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Veterans Airlift Command

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Transportation Assistance, Veterans

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

Programs: The purpose of the organization is to provide free air transportation for medical and other compassionate purposes to wounded warriors, veterans, and their families through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Such air transportation will be provided to these individuals when other practical means of transportation are inadequate or unavailable.

organization provides transportation to wounded veterans from their homes to various medical facilities arownd the country as deamed necessary by the military medical staff.

Community Stories

226 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kurt S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We want to thank you for what you do! It is a great thing to have individuals who are willing to use their time and resources to provide help to another. My husband, Kurt Santini II, has been traveling via corporate air service for a few years now to attend doctor appointments across the country. He is a veteran who was injured in the Army, and is now being cared for by the elite medical team through Operation Backbone. This requires him to travel for all his doctor appointments, including tests. The service we were using before we were put in contact with you promised so much ease that we were happy at first. But once arriving at the airport for the first of many travels, we knew that we were not being given what was promised. Kurt had been dealing with excruciating pain in his back and neck for 18 years. The airport and airline service promised that he would not have to go through the security checks in the same way that others did. Because being patted down, removing his shoes, and holding his hands up over his head to be scanned, all caused more pain than he could bear. That is all in addition to the pain that was caused just to sit, stand, and walk for too long.

When we were put into contact with Veteran’s Air Lift Command, it was a sigh of relief. To know that you are providing transportation to veterans in need with little to NO hassle is amazing. Kurt’s first trip with one of your pilots, while painful, because there was nothing anyone could do about it, was literally a walk in the park! No check in’s, no baggage checks, no security checks. All the stuff that gives regular people a headache, that causes people like Kurt physical debilitating pain, was not required. We walked in, met the pilot, and he boarded the plane. It was that simple!

We thank you for providing for those who fought for our country! We appreciate that you are giving back, and we know that you do so much more than most realize. Thank you



Misty & Kurt Santini II

Sue Gay K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son retired from the Air Force 10 years ago because after 5 deployments to Iraq he was scheduled to go again and his health was consistently going down hill . I have been his caregiver now for most of those 10 years and it has been a heartbreaking time for this mom to see a very vibrant, funny, happy, and intelligent man become a recluse and loose the use of what was once a very healthy body. He loved to golf, to play music and socialize with others. Today he just sits at home because of the PTSD he does not want to be out among people and he is very depressed as well loosing the use of his legs due to a very severe case of neuropathy which we are very sure is due to the Burn Pits.
We had heard of other Veterans using a corporation called CereScan that does a diagnostic spect scan on the brain and has been able to help those with lots of different injuries. So we inquired and like what we found out and then set out to try and get from MS to Denver .
One of the other caregivers told me about Veterans Airlift Command and how good they were to her husband and her when they had to travel so we gave it a shot and all I can say is WOW! These people had us set up with a private plane ride within a week of our call and what a blessing it was as I know a trip through a big airport and a crowded airliner would have been terrible for my son. The pilot picked us up at our small town airport and took us to a little town right outside of Denver and close to the clinic and the Hotel we were staying at. Then he flew back and picked us up when our appointments were over and brought us home safe and sound along with my son's best buddy Jasper his service Dog. I could not ask for a more caring person then our pilot and he also was a veteran so my son and him were able to have good conversation which is a rarity for him. All I can say is Thank you Veterans Airlift Command so very much for helping us and all the other Veterans in this great country for which they all sacrificed a part of their lives for so we could live in the best country in the world ! The USA!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Talk about a blessing! If this program could be rated with 10 stars, It would have earned 11. Let’s start with the Operations Coordinator Jenna. The first person you come in contact with, you couldn’t find a better person for her role. She sounds angelic and enthusiastic. She walks with you and keeps you posted through the entire process. My wife and I requested a flight to the National Ability Center in Park city Utah. Jenna said this would not be an issue, since we were requesting a couple months in advance. A couple of weeks prior to leaving Mr Skip Walker, our pilot, contacted me with departing itinerary. A very friendly, high spirited gentleman. On or about the same time Mr Gary Renick, our returning pilot contact me with the returning itinerary. Gary was with his wife. We talked with each other the entire flight. These folks made us feel special. This was the best traveling experience I’ve ever had. I’m a 100% disabled army sergeant major, and I have traveled a lot. Thirty four years of service, 25 spent in aviation with 7 combat tours. Best Veterans Program out there!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Iam a 26 yr direct Commission Officer who served in Desert Storm, OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom who has TBI, PTSD and host of other injuries. I have been flying with Vetrans AirLift Command since 2013. These guys are who makes it happen. If it wasn’t for them I could never receive the care I do for the TBI treatment at the Buffalo VA.
I would like too Salute Veterens AirLift Command and it’s entire staff and say Thank You.
V/R,
Major Ronnie Jennings (Retired)

