Luke's Wings is an amazing non-profit that has done so many things for many many wounded and thier families, including my husband and myself.
May 8, 2012, our then 22 year old son, a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Afghanistan, stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs. It doesnt take much of an imagination to conjure up the simultaneous feelings of shock, fear, sorrow, nausea, and confusion, along with gratitude that your loved one is alive, that family and friends feel upon hearing this news. The first days are a blur. The Marine Corps flew my husband, myself, and one of our 5 children, our younger son, from Pueblo, Colorado to D.C. to Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. What a joy to see our precious son, alive and very upbeat, very much himself in spite of his injuries. How very quickly it becomes overwhelming when you are told of the months, possibly years of treatment that lie ahead and the realization that one of us will be able, thank God, to stay with him through his recovery time, but that we will be separated as a family. After a few days, my husband and younger son flew home and I stayed with our injured son. We were told about Luke's Wings, a wonderful organization that wil fly family in to visit their wounded warrior for free. What a Godsend! Our family of 7 is very close and the joy that it brought my son to have his three sisters and his beloved niece able to visit him later that week was the best medicine in the world. Many times throughout the next year, Luke's Wings provided flights which I credit directly with my son's cheerful attitude, quick healing, and keeping our family close. I was away from my then 15 year old daughter and my husband throughout that year and from my 10 year old daughter for 6 months, but thanks to Luke's Wings, my son and I flew home for the best Thanksgiving and Christmas ever, our first visit home since May. Anytime I am asked what charities were the most helpful during our time at Walter Reed, Luke's Wings is at the top of the list. Not only did they keep us together as a family, flying us between Colorado and D.C., but Jen Magerer, the liaison at Luke's Wings, is a friend to all the families at Walter Reed, coordinating fun outings, providing for us in ways above and beyond her job description, and just being a friend. I know this is a bit long, but I just can't say enough about this wonderful charity. My son and I came home this May, one year after his injuries. He is doing very well. He is now engaged to a lovely young lady who was his girlfriend last May and is now his fiancée. Luke's Wings flew her out several times over the last year as well, which definitely contributed to my son's healing process and happiness. To our family, Luke's Wings are angel's wings.
Review from Guidestar
Hi, my name is Rebecca Strong, the wife of Chaplain Will Strong Jr. Chaplain Strong collapsed in Fort Irwin, California due to a condition called Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). He has had a lot of complications due to this condition and has had two brain surgeries to place a shunt to remove fluid off his brain. Last April, Lindsay Kin and Fletcher flew to the Hydro Angel of the Year Event in San Antonio, Texas to meet Will and let him know that he was going to get his dream come true. His dream was to fly to Alaska to see his family, including his sister whom he hadn't seen in over 12 years. He was suppose to fly last July, but was too sick to do so. Will was medically retired in September of 2012. Our family is currently visiting Wasilla, Alaska and we are so thankful to Luke's Wings who was able to purchase our tickets and for following up with us through out this past year as we needed to wait for him to be well enough. I definitely recommend that people should give to this organization as they are doing so much to help our wounded military families. I haven't seen my husband smile this much in a very long time. Thank you Luke's Wings.
Hello my name is CPL Joshua Lopez. I am a US Marine injured early April 2013, while in combat in Afghanistan. Ever since have been hospitalized recovering from my many injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. I come from a big family having 6 younger siblings, my father self employed and his work load is very slow and my mother who lost her job to be with me caring for all needs this whole time. Luke's Wings unselfish acts of kindness has allowed my mother to be with me as well fly back and forth home to also attend to the rest of the family. Without their dedication and generosity, it would be impossible for my family to assist me as they have. I am forever grateful for all their hard work, their kindness and the immediate flights they provide which makes a world of a difference in my spiritual outcome as well as in my recovery progress. I've witnessed their devotion at Walter Reed visiting numerous families from all branches. Spending countless hours of their own time making life a little nicer for the injured. Bringing personal items such as clothing for the ladies to attend the balls. Things such as that that they do not have to do but do so because of their sincere kind nature. I've seen and delt with other organizations and by far Luke's wings has touched my heart the most. Thank you Jennifer, Tammi, Linsey and Fletcher. I'm humbled by your blessings! God bless Luke's wings
Great organization that helped us in the time of need. Very carrying people and each and everyone of them is taking time to be personally involved in the lives of wounded soldiers.
