On certain rare occasions there comes to the world of nonprofits in America, an organization with such vitality, such power and perfection as to make normal standards of measurement seem clumsy and inadequate. Such a nonprofit is the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). I have vetted many other nonprofits who advertise their services to U.S. wounded soldiers but have found none that performs so much with only a small staff where approximately 95% of every dollar actually goes to assisting wounded soldiers. I have been a VAC volunteer air crew member for over two years and have participated in nearly 100,000 air miles of transporting many wounded soldiers due solely to the smart and efficient management of the VAC. I rank them number one as a nonprofit providing the most valuable service to our nation's veterans and active duty military personnel. Let me put it another way.....there are no better nonprofits in the U.S. than the Veterans Airlift Command.
Sincerely, Richard D. Iversen, Colonel, USAF, Ret.
My son served in Iraq and has Terminal Brain Cancer. Veterans Airlift Command flew him from MN to CA so that he could attend a program that helps Vets deal with PTSD and other issues related to having served.
I can't even begin to express how awesome the experience was. If it wasn't for Veterans Airlift and specifically Jenny, my son wouldn't have known of the program, or had the transportation to get there. Thanks to the amazing people who fly for Veterans Airlift his experience was truly unforgettable. It isn’t often that you get a change to fly in a private jet! The co-ordination of the flights went without a hitch and they took extra care to make sure he was comfortable and had everything he needed.
I would recommend, without hesitation, Veterans Airlift as they are a truly amazing organization.
Veterans Airlift Command has helped our family so much in the past 2 1/2 years. My husband was severely wounded in Afghanistan on April 10 2012 by an IED resulting in the loss of both legs and both arms. Our lives were so drastically changed, and VAC helped us so much when it came time to visit with our family and friends. Traveling is so stressful with a baby and a severely wounded husband but with VAC everything is so quick and painless and you also gain friends a long the way. This is by far the best non profit that we have encountered through our new journey and we are so pleased they welcomed us into their family!
Veterans airlift command has been so great to us since my husband was injured in April of 2012. My husband lost both legs above the knee his left arm below the elbow and his right arm above the elbow, travel is very difficult because we have a 2 year old girl. VAC has taken all of the stress out of travel for us and it truly has been a god send since we travel so much we no longer have travel anxiety. This is one of our favorite non profits their staff and volunteer pilots have all been outstanding!
I am a wheelchair-bound amputee. Additionally, I have TBI that makes me unable to drive myself personally. The VAC program is critical for me because it gives me a flexible and reliable means of traveling long distances, be they distant trips home, on vacation, or to a medical appointment.
I am a 21 year Active Duty Army Infantryman and recently retired Wounded Warrior. I've spent the last years of my career in military hospitals all America while usually assigned to an organic Infantry unit. Having a wife and small child, constantly supporting multiple households, traveling for critical surgeries and navigating some of America's most complex airports is to put it mildly, unbearable and nothing short of humiliating for a Wounded family.
While at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center during the initial phases of my treatment, my wife and I were informed our then 4 y/o daughter could not be in the intensive, critical care and surgical and wards where I would spend many days and night. Additionally, when I needed treatment outside the realm of what the military could offer, the Army would provide that however only pay for my travel as the wounded Service member, my wife's travel as a non-medical attendant, but not our little girl's who I needed just as much as any procedure I've ever had.
Being a military family, we all know "home" is wherever you can make it. Supporting two residences on one enlisted salary, with a small child and given my medical needs, we needed help that military policy would not provide. Sometimes we needed additional family so my wife could be with me in critical wards and to do everything possible to have our little girl interact with me as often as possible. We also needed help so we could travel commercially as a family when not on an air ambulance. In short, we needed a lot of things that fell through the cracks of what military policy would allow for but we needed to heal as a Soldier and family.
I don't recall how we heard of an amazing organization called Veteran's Airlift Command however a few days shy of a scary surgery, we were struggling with how to get family to Walter Reed tend to our daughter so my wife could be with me following surgery and in the intensive care ward. I couldn't imagine going this surgery without having my family there with me as much as possible. My wife and I soon found ourselves filling out and submitting a travel to Veteran's Airlift Command. I honestly didn't think anything would come of it and was already trying to live with the fact that I would have to go through this critical surgery alone.
