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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

253 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

bishigs

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great non- profit... so kind and courteous. They helped us out in our time of need with no hassle! I strongly suggest supporting this organization as they do great things for veterans.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome. Got us 2 flights on private planes from NC to TX to attend a funeral for a fallen soldier. Made things so less difficult than dealing with airlines. Funeral was painful enough, the flights the only bright spot.

Athena R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

How can you put to words what this nonprofit did for us? At our lowest moment, desperate to be able to say our last good-byes, give our final respects, and tell the family of our Fallen Brother how much we love them... Veterans Airlift Command stepped up without hesitation. We would not have been able to attend the funeral of our Fallen Brother had it not been for the true and pure patriotism of this nonprofit. All of the administrative staff as well as the pilots (Spike & Butch) were professional, personable, and respectful. THANK YOU for everything! You helped me bring closure at one of the most difficult times in my life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have used Veterans Airlift Command a few times now. Each time they delivered in spades! The logistics team was very prompt arranging flights to and from, and their pilots were professional and friendly. This organization is top notch, when their passengers are in a jamb and need to get to somewhere quick. That's not all they do; they also follow up and make sure you're ok after the flights. That shows an immense amount of sincerity and that they do truly care. Hats off to this wonderful organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't thank enough for the nonprofit every time I called it felt like they drop everything just to help me especially when I called him my brother he saved my life in Iraq and he lost to his demons and committed suside. I made one phone call and they help me with everything and more. Also do to my injuries from Iraq I couldn't get my wife pregnant so we had To go to NY to do IVF and they made it possible for me and my family to extend are tree and now my wife pregnant thank you so much. This nonprofit has changed so many live for the better and touch Theor hearts for ever Thank you for helping me give the greatest gift of all is a new life and a child for my wife.

1 Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

Truly no word/words can describe how wonderful this organization and their people really are! When my husband flies they make him take his leg off and run test. I fly into a furry every time. VAC allows him to avoid such an embarrassing situation. I love them and their mission❤️

1 Gathunder92101

Client Served

Rating: 5

There's not one negative thing I can say about this company. There were there for us when we were turned down by others. All the pilots have been a phenomenal asset as well as the representatives for Veteran's Airlift Command, specifically Andrew Lourake. He is such a wonderful person and has made us forget at times why we are traveling and for just a few moments we are at peace.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command is run and supported by "people that do." VAC flew me out of state for a surgical procedure and returned me home with no issues whatsoever. Obviously, the defining features are the pilots and aircraft owners, genuinely wonderful people that are driven to serve and contribute. It is an added bonus if you have an interest or even passing hobby in aviation, because the pilots/owners always have great stories, and the aircraft are beautiful. Being able to fly via general aviation also provides far more options and flexibility when it comes to when and where you travel. This is a great organization, and I hope veterans will be able to continue using it for a long time. I also highly recommend supporting this organization - VAC **serves veterans!!**

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently had the amazing opportunity to fly with VAC and the experience from start to finish was exceptional!!! I truly hope the organization and pilots realize their positive and lasting impact they had on me and Issac, my service dog. From the moment we met our pilots, we felt like family! They were so understanding, caring, and supportive!!! They even had Mutt Muffs for Issac's ears! So Thoughtful :) So for us, flying with a commercial airline always presents so many challenges. Aside from being a below-knee amputee, I am legally blind and even though I have Issac to assist me, there is still always so much stress. I worry about our seating because Issac is 90 lbs and does not fit well in the limited area, even the bulkhead section. With my vision loss, direct flights work best as to avoid the confusion of trying to get to the connecting gate. Sadly, you can not depend on airport staff as we have missed flights before even with their help. There is always the embarrassing pat down and anxiety that comes along with that as well. With VAC, all of that anxiety completely goes away!!! Issac had plenty of room to stretch out and sleep. Having no stress is a tremendous comfort and alleviates the worry of any issues. Words really can not express the true emotions of what this experience meant to us and saying Thank You a million times just does not seem to do it justice. We feel so blessed to have had this honor! Thank You VAC and Pilots for your continued dedication and commitment!!! Warmest Regards, Leslie & Issac

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

All I can say is, wow! From the application to my return flight home Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) was engaged and available for all my questions and needs. I personally give this organization a 10 star rating.

