We are forever in debted to Veterans Airlift Command they changed our life in so many ways.
We are very grateful without them we couldnt be able to spend time with our Sister-in-law who was diagnosed with breast cancer they made it possible for us to be there for her during her hardest time. The pilots by far are the sweetest and most caring they made us feel like family (they are now after meeting them) my husband was injured during and IED blast memory isnt so good anymore these pilots without realizing it gave him memories he had lost and even if it was for a short period of time it was by far the best time we have had. Jenna thank you for all your help. Jonathan and Bob thank you!
This is a really amazing organization!! I was injured in AFG in 2011 and have been fortunate enough to use VAC on several occasions. We have always been treated extremely well. Everyone involved is polite, professional, and sincere. We first found Veteran's Airlift Command because due to our son's special needs, we were kicked off of a commercial flight when he became violent after being visually overstimulated within the airport. After driving him home on a midnight run while he slept in the back seat, we didn't think travel was really possible for quite a while. I later heard about VAC from a fellow soldier and didn't really believe it was real until I received a phone call from VAC personnel to let me know that my application was submitted and that someone would contact me soon regarding the flight. Ever since our first experience with VAC we have been blown away. Travel has been possible again making our lives so much better. It has allowed us to see family and friends, as well as trips with our son that would never be possible without VAC. This has made such a huge impact on our quality of life. Words can not express the gratitude we have for the this organization and all of the volunteers and pilots that make this happen. If given the opportunity to participate with Veteran's Airlift Command again, I would not hesitate!
My husband was catastrophically injured in the fall of 2011, resulting in two years of recovery at Walter Reed-Bethesda before retirement and an additional year after that. We decided to move up home to Alabama to raise our miracle child closer to family, but knew that for some of his issues, it would be best to continue his medical care back in Bethesda. Whether it be emergency or a routine appointment, VAC has been there not just for him, but his family, too. By providing no-cost air travel that does not include all the hoops that come with commercial airports these days, we have been able to attend to his health needs without that added stress. We have also been able to participate in recreational programs and memorial events because of the dedication of staff and volunteers. This is one organization has absolutely contributed to the our post-injury success. I have included a picture of a recent pilot with his plane and my husband and daughter.
This organization has served myself and fellow severely wounded veterans by flying us in times of need. Every pilot, volunteer, employee, and others associated with this organization are beyond compassionate, selfless, and caring. Thank you for what you do!
A few weeks ago my mother suffered from a massive heart attck that put her in the ICU. The doctors said she did not have long so I flew out to see her a few hours later. After being with her for a couple of days, VAC was able to find me a pilot that was willing to donate his time and money getting me back home with my family. I cannot express how greatful I am to everyone that made that happen for me. Thanks again and for everything you do to our great Veterans!
I found out about the Kansas City based Warriors’ Ascent Academy of Healing from a great friend of mine John Durham who still lives in El Paso Texas. (We met each other in 2015 through participation with Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, another non-profit organization.) He had just completed class 17 and wanted to share the tools he had found that helped him begin to heal wounds from Post-Traumatic Stress. Eight days before Warriors’ Ascent Academy of Healing class 18 was to begin I worked up the courage and sent an email to Jay Waldo, one of the founders. Thank goodness he responded almost immediately with news that there was in fact a seat for me. Warriors’ Ascent is unique in that Military Veterans, Police Officers, and Fire Fighters come together to concentrate on Mind, Body, and Soul. Currently I live near Nashville TN, so the 10 hour drive would have wiped out this Veteran with back issues for a few days, so I would not have been an ideal student at that point. I got online and tried to find a flight to Kansas City and became discouraged, since I was only a week away the ticket prices were out of reach. I contacted Mr. Waldo with my concern and he told me to contact Veterans Airlift. I used to be a very skeptical and negative person, so I figured maybe this is just not meant to be. Thankfully, to my rescue comes Veterans Airlift Command, another non-profit agency, the VAC provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. I sent an email to Jenna Deibel, Mission Coordinator VAC, and in less than 10 minutes she called me to find out if they could help. Fortunately for me the Academy of Healing was in fact a program that met criteria and qualified me for assistance. After answering a few simple questions Jenna let me know that she would have me a flight confirmed within the next 3 hours. True to her word in about 2 hours I got a call and was given the pilots name. Joe Creecy, who happens to be the Chapter Leader of the Nashville IMC Club called to let me know the details of the flight