessing to our family!!!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

VAC has made our lives so much easier when we travel. We are blessed that flying is an option for our family. However TSA is a hit or miss when you are traveling. VAC eliminates the TSA hassle and makes the travels of the wounded so much easier!! We'll forever be grateful for VAC's assistance in helping our family get to and from the hospital and family visits!!

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

I would add to their fleet so they can help even more families.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Great Organization and great people. With short notice (Thank You, Jen) Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) was thankfully still able to fly me from the DFW area to Orlando, FL and back for my prosthetic appointment. My current prosthetic socket was giving me trouble and was causing problems. I lost my right leg below the knee and both were severely burned in a EFP blast in Baghdad. Thank you for making my life a little easier by helping me with flights. Both directions the pilots were professional and courteous. I was truly humbled by their's and their Corporation's generosity. Al and Q with Choctaw Indian Nation going out and Rob with Satcom Direct returning. I truly could not have asked for a better flying experience then I received this past week. A big thank you to those guys and the entire Staff of Veterans Airlift Command. I will definitely use VAC again and would recommend them highly to any severely injured Veteran or Service Member.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Veterans Airlift Command is simply amazing. My husband was injured in 2009 and just recently left the service. After he got out he was awarded a service dog from another non profit based in Ohio. We live in Tennessee. Trying to figure out how to get there from here with a family of 6 and a wounded warrior who is not allowed to drive was a daunting task. I heard about VAC from a friend who works for Luke's Wings, another non profit who has helped us in the past. Let me tell you, I emailed VAC with our dilemma and was promptly emailed back. Over the course of a week, VAC had taken all the weight off my shoulders and found a flight to accommodate my husband. Not only did Andrew Lourake help us with the flight, but he also helped put us in touch with another wounded warrior in our area. He has proven to my family that there are good people out there who will go above and beyond to help their own. Now that my husband has his service dog, he is able to function much better and his quality of life has drastically improved. Thank you VAC and our pilots for bringing some normalcy back to our lives. You all are truly amazing!!!

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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization is great and helped save my life. They were able to get me a flight to revieve my service dog. I was notified on short notice and did not have a whole lot of funds at the time. This was not an issue for them. They had me placed with a flight there within a couple days. I had notification of a return flight within a week. I love this place and i hope i can continue to use their services.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Words can't express how grateful my husband L CPL. Brent Callender and I were when we found this amazing organization to help us with his flight accommodations to come visit me and my son this weekend. He is getting treatment at this time and we don't have a lot of money and they were able to fly him out of his treatment center for the weekend to come visit us. It took me one phone call and it took Jenna Deibel one day to fill our request. Doctor Stuart Bloom flew him in from Napa and Mr. Ken Ambrose flew him back home. The service was amazing and the pilots were extremely nice and so loving and caring. You can tell everyone that is part of this organization does it because they care. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for this amazing organization.
Sincerely, Brent and Kristine Callender

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son served in Iraq and has Terminal Brain Cancer. Veterans Airlift Command flew him from MN to CA so that he could attend a program that helps Vets deal with PTSD and other issues related to having served.
I can't even begin to express how awesome the experience was. If it wasn't for Veterans Airlift and specifically Jenny, my son wouldn't have known of the program, or had the transportation to get there. Thanks to the amazing people who fly for Veterans Airlift his experience was truly unforgettable. It isn’t often that you get a change to fly in a private jet! The co-ordination of the flights went without a hitch and they took extra care to make sure he was comfortable and had everything he needed.
I would recommend, without hesitation, Veterans Airlift as they are a truly amazing organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Veterans Airlift Command has helped our family so much in the past 2 1/2 years. My husband was severely wounded in Afghanistan on April 10 2012 by an IED resulting in the loss of both legs and both arms. Our lives were so drastically changed, and VAC helped us so much when it came time to visit with our family and friends. Traveling is so stressful with a baby and a severely wounded husband but with VAC everything is so quick and painless and you also gain friends a long the way. This is by far the best non profit that we have encountered through our new journey and we are so pleased they welcomed us into their family!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Veterans airlift command has been so great to us since my husband was injured in April of 2012. My husband lost both legs above the knee his left arm below the elbow and his right arm above the elbow, travel is very difficult because we have a 2 year old girl. VAC has taken all of the stress out of travel for us and it truly has been a god send since we travel so much we no longer have travel anxiety. This is one of our favorite non profits their staff and volunteer pilots have all been outstanding!

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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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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"

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