With VAC I was treated like a fortune 500 CEO! Better yet, I am now part of the family.

Blessings,

John Arroyo

Nick69

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the best experience this past weekend flying with VAC. My PTSD keeps me from traveling long distance by car. Commercial Airline is very stressful too with TSA, corwds and other passengers. I live in TX and my immediate family lives in IN. I have missed out on alot of family events in past years recoverying from 2 deployments to Iraq with symptoms alot of people experience and go through. I am so grateful to my pilot who took me. Feels so great that you folks care about me to get me home to see my relatives when I otherwise would not be able to.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since my injury in Iraq in 2003 I have found it very stressful to fly commercially and it has reached the point where I just can't do it anymore. This past June I was asked by a fellow Combat Wounded Veteran to be his best man in his wedding and if it wasn't for the Vet Airlift Command I would have had to decline. They had a private plane pick my family and I up at our local airport and transported us where we needed to be. The flight crew were some of the best people I have ever met and they made sure our flight was as comfortable as could be. I could never thank Vet Airlift enough for what they did for me. In my opinion Vet Airlift Command has set the standard on how our Wounded Veterans should be taken care of. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

VAC is a fantastic organization. If heard nothing but good things about them and was able to experience it firsthand when Walter and Pierre picked my family and I up from Key West and flew to San Antonio. They were extremely easy to work with and very friendly. Smoothest flight I've been on thus far!

1 Susan466

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Father Bernard I. Friedenberg was to be honored for his heroism on D Day, June 6, 1944 at the WW 2 Museum this past D Day, 2016. He has COPD and is on oxygen 24/7 and uses a bathroom several times a day and cannot walk coupled with a compromised immune system. There was NO way I could take my Mom and Dad to New Orleans on the airlines.

We have 2 Aids and both of my parents are in wheel chairs. I was desperate and then I was connected with the Veterans Airlift Command. I needed a jet that could facilitate 6 of us traveling in total and all of the medical equipment.
This amazing organization stepped up and had a Citation 4 meet us in Atlantic City, NJ and take us to New Orleans and then 2 days later home. The pilot Jed was an amazing human being..... kind, concerned, and dotted all i's and crossed his t's. He transported another soldier that day before getting us and it was a long day for Jed. He is a generous man and the Veteran's Airlift Command was beyond patient and understanding on helping us complete this mission for my Dad.

God bless this organization.

Respectfully,

Susan C. Friedenberg - Bernard's Daughter

Client Served

Rating: 5

VAC has flown me back and forth from my home in Jackson, MS to Washington, D.C. for appointments and then surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The last trip included my wife and ten month old daughter. They were so very flexible, helpful, and easy to communicate with! I cannot thank them enough for making travel an easy part during a difficult time.
CJ Stewart
101st Airborne (Ret.)

Client Served

Rating: 5

These guys are amazing. They flew me to hospital appointments as well as to recreational therapy. They are awesome.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first heard about Veterans Airlift Command around 4 years ago when I was going from St. Louis to Mayo Clinic, Rochester between 4-6 times a year. I have now flown with them around 10-15 times. Veterans Airlift Command has not only decreased the costs associated with the travel, but also the stress that comes with traveling. After being injured in Iraq with a Traumatic Brain Inury that caused a brain tumor to grow, I have been able to not be as stressed heading to appointments to see if my brain tumor is progressing and other symptoms that have raised due to have 3 brain surgeries and radiation therapy. I have gotten to know numerous pilots and am so blessed by their generosity. I don't know what I would do without Veterans Airlift Command!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Josiah Blystone. I was very blessed to have VAC, and their volunteer pilots fly me to from Wilmington NC to Boca Raton FL where I got brain scans done to help treat my TBI and PTSD. Every interaction with them made me feel very comfortable. Being able to have Hyperbaric treatments done completely changed my life and without VAC it would have been a difficult process. I thank God for the work they are doing! God Bless the USA, and God bless us all.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Scott Craigle and am an Air Force OIF/OEF wounded warrior with TBI/PTSD. I can not express the gratitude and respect I have for Veterans Airlift Command for taking me to and from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. These pilots donated their time and aircraft and made sure I felt comfortable and taken care of. The love and support they show for the American Veteran is incredible and deserve the high praise! Thank you VAC!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you for a wonderful trip to San Antonio Texas it was a great flight my husband enjoyed herself completely and longer service dog love it also you are the greatest..