and to answer any questions I had. Now if that is not awesome enough, the story gets even more heartwarming. Due to hurricane Nate the flight to Kansas City was not going to be possible, I was crushed by this news, as it was Saturday night and we were to head to KC Sunday. Never fear, Mr. Creecy secured me a commercial airline ticket to get me to KC. Now accepting a ride in someone’s airplane was something I convinced myself was ok to do, however, allowing someone to buy me a ticket was out of my comfort zone. After quite a bit of back and forth Mr. Creecy convinced me to accept the ticket, he just wants to help Veterans who are trying to help themselves. It does not stop there, so that I would not end up with my car in the wrong place, (my return flight from KC was already booked to Clarksville) Joe Creecy flew up to Clarksville, picked me up and flew me to a small airfield in Nashville. Then he drove me to the International Airport in Nashville, talk about going the extra mile. I am afraid I got tears on his shoulder when I hugged him in thanks. It’s just not every day that a stranger goes that far out of their way to help me, actually nothing like that had ever happened before. I did arrive in Kansas City on time and made it to the Warriors’ Ascent Academy of Healing. I had no preconceived notion about the course and really wasn’t sure what to expect. John Durham had told me just go in with an open mind and trust the process. I have to say this will go down as the most important 5 day course I ever worked up the courage to attend. While it is hard to explain what changed in me at the Academy, I will just say my Mind, Body, and Soul are on the track of continued healing. After graduation I had no plan for how I would get to the airport for my return Veterans Airlift flight, but with my new outlook on life I knew it would work out. The Veteran who left Tennessee to attend the course would have been stressed out and anxious about how he would get to the airport, the man who graduated the Academy does not worry about things like that anymore. Sure enough, I did not have to ask anyone for a ride, Steve Colladay, a Warriors’ Ascent Mentor asked if he could take me to the airport. The awesomeness of these non-profit agencies does not end yet. Next, Ross Schoneboom, a 26 year Army Veteran who is now with Cessna arrived in Kansas City with a jet to get me to Outlaw Field in Clarksville TN. Ross is a consummate professional and treated me as if I was family. It was a great finish to a week that has put me on a course to not only change my life, but I believe I will be able to help others. Thanks to all those involved in this Synchronicity.
US ARMY (RET)
This past weekend, we had the pleasure of flying with VAC and meeting some great people. along the way. The entire trip, from start to finish, was stress free and the whole crew made us feel like family as soon as we met. Jeff, Dick, Keefer, Mike, Leslie, and Jan were all amazing! We are grateful for this experience and you can truly tell how much this group of friends cares about helping others. I haven't laughed as much as we did on both legs of the flight in a long time. Jenna and the VAC volunteers go above and beyond to assist in whichever way they can!
Shawn & Sophie
There are not enough words to describe how much Veteran Airlift Command has positively impacted my life. I lost both eyes and sustained other permanent injuries while serving in Iraq with the USMC. Traveling is on of the biggest triggers I have, airports are not blind friendly. One of the most difficult parts is knowing my wife has to carry so much of the weight when it comes to us flying anywhere. We have used VAC twice now and it has been one of the best opportunities for me. i was never stressed, triggered or on edge. They went above and beyond to make sure my wife and I were fully taken care of. I'd give them ten stars if it was possible. Thank you VAC for all you do for wounded veterans like myself and our families.
Got the opportunity to fly with Veterans Airlift Command a couple times now, and I've got to say, they have really helped out and accommodated Me and my family and service dog Csar very well. We've been able to fly comfortable and with ease when we travel with the pilots that offer up their time with VAC. I hope to continue using VAC in the future and recommend them whenever possible. Truly a very good organization that has been there for me when i needed them most. Thank you VAC for your continued support.
Tom Block, SGT(retired), 75th Ranger Regiment, Army
Thank you to Veterans Airlift Command who organized the flight for me and my family to go home for my Dad's funeral/burial. A special thanks to the generosity of Bruce and Rosemary Rose who flew us down and Jesse Dykman who flew us back. I can't thank you guys enough. You guys brought a bit of light and happiness to our life during a sad and difficult time. Thank you.
The Veterans Airlift Command, Jenna Deibel, and our pilot Jim Penn, played a very important role for my wife and I. I used to be an army infantryman, served 2 deployments in support of OIF III and the surge for baghdad. While on a patrol, my uparmored 1151 was struck by an 8 array EFP in the south rashid Al Jihad AO of baghdad. My wife, Mae and our 5 children are from Micronesia in the pacific, Guam and Saipan. We needed to fly to Alabama to help an elder couple, Frank and Janet Onedera, move to Killeen, TX. Frank has had 2 heart surgeries and has other health conditions. When my wife heard of their move, we offered our help. We will continue to keep all who make this awesome non-profit organization in our hearts and prayers lifting you all up and in a safe journey and safe travels. God Bless you all and thank you Jenna and Jim.