Luke's Wings make it possible for me to come visit my brother at Walter Reed. He was wounded in Afghanistan almost three years ago and is still there doing physical therapy every day. It is because of Luke's Wings that I am able to come visit him and marvel in his progress- I would not be able to afford a plane ticket across the country and they make it possible. It has been especially touching to me when they reach out in times of uncertainty and get you there as soon as possible when your wounded warrior is back in the hospital and in need of the love of their family. Thank you Luke's Wings for everything you do!
Not only have I been a volunteer for over a year at this point, I have also taken this cause on as my platform for the Exquisite International pageant. I volunteer as well as help spread awareness on this cause because in my heart they are the most important charity I could ever spend my free time working for. I hope that more people come to realize that taking care of our wounded Veterans is not a luxury its a necessity.
Being born and raised in the DC area I have participated in a lot of volunteer organizations however, never have I cried, laughed and felt more proud to be a part of an organization. What they do is so incredible and helps on a level that is SO important in helping our wounded Veterans know they are not forgotten for their sacrifice. I hold their mission very close to my heart and look forward to helping them connect Veterans with their families for years to come!
On January 24, my 82 year old father was scheduled for surgery on his right leg. He has had approximately 13 surgeries to include five heart surgeries. He has also had prostate cancer. My father had surgery in November 2011 and died during the procedure but the doctors were able to revive him. I requested help from Luke's Wings to be with my father before, during and after his surgery. His is a Marine Veteran who lives in Florida and I am an Air Force Veteran who lives in Texas. My father is married and he and my stepmother have raised three grandchildren for the past 17 years. The eldest child who is now 18, just recently moved from their home. They sill have two children there, ages 16 and 15. There are no school buses for help, no local grocery stores or gas stations. They only own one car. Despite their ages and my dad's heath, they have had to manage raising children on limited income and resources and little support from others. I was not sure how much help I could be, but I wanted to be there to help and support my parents before and after my dad's surgery.
The surgery was to help restore blood circulation to his foot. His does not have diabetes, but has had poor circulation in his veins and arteries for years. He has had most of the veins in his left leg replaced. Veins have been taken from his arms and used elsewhere. He has had surgery on his right leg before and has plastic veins in it. For some reason, there was no blood flow below the knee of his right leg so one of the surgeons recommend amputation of the leg above the knee. Another surgeon suggested they wait until they open his leg and see what other options they may have. During surgery, the doctors found a functioning vein below the knee which ran to the foot. The vein which was not functioning was replaced with a vein from a cadaver and connected to a working vein in the thigh area and the working vein in the shin area. He stay in the hospital a few days to ensure the vein would continue to function and provide blood flow to his foot. He has a strong pulse in his foot. My step mother and I took turns staying with him in the hospital. Once home, I was able to help with getting the children to school, getting him to the bathroom, in and out of his chair, making him comfortable, staying with him so my stepmother could go to the grocery store, taking him to a doctor's appointment., etc.
When he went into surgery, my stepmother, father and I had some of the same fears. Would he survive? Would he lose and leg and if so, could he return home? How would my stepmother be able to manage a 6', 280 lb man? How would she be able to manage the children without him? When I found out he was not going to lose his leg and he could eventually return home, all I could do was cry and be thankful he was still alive.
This may be more information than requested, but I want to some how convey how important it was for my father and me to be there during this time. I am very fortunate to still have my father in my life at our ages. Thank you Luke's Wings and your supporte for allowing me to have this opportunity to spend time he and his family. We not only spent time together, we got to create memories and I believe drew us closer together. I will always be grateful. Thank you.