1 Tyler15

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Tyler Burdick and I am an OEF/OIF veteran and double amputee. After retiring from Naval Service in 2012 due to wounds sustained in Afghanistan, I turned an old passion, Snowboarding, into a career and competed in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Snowboarding on Team USA. After complications with the Limb Salvage I had undergone since being wounded by an IED blast, I finally had both of my legs amputated below the knee.

Last week, I was invited to return to the World Cup Snowboard Racing Circuit for the 2015-16 season, however, a day before departing for Aspen, Co, I came down with a severe infection in my right residual limb. While hospitalized, my chances of making it to the classification event seemed grim, at best. In desperation and no where else to turn, I sent Veterans Airlift Command a message via their website. Within the hour, they called me to discuss our options and agreed to help me.

With less than 24 hours notice, Veterans Airlift Command was able to take me from Salt Lake City to Aspen so that I could meet a classification requirement of the International Paralympic Committee, enabling me to remain eligible for this years race season. Without their help, I would not be able to continue my carrier this season.

The service I received from this organization was absolutely incredible. The Pilot was extremely accommodating and provided for an excellent travel experience. My sincerest appreciation goes to the folks at Veterans Airlift Command.

Sincerely,
Tyler Burdick

1 Karren B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi!! My name is Karren Brooks and I am a wounded warrior. I obtained services through Veterans Airlift Command for my transportation to a medical rehabilitation Center that is located a couple states away from home. The process of obtaining support was an easy one to navigate with helpful and supportive pwople from the beginning. Thank you for that Maria!! I had two WONDERFUL pilots (Chris & Johnathan) who not only volunteered their time and airplane but also their support to be sure that I made it safely (and comfortably ) to my destination. They were so willing and helpful from the time I met them until the time I left them. (I tried to add photos that we took together but they were too large) I will never forget the experience. I'd definitely day that this program is one to recognize for all of their efforts. THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!!!!
YOURS TRULY,
Karren B.

Debra75

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command is a wonderful non-profit organization. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that VAC is here for our veterans. Everyone I dealt with was very friendly, courteous and very helpful. They really care! So glad to know the organization is here for us. They also call you after your trip to make sure you had a great experience. Thank you VAC.

Debra

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

VAC was so great. Flew to Pittsburgh from NC and than back again. Great pilots and very accommodating. Couldn't have asked for better help and service.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command, along with their volunteers and pilots ,provided myself and my Veteran friends a flight to and from Disney,in Orlando, Fl, this past weekend. We could participate in the 1/2 marathon either running or cycling because of their compassion and dedication to getting us there , comfortably, with our equipment. Thank you very much V.A.C. , I look forward to spreading the word about your great team.
All The Way!
-- Adam Keys, U.S. Army ( SSG ret.)

1 Matthew62

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've now flown with VAC 3 times and they are very accommodating. The pilots are always nice and willing to help veterans and their families in anyway possible!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command is an incredible organization. I previously served in the Army and due to my experience in war, I suffer with disabilities that VAC was extremely understanding about and attentive to my needs. The Pilot and crew were amazing people and so supportive. Because of VAC, I was able to reunite with my family after many years of being apart. I am so grateful to Veterans Airlift Command for providing the safest, most comfortable, and organized flight experience of my life. I cannot thank this organization enough for what they have done for me. Thank you all so very much.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have used VAC on 2 occasions and both were top notch experiences. Both times have been from mississippi to texas. VAC keeps you informed of what's going on with your upcoming flights, your pilots are quick to make contact with you, there is no crowded aiports or any of that type of harassment you receive when you fly commercial. VAC and it's members are truly caring folks that give up alot for combat veterans. Very very pleased with everything that they have done for me and my family to help us with my healing process.

1sg Tim Bell
155 ABC "Dixie Thunder"

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I have used Veterans Airlift Command twice. Both times were outstanding. The pilots and crews were awesome and helpful in every way. Veterans Airlift Command ensured that my family and I had a means to get where we were wanting go. Thank you, VAC!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended an amazing retreat with another great nonprofit called Songwriting with Soldiers. That opportunity lead to me being offered a chance to play a song I co-wrote with Mary Gauthier at the Grand Ole Opry! One problem, I can't drive and my wife/caregiver was due with our second son. In just 4 days.