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was my second flight with veterans airlift command and both times I have been very happy with the professionalism of the program. Everything was done in a timely manner and is stress free, everyone is very polite and caring. The pilots have always been very welcoming and make you feel like there's no worries. I won't ever fly commercial again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nearly 13 yrs of life saving surgeries needed for my son, the worst TBI to have survived and improved. To travel with supplies, the need for comfort, short waits and quick flights is a challenge and impossible on commercial airlines. Helping someone with such an injury is complicated. The only place that can do surgery on this injury is Walter Reed NMMC and often we have to get there in emergency mode. The response and generosity of these pilots and the coordinators has made the back and forth travel seamless for us and taken a lot of stress and worry out of a very stressful situation. I am forever in debt to Veteran's Airlift Command. I don't know what our wounded would do without them. Christine Cooley proud mom of Sgt. Joshua Cooley USMC

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was injured in 2005 and I was flown to Germany because he was not supposed to make the flight home. It was an IED and shrapnel the size of a credit card that tore from one side of his brain to the other through the mid line. No one has survived passing through the midline esp since there was blood in it. It also destroyed the whole frontal lobe of the brain, he was burned, had a broken arm. Even the surgeons at NNMC, now Walter Reed, said he would not survive. But he fought to live frequently coming out of the medically induced coma too soon. Again I was told would have no function or even know me. Numerous surgeries, touch and go, infections, collapsed lung, swelling, on and on. When the body started to stabilize months later he opened his eyes once again, looked at me and smiled with definite recognition, The doctors were stunned. We have flown back and forth for surgeries with the military until he was medically retired 2 yrs after the injury, The VA could not handle his injury and still cannot. So whenever I need to get to Walter Reed VAC has been there for me. Commercial flights are impossible for him, the stress of waiting, the 6 6 1/2 size of him, the amount of medication we have to travel with and what we need to take with us would cost more than a flight. The expense alone is just too much, We need to get to Walter Reed fast at times and we will always have to go at least once a year. VAC has been there for us ever since my son has retired. I put in a request and the flight response happens so quickly it is amazing. My son is a miracle that cannot be explained, walking, talking , memory, huge sense of humor, living a quality life even if he cannot live alone. Every owner/crew we have flown with has kept in touch with us. This last trip they texted to follow his surgery, they all love updates through out the year. They are like our flying family. I am ever grateful for the generosity of these wonderful people, It takes so much stress off of me and especially my son when we need to fly. VAC gets it, from the first contact to getting back home, and they are my heroes. Thank you VAC.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran Airlift Comamand is one of the greatest nonprofits we have ever been involved with. Everyone at VAC is truly amazing, They always go above and beyond for severally wounded veterans and their families. We are forever greatful for VAC and how much they have helped my family. VAC’s mission has helped my husband be able to travel without stress or anxiety, they have given him back his freedom while we traveling and for that, we will always support their mission. Thank you to everyone at VAC and all volunteers, you are truly amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was lucky to come home from combat, unfortunately I didn't make it back whole. I also had no idea I would require over 30 surgeries with many more to come in my lifetime. Before I learned of VAC I would fly to the hospital where my surgery would take place and after a few days of recovery and as soon as the doctors would discharge me I would fly home. I would struggle in the airports, through TSA , and felt trapped once wheeled onto the plane. Forget the fact that I had open wounds which could easily get infected, and incredible amounts of pain. Once I found out about this organization I applied for my next procedure and my mission was approved quickly. I flew direct from my local airport to the city in which the procedure took place. The process was smooth, I met amazing patriots that I call friends to this day and I became a family member of Veterans Airlift Command. This organization has tremendous leadership, first-class volunteers, and fills a niche no other non profit comes close to filling. For that I am grateful for Veterans Airlift Command and the many Hero Flights they provide for all of us still struggling. Please put this Non profit at the top of your list!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husbands was a Rescue swimmer for the Navy for 24 years. He has many injuries, PTSD and Sleeping issue which includes night terrors from both wars. He is unable to drive for much of a distance. Our son has been sick since birth and the only doctors that can treat him is in Orlando. We had moved to the panhandle in Florida. I knew my son needed his dad and his dad couldn't be left home alone with all the medication he takes. We were referred to this amazing organization from my first call the were so warm and welcoming. They confirmed a pilot for us down to Orlando. I was in tears that they could help our family. Mr. Ken flew us down no problem. Yet, we didn't know when we were coming back depending on the surgery. We heard we would be discharged one day. I spoke with Jenna on her cell phone after hours she confirmed our flight home. Then we got knews they needed to do another procedure on our son. I called her she rearranged our flight with Mr. Elliot. Now we are waiting to hear back about the biopsies on what major surgery that he needs. When speaking with them and the pilot on the way home. Both said just call us once the schedule that surgery and we will be here for you. As a military wife of 22 years we don't hear that much. I'm so thankful for the organization and all the pilots. Thank you much