Review from Guidestar
My fiance Jessie is a double amputee, above the knee. He was injured in Afghanistan Oct. 17, 2011. Jessie and I first heard about Luke's Wings through their No Soldier Spends Christmas Alone campaign 2011 and got our first flight through them with this program. We definitely did not spend Christmas alone that year and were able to fly home to spend it with family and friends instead of in a hospital room. Since then, the organization has flown us several times, including a surprise visit to Jessie's 9 year old brother for his birthday who had not seen Jessie since before he was deployed to Afghanistan. We're very grateful for what they do, not only for us, but for the many other families that have been impacted by their flights and also their friendship. Jessie and I are so proud to be a part of the Luke's Wings Family!! I recommend Luke's Wings to all the new families at the hospital that I can.
Review from Guidestar
My son CPL Joshua Lopez a US Marine, was injured in Afghanistan on April 2, 2012 while in combat after he stepped on a 40 pound IED (improvised exposive devise.) The explosion resulted in many serious injuries. My husband is self employed and I began a new job the day my son was blown up. Although we have a large family and know they need us, Joshua was a priority and being with him meant we would figure all else out later. This was the hardest experience of my life and even at my age, I had been through many trails. For my husband and I to witness our son go through so many surgical procedures sometime 2-3 per week for almost two (2) months was the worse feeling EVER! And having six (6) children at home depending on us just brought so much anguish! To be helpless and still have other life situations coming on it was very helpful to have an organization such as Luke's Wings out there making miracles happen for families who need to be together but do not have the financial means. Thanks to Luke's Wings I was able to fly back and forths from Walter Reed Medical Center where my son Joshua is a patient and home to be with my children and husband as well. I call it, "Able to be in two worlds". It's one less life stressor I as a mother and a wife had to endure because of their kindness and dedication in seeking donations/sponsors to make miracles happen. Here are my sons injuries: His pelvis was broken front & back, lacerations to the right arm, right hand wounded causing a hole through the hand, left heel was detached, lacerations to both legs from heel to up to buttocks, Left leg loss of tissue needing full skin grafting, right leg loss 15cm of tibia, muscle and tissue. Attmepts to salvage the right leg but after four (4) months in severe pain and negative results from surgeries, Joshua decided to have the lower leg amputated. Mentally he is a trooper and well! God bless Luke's Wings now and forever! I will always be humbly grateful for their existance! Mrs. Jessica Meglone-Lopez
It has been an honor and a priviledge to serve our wounded warriors. While I am satisfied about raising over $1,000,000.00 and delivering flights to almost 1,000 wounded warrior families....it's only half way there. We are committed to continuing this mission. Our wounded warriors deserve and need their families by their bedsides.
My husband was severly wounded in Iraq in 2008. We lived in the Maryland area for 4 years while my husband spent countless hours going back and worth to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. At the end of 2011 we decided we wanted to go back to my husbands home state of Arkansas to visit with his entire family for Christmas. We were trying to plan our trip when I remembered Luke's Wings helps get soldiers home for the hoildays. I called and after some careful planning we were not only able to fly our entire family of 6 to Arkansas but they also helped us with a rental car. I'm not sure Luke's Wings even does rental cars all the time but with 4 little boys we needed a car to get around to visit family members. We spent 2 weeks reconnecting with my husbands family and enjoyed ever last minute we could with them. It was truly a blessing to have had the oppunity to not worry about ligistics and driving and hotels!! Anyone with kids knows how hard it is to plan long trips!! Thank you Luke's Wings you were a large part in our awesome family time;)
My son was critically wounded in Afghanistan last year. We live in Southern California and Justin is in Bethesda Maryland. Being that far from home it is extremely difficult. Thank Goodness for Luke's Wings helping to fly Justin and I home to be with our family for our 30 days of leave this year! We could not have done it without you! Thank you so much again..