Maria Miles worked so hard to find me a flight that would accommodate my power chair and escort. Maria contacted after midnight via email. Letting me know she found us a flight that could handle my heavy chair. She worked on that all day into the next!

We met with our Pilot Joe Bartosiak. We instantly knew this was going to be an experience like nothing we've had before. Joe was amazing not only as a pilot but as a person.

He made me feel so comfortable and genuinely cared not only for me but all veterans and service members.

Joe and VAC got me to Nashville and ensured that we even had a wheelchair accessible van for transportation to our hotel.

I don’t know how I could ever repay VAC and Joe for giving me that once in a lifetime opportunity. I played the song I co-wrote in two soldout shows for the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman. On the 90th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry!

Thank you so much VAC, Andrew Lourake. Lt Col, USAF (ret)
Director, Veteran Outreach, Maria Miles and Joe Bartosiak.

I was so thrilled that Joe was able to attend our first show. That we were able to share that experience together.

Forever in their debt! VAC is so incredible, their dedication and compassion is awe-inspiring. Thank you VAC!

With Greatest Respect,


JOSHUA M. GEARTZ
US ARMY/SGT(DAV/PRM)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My pilot Roger and his wife were extremely accommodating and generous. My flights in their Cirrus aircraft was extremely comfortable! Thanks to Roger and the VAC for their continued support of myself and all warriors.
-William T.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My pilots Don and Kirk were super nice gentlemen. They made my first VAC flights a great experience. Thank you very much for having such a wonderful organization that takes care of our nations veterans. Ken G

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My pilots name was Phill and he made me and my dog feel just as comfortable as can be. I'm a disable vet and didn't know this man from Adam and he just made me feel so at ease. I want to thank him and the VAC for making this happen for me and my best friend. Ty, CSM Garcia

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans airlift command had done more for me than they will ever know. Just a few weeks ago veterans airlift command arranged for me to fly across the country In order to seek closure for injuries I received in Afghanistan 4 years ago. Thanks to this organization I am able to maintain the mental resiliency I need to continue to the job that I love so much. When I filled out the application online I received an email back almost immediately. I was helped by an extremely personable woman named Jenna. She proved to me almost immediately that VAC was willing to help me at all cost. Despite my inability to respond regularly she met my every need in arranging the flight. VAC is an amazing organization that I would recommend to any American warrior in need. I am so grateful, thank you Jenna, thank you VAC

Review from Guidestar

1 David - WX2CIB

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first flight was amazing, sitting next to Mike, the pilot, and observing every thing was definitely a great experience compared to flying commercial. My second flight was a nice relaxing trip home with my service dog. The copilot's wife had bought some refreshments before they left Virginia and had offered me some.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough how amazing veterans airlift command has been. I recently used the organization for a return flight for a wounded veterans pheasant hunt. As a quadriplegic I face many difficulties with travel, but the pilot was very helpful and understanding. I am so amazed that individuals with these resources take their time at great expense to provide this service to our wounded veterans. Thank you again so much veterans airlift command!

2 Andrea.Thomas

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is people like VAC, Andrew Lourake and Jenna Deibel specifically, who make this life as a caregiver to a wounded veteran easier to lead. They take have both been very amazing angels to our family and 100% supportive anytime we have needed them.
Keep up the good work, you all, and your pilots, are appreciated far more then words could ever explain!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are so very grateful to the pilots and all the volunteers within this organization. I can't express how helpful they are in times of need. I hope to have the opportunity to meet more great people in the future to help throughout this difficult recovery process my husband and our family faces. Thank you so much!!

2 Scott127

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been honored to be supported three times by Veterans Airlift Command (VAC), and all three times I have been foutunate to have my Hero Flight as the pilots call them picked up. VAC does everything possible to help you get to your destination and back weather it is for medical treatment, family to get to their Veteran while in the hospital, trips for health and wellness recovery, and even for your Honeymoon like they did for a fellow brother of mine. VAC gets and understand that we need special services sometimes and are 110% all over it through their network of Hero's as I call them. The pilots, companies, and private organization who honor us by having their pilots and planes fly on their own dime with fuel and aircraft to help us out. Even more impactful when a private owner who flys as a hobby picks up your flight(s) and uses their own time most of them retried to help us out. ALL the organizations and privately owned aircraft and pilots are so professional and compassionate to the Veterans needs always going above and beyond. I always thank them from the bottom of my heart and for what they do for all veterans. This is truly Americans taking care of Americas Veterans which for years has been so over looked. If there was an award for Selfless Act of Heroism Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) and all the organizations and privately owned and operated pilots should and would receive it. Thank You for everything VAC! God Bless! If you all ever need anything I'm there for ALl of You!!
(SFC) (Ret) Scott A. Adams Sr
Minnesota