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can’t thank Veterans Airlift Command enough for not only transporting my family and I to and from my father’s intensive care unit bedside but also for being instrumental in getting us through an extremely trying time.
Veterans Airlift Command was able to fly my family and I on three seperate occasions over a period of seven months at critical points in his recovery.

Everything from the application process to communicating with Maria Miles to communicating with the pilots was seamless further alleviating any anxiety around travel.

I am eternally grateful to Veteran’s Airlift Command- for their time and dedicated service to veterans with disabilities seen and unseen.

LJ S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command has gone above and beyond for myself and my family. We have been able to utilize the generosity of their services numerous times. My wife and I will forever be greatful for the role that Veterans Airlift Command and their pilots have played in our lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my eyes the pilots and staff at VAC are nothing less than guardian angels looking over us veterans to come and take us out of the terrible situation of not being able to get to medical care and parting the proverbial dark clouds and picking us up out of the situation and getting us help. My doctor is halfway across the country and if I dont get treatment every few months I will die and the stress of getting there has been completely allievated by VAC. Blizzard or shine, Jenna has always made sure I got to my appointment on time. The pilots who volunteer their aircraft and time are beyond awesome. The wounded warrior community is so blessed to have organizations like VAC looking out for us.

Adam H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've used this charity a couple of times when I have been in need. I have always experienced great service, no hassle and have always made life-long friends. VAC is a terrific resource for veterans in need of transportation. I don't know what I would have done without them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The whole process from start to finish was incredibility easy and the people at Veterans Airlift Command were especially helpful. They communicated with you to ensure you understood the process and what to expect.

This was the easiest flying experience I have ever had. I have great difficulty in flying commercial these folk stepped up big. Allowing me to get the care I needed and helped me to get to my family who needed my help. The pilots (especially Mark C.) were excellent and a pleasure to fly with.

With much gratitude,
Jess F

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Stellar organization from start to finish. I was in need of a flight from Denver to Kansas City and Veterans Airlift Command stepped up in a big way. This is one smooth and professional operation. Scheduling was easy and seamless. I received timely information on where and when I was to be picked up. The pilots were professional, on time, and welcoming. I truly appreciated the pilots taking the time to talk with me and take all the guess work out of flying with them in their aircraft. The organization follows up with a courtesy call to see how everything went while in their hands. I am very grateful and humbled for the willingness of everyone involved to support veterans and help my family in a time of need. Thank You!

Jose N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a combat wounded veteran that will require surgery for the rest of my life by specialists I recently went in for routine surgery across the country at my specialist in Virginia what was supposed to be routine turned out to be something severe I would be spending a week in the hospital possibly more at a moments notice veterans airlift flew my fiancé across the country so that she can take care of me after I was out of the hospital I was in severe pain veterans airlift surprised me with a private jet ride all the way to California I got to fly home in comfort Rather than having to deal with the chaos at the airport while relying on a wheelchair Which saved me a lot of pain I am forever grateful to veterans airlift They truly care and support our veterans

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Kathleen Harris C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!