VAC is an amazing service that made my travel during a difficult time seamless and pain free. I’m very thankful and humbled by the gratuity of the not only VAC but of the plane owners and pilots who give so much. I hope to be fortunate enough to use the nonprofit pagain. Thanks!
Thank you do much for the dedication d as bf service to our Veterans. My son would not be able to travel for medical appointments without your services. Much love and respect to you all.
SSG Ryan Craig
Veteran's Airlift Command is awesome! They have helped me several times travel with my service dog to make life a little bit easier. They get you in and out of small airports easily, and often times with really great airplanes. The staff is VERY responsive, and the pilots are always really great people that just want to help out injured veterans. I highly recommend VAC to any insured service-member that is traveling with family or a service dog. I love these guys!
Veterans Airlift Command has been incredible to our family. My husband lost both of his legs in Afghanistan is Jan 2019 and as a result has had multiple appointments for prosthesis. Flying on commercial flights can difficult due to small seating /leg room and timeliness of switching flights. Veterans Airlift Command takes away all the stress and discomfort and their volunteers go out of their way to make it as comfortable as possible.
VAC has always come through with flights, even with very short notice requests we have made.
So often the pilots explain what a privilege it is to be able to fly Combat Wounded Veterans, but what they should also realize is what an incredible experience it is to be flown by such high caliber Americans.
I can’t say enough good things about them!
Thank you, VAC!
Veterans Airlift Command is such a blessing. Because of the help we received from them we were able to receive the medical care my husband needed quickly. They were able to fly him to medical facilities quickly which we would not have been able to afford if we had to pay for last minute flights. They are also very kind and understanding with all our complications and difficult situations. Without them I don’t think my husband would have been able to get the quality care he needed and get well as fast as did. Thanks VAC!
VAC is an amazing organization that has made traveling for medical treatment easier not only for me but for my family. The stress and pain of commercial air travel or riding in the car for days caused me to rethink or forgo necessary appointments. To be able to get where I need to go within a few hours is priceless. The staff is always extremely helpful and works to fulfill travel requests quickly. Every pilot I have encountered has been professional and friendly. VAC is a top organization helping the wounded veteran community!
In 2012 while on dismounted patrol I stepped on an IED losing both of my legs. I completed my recovery at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland and moved back home to Woodland, California. While my VA experience has been good, nothing compares to the care you receive at Walter Reed.
It has been a long time sense I had been to Walter Reed and I need a lot of work done on my prostheses. So I contact Veterans Airlift Command to see if they could fly me out there. The experience flying with VAC has been like no other. Flying commercially is difficult because of the small spaces, having to take prosthetics off for comfort and switching planes. Having to get off the plane in a timely manner and rush to our connecting flight is always a challenge. Flying with VAC I did not have to worry about any of that. The crew was awesome and the flight was very comfortable, resulting in less pain than what I usually experience flying commercially. The entire process was easy, from requesting the mission to boarding the flight.
I am so incredibly grateful for the flight crew who flew us to Walter Reed, Veterans Airlift Command, Carrington Charitable Foundation and their donors.
VAC has been a lifesaver on multiple occasions! After being injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, I’ve had a lot of medical appointments and recovery to work through over the years. VAC has provided a seamless experience in helping me get to the appointments that can help me get back on my feet for myself and my family. My new normal is a lot better because of organizations like this one. If you want to donate your time or money to a worthy cause, donate it here!
When my husband was relocated from our home in California to Alabama for military training, we worried how we would keep up with our medically complex two year old's care. Owen was born with 22q deletion syndrome and a congenital heart defect. He has a weak immune system and cannot travel on a commercial flight.
This month, when Owen needed a procedure at his home hospital in California, Veterans Airlift Command stepped up and offered us safe transportation. We are so grateful!
In early 2020, I began my next mission in search of the reasons why some veterans succeed after their military experience, and why some are unable to find the right path in transitioning home effectively. Behind this goal, also seeks the reasons why suicide as a whole is effecting so many? As you can see, this goal has many dynamics and many veterans would be needed to tell their stories. Documentaries are a costly thing and properly finding the right veterans to tell this story was not an easy nor were they a close resource.