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) is one of the unique nonprofit organizations, that truly understands the importance of supporting our combat wounded veterans. As a wounded veteran, my long list of fellow team mates wounded in action or killed in action has humbled me over the years. VAC has always been there for us to ensure we keep supporting our brothers in arms. One of my team mates that I was wounded with, from an IED blast in Afghanistan, suffered burns to 95% of his body. VAC gave me the opportunity to visit him in San Antonio, TX. VAC is an organization of silent professionals, who are asking nothing in return, except to help combat wounded veterans. Thank you VAC for allowing me to show continued support to my wounded brother.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wanted to go to my buddy's wedding in Texas but I am currently on a Transplant waiting list and I'm not really allowed to travel too far from my home. Because of veterans airlift command I was able to travel to my buddy's wedding in Texas and if I did get the call they had everything set up for me and ready to go. It was one less thing I had to worry about!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Caleb Perkins (SSG US Army Medically Retired)
I am so thankful for Veteran Airlift Command and the pilots that give their time and energy to help wounded veterans and service members. My wife and I will never forget the experience of the flight and the generosity that was bestowed upon us.
Veterans Airlift Command has such an amazing staff; I have to mention Jenna. Jenna went above the call of duty to make sure that the dates and times worked for us and it was very refreshing to know that she took charge and facilitated everything with excellence.
I highly recommend Veterans Airlift Command; thanks for all you do!

Venol R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

'The way something is done may be more important than the thing itself'. This is the least I can say about how the Veterans Airlift Command staff are making a huge difference in other people's lives while providing outstanding services to the veteran's community. Thus, I must thank Ms. Maria Miles for getting me to my destination and back on a short notice more than once in times of emergency. Then, many thanks to Lt Col Andrew Lourake, for taking time to check on me to ensure I am doing well. I quickly realize that the Veterans Airlift Command uses 'Empathy' more than 'Sympathy'. There is no doubt this Organization is making a big difference every day in the lives of veterans in their families' and I am so grateful for such outstanding service. I am proud to be an American and particularly a Veteran.
Venol Raymond
US Army Veteran (SSG)
WWP Track Alumni

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

After losing a leg in Iraq and enduring thirty two surgeries flying can be quite cumbersome. Thanks to the Veterans Airlift Command wounded service members can travel to medical appointments stress free. Last Sunday 09/13/2015 a wonderful American (Walter) gave up his weekend and his personal aircraft to fly me from Tallahassee Fl to Columbus OH for a weeks worth of medical appointments. I was prepared to thank the pilot and slip him a note of gratitude for the owner, but was shocked when the owner landed and thanked me before I could thank him. My flight home was just as smooth as can be and once again was made possible by a couple from Alabama who gave up their weekend and aircraft to make my life just a little bit easier. It is easy to have personal feelings of sorrow due to pain and the events that caused it but when you meet these Patriotic People it makes your sacrifice feel smaller and once again proud to be American.
God Bless the Veterans Airlift Command for they go above and beyond (literally).
Luke Murphy
Staff Sergeant (Ret.)
101st Airborne Division
Author "Blasted by Adversity"

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command is amazing. They were able to pick me up last minute to take me to my destination. They took the time to actually get to know me and not just another number to pick up and drop off. Thank you guys so much from the bottom of my heart.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Airlift Command is a class act! Very professional and Kind! I was in desperate need of a new prosthetic socket and VAC and their fleet of volunteer pilots flew myself and my Fiance from Yuma, AZ to Rochester, MN and back so I could have the care I needed. These volunteer pilots are the heart and soul of this organization. The benefit for an amputee like myself, is that I didn't have to wait in long airport lines or show up 3 hrs early so TSA could preform inspections. VAC made it so easy, show up on time, load plane and sit back and enjoy the view. The staff at VAC could not have been more helpful and once again the Volunteer Pilots are awesome.