I had a military freefall training accident in August of 2016. I was in the hospital for three months and I have been doing medical rehabilitation since then in San Antonio. When my wife told my children that they were moving to San Antonio to be with daddy (me) while I was doing therapy, one of the first thing my daughter asked was if she was still going to be able to have her and her sister's 7th and 4th birthday party at home in Tennessee with family and friends. My wife couldn't answer her at that time. But thanks to Veterans Airlift Command, they were able to provide flights home for myself, my wife, and 3 children so that we could see family before my next big surgery in a couple days and so that my girls could have their birthday party. I am extremely grateful for them and what they have done for my family and I. Flying is always stressful; having to buy tickets, getting to the airport 2 hours early, checking bags, dealing with security. With VAC, there was none of that. It was by far the best travel experience I've ever had.
All I can tell you is that VAC is nothing but TOP NOTCH. I have had several encounters with member from VAC and they are all outstanding and professional. I recently had a trip to Grand Isle Louisianan. Talked with my outbound pilot several days before the flight and everything was all lined up. All I had to do is show up at the airport and he was there waiting on me. Great flight!. Same experience on the way back.
Great folks at VAC. The pilots I have met have all been very professional and willing to work with me with anything that I needed. If it was not for VAC, I would not have been able to make this trip due to my injuries. They also took another wounded veteran along on this trip with me.
Thanks again VAC
1Sgt TIm Bell
US Army retired
My husband is enrolled in the Share Program in Atlanta Ga For his Ptsd and Traumatic Brain Injury along with physical injuries. Veterans Airlift Command Jim Terry was able to fly my son and I down to Atlanta to spend a weekend with him. Definately a 5 star orginazation. Thank you
I can't Thank VAC enough for what they do, they have helped me attend unit reunions as well as others events. Thank you to all the pilots as well who volunteer their time.
My family is so thankful for this amazing program!
I prayed that we would have a way to our brothers wedding if we were supposed to be there. I filled out the info for a flight to the east coast and received a very kind and quick response. Later, got a phone call letting us know that it's harder to find a flight from CA to SC which we totally understood, and figured maybe we just weren't meant to go. She had offered to get us two tickets which we thought was so kind and generous! The only downside was not having anyone to watch our 4 young kids. A little more than a week before the wedding I was talking to my sister in law looking at flights and trying to figure out a way to get there. We said goodnight and we would talk more tomorrow. When I woke up in the morning I had an email saying please call me so we can book your flight! I could not believe it! I was so beyond excited and shocked!! I was just blown away by veterans airlift command for buying a round trip from coast to coast flight for my family! Our family was all beyond happy and greatful we were able to go. Our kids had the most awesome time ever playing with so many of their cousins! We had such an amazing weekend and we can't thank this program enough! The wedding was beautiful, and the time we spent with family was priceless. We will remember forever and be so thankful that we were able to go! Jenna was the sweetest person to communicate with and we appreciate her and everyone involved at Veterans Airlift Command! Thank you so much!!
I cannot express in words my gratitude for this stellar organization. I am a combat Veteran who suffers from PTSD and subsequently choose to self medicate. I was in desperate need of a change in the dysfunctional environment I was in. Once I shared my struggle these folks jumped into action to help facilitate an opportunity to visit with other Veterans. They allowed me to spend time with some old Army family. I know this may sound a bit like hyperbole, but I feel they have played a key role in recovery. Sometimes we all need help and Veteran's Airlift Command walks the walk and live up to the phrase "I've got your six!"
Since my injury fighting in Afghanistan VAC has made it possible for my wife and I to travel comfortably to see family and attend unit reunions. Such a great program! also thank you so much to the selfless pilots that volunteer their time to fly us.
SGT Jon Harmon
Jenna was outstanding representing the VAC for my flight out and back from D.C. to KC. She was amazing showing her support and that of the VAC. I had two great pilots; Mike and Bob. I suffered a TBI from Iraq and was able to get state of the art treatment through a private institution in Bethesda MD: The Brain Wellness and Biofeedback Center (Dr. Mary Lee)/ and treatment paid for by the Brain Wellness Fund-a 501c3 (Beth-"Supporting treatment for our nations heroes with TBI and PTS"). I was able to get parts of my brain working again through a series of these treatments that have not been working since my injury. I cannot thank enough the VAC. They will forever have my gratitude, and be part of a life changing treatment that occurred over six weeks. Thank you soo much for the pilots (Mike and Bob) and VAC support to make this happen.
My family was in desperate need of assistance during a time of tremendous challenge. Veterans Airlift command went way above and beyond to provide me with transportation to a facility which I was able to heal. I cannot say enough how much organizations like this make a positive difference in people's lives.