Wonderful origination! The work you do to help wounded warriors be with family at this most important time in their recovery is wonderful for the family and the soldier. Keep up the fabulous work!
Review from Guidestar
Last September my husband lost both his legs in Afghanistan. I learned about Luke's Wings from Jennifer who we met at the Fisher House. She was so kind to our family and we now consider her a dear friend. She is always wearing a smile and has a heart of gold. Luke's Wings flew out our son and our nephew from California and our niece from Texas, during the Christmas holiday last year. That ment so much to Travis and the kids. Working with them is simple. I filled out a form and that day I was comtacted and had flights for the kids. They have helped our family two other times and we are truely THANKFUL. Our Family Loves Luke's Wings! Thank You so Much for what you do for us! We will always be THANKFUL.
Review from Guidestar
My son was wounded in Afghanistan on May 8th. We received word of his injuries shortly thereafter. At first we were in shock that our son had lost both legs, the right leg just below the knee and his left leg at the knee. He had sustained other injuries, but the report led us to believe that Colton was in critical but stable condition in a medical facility in Afghanistan. He was transported to three different facilities in Afghanistan and finally flown to Landstuhl, Germany. After the initial shock, my wife and I spent a few days crying. Our hearts were broken until we heard our sons voice from a hospital bed in Germany. He assured us that everything would be alright. He even said that when he returned home he was going to be "patient, kind, and nice." We were amazed at his perspective and attitude. After talking to him we became a little more hopeful. Colton arrived at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center on May 13th. We flew out on the 15th and were so glad to see our son. He was still alive. HIs injuries could have been way worse. He had both his hands and his mental faculties. It was during this five day visit that we learned of the Semper Fi Fund, Luke's Wings, and other non-profit organizations that help families of wounded warriors. Through SSgt. Lippold we were introduced to Jennifer Magerer, who works with Luke's Wings. As I stated before we were greatly encouraged and given hope when we heard my sons voice from Germany. He was alive. The same is true with Luke's Wings. When we heard what they were able to do for us in providing travel expenses and making reservations for our travel to and from the Bethesda area we were given hope and in turn Colton would be given hope and greatly encouraged by family members and friends who would be able to visit with him. To date, thousands of dollars of airfare have been provided to my family. Both sets of grandparents from Colorado have been out to see Colton. Colton's girl friend has flown from Florida to see Colton numerous times. A friend from the Marine Corp from California was supplied funds for travel. Colton's immediate family has been provided airfare for many, many airplane rides across the country from Colorado. Colton has even had the joy of tossing his little niece in the air on two different occasions. I just got back from Walter Reed this past weekend (9/14-9/17). My son and I were participants in the Navy 5-miler. Colton and I completed the race. We didn't set any records, but all were amazed that just four months after being severely wounded Colton was able to walk five miles with his prosthesis. Incidently, my daughter and grand daughter accompanied me on this trip provided by none other than Luke's Wings. Thank God for his healing touch in Colton's life. Thank God for a great supportive and praying family. Thank God for our kind, generous and praying friends. Thank God for Luke's Wings and all their kind, caring, and hardworking staff. Jennifer Magerer has been our contact. Thank you Jennifer for all you do. You all have made a tremendous difference, giving us hope and many wonderful times together with the family and with Colton. This time spent with him has sped up the healing process (mentally, physically, emotionally). Because of all of this Colton will be coming home soon. Thank you Luke's Wings.
First let say that I am a big military supporter. I wanted to be involved in ways other than money. It is hard to do this when you yourself are not in the military. I was not sure how to get involved until I met Lindsay Kin. She is one of the nicest, most well spoken people I know. When she talked to me about "Luke's Wings" I knew it was an organization that made such a difference that I wanted to be involved. Then I met Fletcher Gill, Jennifer Megerer and Tammi Armstrong and I knew I had to be apart of this group of incredibly hard working people dedicated to their cause. I have now worked with "Luke's Wings" for the last two years and am proud of what they do and want as many people to know what a special organization this truly is.