2 fwbutler

Client Served

Rating: 5

VAC,

Our relationship began this past Summer when we contacted VAC to assist two injured friends that were in need of logistical support for medical care. Walt Fricke, VAC’s founder, did not hesitate to help this special couple reach their destination and ultimately find the medical answers they had been searching for throughout their recovery. In setting up that flight, Walt began some lighthearted badgering that I had never utilized VAC for my own travel needs despite meeting him nearly 7 years ago while I was recovering from bilateral feet amputations at Walter Reed. This past December, we finally used VAC for our holiday travel to Florida to visit family and it was the least stressful travel experience since my injury.

I promised Walt that I would call on their services when a good situation arose as I have had my struggles with conventional travel, much like anyone with a disability. TSA, large airports, small seat pitches, explaining my disability multiple times – the experience brings on anxiety and stress, but flying with VAC eliminated every one of these aspects of flying. With Laura’s intense semester ending and Christmas break nearing, we reached out to VAC and in less than 24 hours, our pilots were confirmed and arrangements completed. Our pilots were some of the most kind, generous, and caring individuals who donate their own time, resources, and talents to provide us an alternative to commercial air travel. They will be a special part of our lives going forward and we are so thankful to have met them and to have shared in their love of aviation.

All and all, we can’t say enough about this organization. They have aided countless friends and we are proud of the mission they have taken on to support our disabled veterans. Their staff truly cares and understands the needs of this disabled veteran community.

Sincerely,
Ferris & Laura Butler

1 Aaron39

Client Served

Rating: 5

The VAC was the best experience I have ever had. They were there to help me get home for Christmas after my surgery, to be able to spend time with my wife and children. I have to say thank you to Andrew who coordinated the trip, Mr. Bill the pilot that flew me home and Mr. Howard who flew me back to continue therapy. I never thought that there were people who care as much as the volunteers who work with VAC. Thank you again and the words don't do justice to all the people with the VAC.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I doubt that you can find a nonprofit that meets the needs of vets more than Veterans Airlift command. I am a wounded vet and was wounded in Afghanistan in the summer of 2012. The VAC came along when all the means of getting home for thanksgiving were gone, they came and flew us home for the first thanksgiving of my new life as a double amputee. My daughters got a chance to fly to Disney world for the first time ever courtesy of Veterans Airlift command. They gave me a tremendous new take on life!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's Airlift Command rocks!! My good buddy had an idea for an all wounded EOD Tech team to participate in a 7 leg relay race, called Ski to Sea, in Bellingham, WA. He organized with VAC and was able to secure a plane to get 5 of the members from Washington D.C to Bellingham, WA. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. The team, consisting of Jeff Hendricks, Mike Freeman and Dick Iverson, were outstanding. They flew across the US to come and get us, with the utmost hospitality and food on board, then flew us home!! I couldn't have asked for a better team. With out their dedication to helping others and the lengths they all go through to give back, I don't believe our race experience would have been any where near as memorable. Thanks again VAC!!

James Sides
SSgt USMC (ret)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Caregiver, to a disabled vet, I thought I had experienced everything. That was until I called Veterans Air Command - what a blessing! They are organized, compassionate and generous.
All of the pilots are volunteers and donate their time and resources to help Veterans! I have never seen anything like it. I will be volunteering and donating to this organization in the future.
A true blessing to Vets in need.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's Airlift Command has been a huge blessing for us since my husband's injuries in Afghanistan.
It can be extremely difficult trying to travel with my husband, especially when he is wheelchair bound plus our two kids and all of our luggage and the crowds in the airports and the connecting flights.. It makes him miserably stressed and its hard on everyone around. My husband actually refused to travel for a while and then we found out about VAC. Veteran's Airlift made traveling manageable and really enjoyable. All the stress was gone. The pilots we have met have been absolutely amazing and we have even kept in touch with them. This organization is built with lots of love and compassion and we are so thankful to be a part of them. We have used them several times and everytime has been a wonderful, stress free experience. We are so thankful for this organization. Thank you VAC!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a wounded warrior, VAC has always been there for me. They have always promptly answered my request for transportation to and from my treatment center or to visit my family when I could get away from the hospital. The pilots are always incredibly generous and the staff shows genuine concern for me. Of all of the non-profit organizations I have worked with during my 2.5 year stint in the hospital, VAC has made the greatest positive impact on my life. Thank you VAC for all you do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband is a wounded warrior and we first handed have experienced the generosity of Veterans Airlift Command. Over the years we have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the members of this organization and to see their passion and love for what they do is truly inspiring. Their support to the wounded warrior community is one of the best gifts one can give to a soldier and their family. Thank you for all you do Veterans Airlift Command!