VAC allowed this project to reach heights I never planned by going the extra mile to fly me to Arizona to interview and record some wonderful and resourceful veterans. Although their generosity may have been shown through a flight with Mike, their program also allowed a group of veterans to come together and share their experiences through a therapeutic approach. As many of us veterans know, sometimes this opportunity alone does wonders for us.
Your work at Veterans Airlift Command goes beyond the miles flown. Your program literally leaves a lasting impression on lives going forward.
Thank you Veterans Airlift Command(VAC) for giving me the ability to regain my eyesight and for restoring my faith in humanity after a horrible year recovering from my wounds received by an ISIS suicide bomber in January 2019. Because of your professional staff and volunteers the DoD authorized my travel from my duty station to across the US so I could attend training on a device that helped me see again. It was because I did not have to sit on a crowded airplane or in a terminal while in the middle of Covid-19 that I was allowed to travel. The pilots and airplane were top notch and my wife and I enjoyed the three hour flight very much. Again thank you for giving me the mode of travel to regain my hope for a brighter future, and the training on a device that allowed me to see my beautiful wife after a year of darkness. God Bless!
Veterans Air Lift Command was amazing to work with. They gave me and my husband a safe flight in order to have an operation that I had been suffering for over a year from. My husband is a combat veteran that served post 9/11. As a family of four we have endured many trials and have been craving normalcy. The quality of my life had been completely halted due to a rare set of medical circumstances. The crew took such great care of us. Every detail was thought of to make us feel special and safe. Thank you guys for helping get my life back. - Tessa Cruz
Phenomenal organization. VAC has been supporting my family and I since my time in the ICU (intensive care unit) at Walter Reed six years ago. Humbled and grateful.
Veterans Airlift Command is an amazing organization. The VAC team and pilots truly have a knack for making you feel like family. After being injured in Afghanistan in 2012, the team came to visit my wife and me at the hospital and told us that when we were well enough to go home for the first time that they would be happy to help. At this point, it was difficult to get out of the hospital bed, so flying halfway around the country seemed impossible but we soon learned that VAC makes the impossible, possible! We have so much respect and appreciation for the staff, the pilots and everyone else who makes VAC's mission possible.
I recently had my 60th surgery after initially losing my leg 9 years ago while in Afghanistan. Without Veteran Airlift Command's assistance I would have had to settle for inefficient care given the nature of my injuries. I've been refused by VA's and even turned away from another large Military installation. Each issue and event causing a massive disruption in trying to live a "normal" life.
Veterans Airlift Command and their donors have made it possible for me to receive the necessary care, even in an emergency situation with a seamless, user friendly process. Working in the nonprofit world myself, it's refreshing to know their is an organization that follows through for those that need it the most.
Jenna is awesome!
My name is Derick Carver and I recently had the pleasure of using Veterans Airlift Command to cover my travel from Cleveland to Arkansas. It was on short notice and required some maneuvering to pull off. Thankfully the organization and flight donors, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, were all very understanding and flexible. I wouldn't have been able to make the trip without their support. I highly recommend to all disabled troops and individuals looking to make a donation.
VAC is so supportive of our family! When my husband was injured in 2012 we didn’t know what our lives would look like. Seven years later we are thriving normal part of society and it’s thanks to non profits like VAC who have empowered us!
They are always a phone call away if we need to get home/hospital/visit family far away!
Veteran Airlift Command is the greatest nonprofits I have ever been involved with. Everyone at VAC is truly remarkable.
They continuously go above and beyond for veterans and their families. My family and I forever will be thankful for VAC and how much they have helped us. VAC’s mission has helped numerous Veterans and their families travel without stress or anxiety.
We will always support their mission. Thank you to everyone at VAC and all volunteers, you are truly amazing.
Our non-profit has worked with Veteran's Airlift Command for several years now, thanks to Mr. Fricke and Mrs. Miles we are able to execute our mission of healing veterans, one family at a time. The process from start to finish is seamless the way Maria handles it, she communicates where we are with the mission at all times and pours her heart into making sure we have our flights. She goes above and beyond and its all because her giving heart.The donors and pilots that endlessly give and give are the greatest givers in this world and we thank you for that. From all of us at BrothersKeepers we truly thank you two for all you have done and continue to do for our heroes. God Bless you both!