Luke's Wings is such an incredible organization and I have never had a more fulfilling volunteer position. Fletcher Gill and Lindsay Kin are tremendous leaders who share their passion for wounded warriors by working tirelessly to make sure they receive the care and support they need by having their family and loved ones close by. Lindsay has done an amazing job getting the word out and getting the community involved and supporting the Luke's Wings cause especially through the use of social media and warming our hearts daily with pictures of a wounded warrior surrounded by their support system. We receive dozens of emails a month letting us know of upcoming volunteer activities, sharing good news and upcoming fundraising events so we can always find ways to stay involved . I wear my shirt proudly around town and have been stopped a few times with veterans sharing their experience with Luke's Wings with me and how it changed the course of their recovery and is part of the reason they are here today. All of us volunteers have been treated with nothing but kindness and we always feel as though we are a part of the D.C philanthropic community and doing our part to those soldiers who have done so much for us.
Luke's Wings is a wonderful organization that is 100% committed to reuniting military families. When the men and women of our country bravely volunteer for our country abroad, we must remember that their families are also serving their country by supporting our servicemen. Luke's Wings helps to support those families by reuniting them following an injury, in times of need, during the holidays, etc. Luke's Wings is also a very efficient organization - it is well-managed and works to ensure that every donated dollar is well-spent.
I came across the opportunity to volunteer for Luke's Wings a few years ago shortly after moving to DC and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had as a volunteer! Everyone was so friendly, warm and welcoming in what can at times feel like a difficult social scene to break into. Coming from a military background, I can't say enough regarding how passionate this core group is about helping our wounded warriors and their families during such a critical time of need by connecting them with their loved ones. I love to see how much Luke's Wings continues to grow and can't wait to see what's in store for it's future!
This is one of the best nonprofits ever! Fletcher Gill and Lindsay Kin, who manage this wonderful organization are two of the most selfless people I've ever met. My schedule has been a little crazy lately, but as often as I am available and they have a need, I'm happy to be involved with Luke's Wings. The events are well planned and executed, with no detail overlooked. They treat their volunteers like royalty and are truly grateful for the time given. I always have to pack extra mascara and tissues when I go to an event, though, as my heart overflows through my tears when talking to the soldiers who have been helped. Thank you, Luke's Wings (and Fletcher & Lindsay), for the opportunity to serve!
I have witnessed, first-hand, just how much Fletcher, Lindsay, and the rest of the Luke's Wings team, care about their mission. The flights they provide have already positively changed thousands of lives, and yet they always have their mind focused on how they can help the next family. They are trustworthy and thoughtful, and they deserve your support!
Review from Guidestar
My son in law was severely injured in Afghanistan this past April, he lost all of his limbs which has been terribly tragic for him, his wife and baby girl. Shortly after we arrived at Walter Reed, we were approached by the nicest, sweetest, most generous representatives from Luke's Wings. They have flown several members of our family to and from Walter Reed a number of times, so that we could help during this most difficult, life-altering time in our children's lives. With out the help of Luke's Wings, there is no way we could have been there to help out. The people that work for this loving organization have brought baked goods to the soldiers, they come and talk to the families and quickly become friends to those of us who are like fish out of water. It's very hard dealing with a tragedy when it hits, and it's harder when you're in an unfamiliar city with unfamiliar faces and the constant worry about your loved one. Lukes Wings was a God send for our family and they continue to help us five months later, it's been vital in our soldier's recovery. Thank you to ALL that work for Luke's Wings and to the generous donors.
You don't have to ask me if this charity is worthwhile - attend any fundraiser and ask any soldier. Better yet, ask a soldier's parent who was flown in thanks to Luke's Wings. Our soldiers are so strong and brave, and they might not always ask to have their parents by their sides. Enter Luke's Wings. With a simple phone call or email, mom has herself a ticket to Walter Reed to be there. This charity is "technically" a military-based charity, but that's incomplete. This charity serves families, and keeps them together at some of the most difficult times they can face. I'm beyond impressed!!!