Ed S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I lost my leg in 2004 after been shot with a rocket-propelled grenade. Ten years later, I needed two more months of intense physical therapy, 1200 miles away from my home. The actual therapy was covered, but we needed to pay for transportation, lodging, and food for two months. I rented a bedroom in a house, but plane tickets were so expensive, especially one-way. My wife escorted me down there in my car, but she needed to be home to work her own job and to care for our pets. VETERANS AIRLIFT COMMAND stepped up and quickly offered to fly my wife back and forth to accommodate us. The pilots and the aircraft were top notch. Courtesy and professionalism were standard for both of her flights. It is this simple... If we needed to pay the cost of her plane tickets, I would not have been financially able to travel and seize the opportunity for the physical therapy in that particular facility. VAC filled a gap that was a critical piece of a much bigger picture, so they saved the day. Honestly, it is not an exaggeration to say this: I am a better man because VAC accomplished their mission for me and my wife.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Kristi. I am have been retired from the Army and not by choice. I was offered the opportunity to go to Oregon for the 2 week service dog handler training and at the end graduate with a service dog. I was so excited but I knew I could not fly and it would take about 14 hours to drive. I decided to do some research to see if I could find an organization who would be able to fly me and my mother/caregiver in a private plane. I found Veterans Airlift Command and sent in my request. Andrew Lourake, the Program Director contacted me for more information and towards the end of the conversation he said that they would be able to help us. He put out the request for any pilots able to work my trip into their schedule. It only took a couple of days and Andrew had me in touch with a pilot that had agreed to take the outbound flight to Oregon and his name was Alberto. Unfortunately he was not able to fly me so he had Lee and Terry fly me instead. They were so amazing and made my mom and me feel at ease. They carried our bags for us and the flight was very smooth. The plane was clean and spacious.
The pilot that accepted the inbound flight was Dale & his wife Terry. They were so kind and made us feel comfortable. This time my service dog, Pongo was with me. They were very sweet to him. Upon landing they took our bags and wited til our ride came.
What do you say to describe people like this? These are people that freely fave their time to help a veteran, someone they have never met, in need. I only wish that there were more people in this world that could see past their own bubble and notice for a split second that they are not the only one living around them. It sure would be a kinder place. Thank you so very much for being that little glimpse of relief during a time of roller coaster moments. Andrew Lourake is one of the most patient, kind, understanding, helpful gentleman I have come across in a very long time. I hope he can continue on the path he is and help as many veterans/military as possible so they too can have that calm for a moment during the storm. Thank you again, Sir.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Jessica132

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

BIGDOGT33

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer pilot, it is truly a great honor to serve our wounded warriors through the Veteran's Airlift Command. VAC is always organized, professional, and caring for our wounded veterans, and I am committed to flying for them at every opportunity I can.

I wish there were more veterans groups with the high service ethic to our vets that VAC has, they are head & shoulders one of the best for our vets!

BIG DOG flying Citation N610BD

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer pilot for VAC just can't express enough what an honor it is to fly our wounded warriors to where they need to get to. Over the past 5 years, we've had the pleasure of flying more than 20 missions - each one with the most remarkable warriors on board. We are humbled by their grace, tenacity and gold star outlooks. I have to tell you, we are sad when we land the airplane and have to go our separate ways! There are no words to adequately express our gratutude to our passengers and to Vets Airlift Command, who gives us this august and life affirming opportunity. VAC is the real deal - fantastic, passionate people who make the missions possible. We love being a part of their more than 2500 volunteer pilots. We support VAC and wish we could do more! This is a non-profit that makes great things happen, solves transportation problems and is passionate about the mission. Love VAC!!
XXX Stephanie and Erwin Greenberg

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Carl12

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

1 KRISKOJA

Client Served

Rating: 5

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