We could not say enough good things about VAC! My husband is a double amputee and makes the anxiety and stressful feelings of flying an unpleasant experience. We look forward to our trips across the country to visit loved ones SO much more because of Veterans Airlift Command. We are forever grateful!
Veterans Airlift Command is such a great group of people who really care for vets. This isn't some group of people looking to dog and pony. They are down to earth people wanting to help veterans by inviting them to become a part of their families. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making us family and being there when we needed a lift.
The Dunn family
We owe a great deal of gratitude to Veterans Airlift Command and their generous pilots.
Maria worked effortlessly to arrange flights and alleviate the burden of my husband flying commerical as he was often without his prosthetic due to repeated surgeries and recovery times.
Without their support during a very grim time, our children would not have had the opportunity to visit with their father making family time that much more nonexistent. Thank you VAC for being there when we didn’t even know what was needed or let alone, how to get it done in the midst of the storm. Your acts of generosity will forever be engrained in our lives.
What an amazing organization. They have blessed my family multiple times as I underwent numerous revisions on my amputated leg. If it was not for VAC, I would not have been able to make it home in time for my sons birth. My family and I are truly grateful for the staff, pilots and families that support VAC.
VAC was truly a blessing to me and my family. I cannot thank VAC enough for their generosity and time. Slim (pilot) was incredible and super friendly. I am honored to have been able to fly back home after my amputation at Walter Reed. I hope there is some way I can repay VAC for their generosity.
My time after injury in Afghanistan in 2011 where I lost my right leg would have been substantially more complicated without Veterans Airlift Command. They helped my family and I in ways that I am not sure I will ever truly be able to show. Their ability to gather amazing patriots who are willing to donate their time, aircraft and finances in hopes of getting some of America’s finest going through recovery from point A to point B is astonishing. They will forever hold a special place in my heart.
I can not begin to talk about how amazing this organization is. Not only do they attract some of the finest people to help fly veterans, but it builds relationships that we will be able to secure for life. There are two pilots that outside of the organization I have communicated with and am blessed to know. The service is beyond prompt and the people behind the scenes know nothing but kindness!
My experience with Veterans Airlift Command was hands down the best experience of my life! Maria was our Mission Coordinator and made everything effortless for us. I had to stay at BAMC for over a month and knowing my travel was taken care of was a big stress reliever. Thank you to Choctaw for flying us multiple times to and from Ft. Leonard Wood!
The compassion and care this organization has is truly amazing. They have helped me several times over the years to be there for family during some really tough times. I've also had the pleasure to attend one of their annual fundraising events. It was amazing to be in a room of individuals who put service above self.
Veterans Airlift Command(VAC) is a great non profit with members that take every chance at helping secure flights to get veterans where they need to be. The pilots that fly with VAC have been some of the greatest bunch of folks I've had the chance to meet. I always look forward to sharing stories with the pilots and they make sure that my family and I are as comfortable as we can be when flying. This service makes it very relaxing and as stress free as possible when flying with a toddler and service dog. Thank you very much for the continued support VAC!
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
VAC is nothing short of amazing! Maria did everything she could to help our family of seven get to where we needed to be. We were so concerned with having such a large family but Maria made it happen and we couldn’t be more grateful!
We are so thankful for VAC. My husband is a double amputee, so flying can be troublesome for him. Maria worked hard to find us flights and they did not disappoint. She was always available for questions and information. The pilots and plane owners were incredibly kind and accommodating. We are forever grateful.
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
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!!
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!!
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.
Major Ronnie Jennings (Retired)
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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!
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
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.
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.
The support that I received from Veterans Airlift Command this past week was beyond exceptional. Due to this great organization, I was able to get a family member's funeral in Texas with little notice. After filling out my request, I literally received a call a few minutes later from Jenna Deibel to see how they could assist. She took care of our arrangements and made sure we got there on time. Today I also received a call from Andrew Lourake to make sure we made it home safely and to ask how I was doing. What a great group of people helping veterans!
Thank you VAC and pilots Eric Whyte and Mike Conley for helping me get home to see my family and attend the funeral of my Grandmother. I havent been home in over 4 years due to medical treatment and being overseas. You guys are great Americans and I am so grateful to be introduced to this great organization. Thank you for all that you do.