Review from Guidestar
Reviewers on GuideStar have the opportunity to rate the impact of a charity, with the highest being "Life Changing." No organization meets that mark the way Luke's Wings does. They work tirelessly to provide soldiers with the best support system and unconditional love - that of their families. They are successful because they truly believe in their cause and work steadfastly to fulfill their mission statement. This is not a hobby or a pet project - this is their passion. Thank you Luke's Wings, for taking the initiative on something we all should be doing without question - supporting our troops and their families.
Review from Guidestar
I'm so saddened to see bullying on the review page of one of the best organizations that I have ever encountered. What Luke's Wings does for our veterans and their families is so noble, so giving. I had the honor of talking to wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at a recent fundraiser and they were so appreciative - one even said it made all the difference in his recovery. Luke's Wings is a small non--profit with a small team, and they pour their hearts and souls into helping out veterans and families so that no soldier has to recover alone. The impact that these individuals has made already - and continues to make - is humbling. They are an inspiration to more than those they serve, they set an example for everyone around them. Bravo, Luke's Wings!!
Luke's Wings is an incredible organization that I have had the joy of volunteering with this past year. I became aware of the organization by chance, as one of my friends had attended one of their events and told me of their effort in helping wounded warriors and their families. Being from Annapolis, I have a tremendous amount of respect for not only the Navy, but all branches of the military. I am an event planner, and when I heard that Luke's Wings was in need of assistance in planning their fundraising events, I immediately offered my services, free of charge. DC is a city where there are events benefitting charities practically every night, and the competition to raise funds for worthy organizations is fierce. The only way to make your charity known is through publicity, and those involved with Luke's Wings work tirelessly to create awareness and raise funds to maintain their core values and fulfill their mission of providing free airline tickets and hotel stays for the families of our wounded soldiers. Luke's Wings is completely transparent in everything they do, and were recently recognized by the White House for their hard work and dedication to members of our military. They have flown countless service members and their families, and if you need any confirmation of the difference Luke's Wings has made in their lives, there are plenty of stories you can read about on the Luke's Wings website. I absolutely admire this organization and the people involved in making a difference, and look forward to volunteering with them for many years to come.
The work that Luke's Wings is doing is priceless!! Not only do the donations help families visit recovering troops, but they're also helping these same wounded warriors get home for Christmas. The core team of staff and volunteers are so compassionate, professional and sympathetic to what these families are going through.
Review from Guidestar
Luke's Wings reminds us that we must not forget those who serve, and particularly those who have been injured in that service. Luke's Wings brings family and service members together when often the individuals themselves can not afford it and this makes a tremendous impact on them, their families and their communities.
Unfortunately, Luke's Wings exists primarily to facilitate the founder's colossal ego. He uses the organization as an excuse to parade himself around the "charity" social scene. The central purpose of these events are for the founder to present himself front and center and pat himself on the back. The wounded warriors in wheelchairs become an accessory for photo ops... and your donations to this group will only provide more support for his narcissistic agenda.
This is a truly amazing organization. They have a single, well-defined core mission: bringing the families and friends of wounded (most egregiously--TBI, amputees, etc.) warriors to be with them while in one of the ten rehab hospitals in the U.S. It makes such a real difference to the wounded men and women of our Armed Services to have family members with them as they recover and begin a new chapter in their lives and many cannot afford airline tickets and hotel rooms. I sent my donation on a Tues, got a thank you on Thurs., and an email update on Friday of how my money was used to fly the family of a Marine amputee's family from Tennessee to D.C. to visit him while at Walter Reed. I got to know the Marine, and see a photo slideshow of his rehab through their Facebook page and email updates. I was blown away by their efficient and immediate use of my donation, and by the way their staff actually goes to Walter Reed each week to spend time with the wounded warriors and their families who are visiting. I wish all non-profits worked like this.