Within hours, we had confirmation, that a family member was being flown to Walter Reed to help, free of charge. I was sedated with my family by my side. Soon another surgery was scheduled in Houston, TX. Again, we were struggling with the logistics and financial burden of another surgery. Veteran's Airlift Command came through again with round trip travel at whatever dates we needed in a private aircraft. We wouldn't have to struggle through airport security. We had room to be comfortable and bring things we needed for an extended stay. These trips were numerous and lengthy, sometimes over a month at a time. It was beyond my comprehension that an organization formed by one man, grown to over 2400 pilots and aircraft could and would be so generous and sincere! I still don't understand it yet figured the best way I could show my gratitude was to try to raise awareness and give back to Veteran's Airlift Command.
Now, six months into my retirement, although I personally vowed to only give back to VAC, we had a family emergency. My mother had a heart attack, literally while I was at an event in southern Minnesota trying to raise awareness and funding for VAC. Having just transitioned into the civilian sector and VA Healthcare system now surviving on my Army retirement and disability, still trying to get on our feet, my mother needed help hundreds of miles away. I hated to ask Veteran's Airlift Command for help again. I had no choice and typed out a travel request. I lost my composure as I realized the gravity of the situation and went into our bathroom with the lights off, hoping no one would hear nor see a grown man crying. A few minutes later, I heard my wife calling for me. I couldn't answer her. She finally found me sobbing, her with a VAC representative on the phone she was holding to her ear. They had a flight and could have us at my mother's bedside within a few hours.
Yesterday my mother successfully made it through a quadruple bypass surgery. A surgery she would have had to endure with a lot of anxiety and unknowns. However, VAC staff and volunteer efforts allowed my family to be united as my mother's care drifted off into the hands of her physicians and her wishes in mine, she said, "I'm glad you're here, I trust you and everything is going to be alright". Having been on the other end of that statement almost two dozen times, I knew exactly how she felt and will be forever indebted to Veteran's Airlift Command once again for their Selfless efforts and unparalleled, genuine spirit.
Todd D. Landen
US Army, Infantry (Ret)
101st Airborne Division
Veterans Airlift Command is an excellent nonprofit that helps wounded service members, veterans and their family travel. At no expense to the veteran, the veteran has more time worry about their recovery. I am a veteran myself and I'm a triple amputee, I've used veterans airlift command on many occasions and my experiences always exceed my expectations. This organization truly is amazing that does what it can for our nation's finest.
I can not thank Veterans Airlift and our pilot enough. The service they provide by making sure veterans are able to be with family at the most important times is amazing. The pilots that donate their time and planes are wonderful caring people. Our pilot went above and beyond to make sure we had a comfortable flight. Thank you Veterans Airlift!!!!!
Veterans Airlift Command is a great non-profit that does exactly what it says, helps veterans and wounded warriors. I am a bilateral above the knee amputee that has had the pleasure of flying with VAC several times but most recently for a medical emergency. I had to fly from Walter Reed National Medical Center to St. Paul, MN ASAP to correct a bone lengthening device that had broken through my femur VAC was able to get me a flight that night and help me arrange ground transportation to the hospital. The only other possible for me to have flown would have been commercial and I would have paid out of pocket for a ticket with no guarantees that I was going to be reimbursed. Also with the pain I was already in from a broken femur VAC made everything as quick and painless as possible. Thank you Veterans Airlift.
VAC's commitment to veterans is unsurpassed. They are 100% accommodating and efficient in organizing travel via private aircraft for veterans. Often veterans are from small town hours away from major airports, VAC can take them close. Those with severe disabilities have a much easier time flying with VAC, foregoing the major airport headaches. Their aid and assistance has been a tremendous help in my recovery from my battlefield injuries. Thank God for organizations like VAC.
We have had the honor of flying with the VAC 3 times since my husband was wounded in 2006. Because of this organization our family was able to get home in time to have our final farewell's with my father-n-law when he passed in 2011. Without the VAC we would not have gotten that chance. My husband suffers from PTSD and a TBI, air travel is a wire walking act to say the least. Everyone we have dealt with in connection with the VAC have been so awesome, they consistently impress us with their humility and professional manner. The VAC is one of the best nonprofits out there, without them it would be so hard for us to travel home.
The Veterans Airlift Command has helped me get home multiple time and allowed me to see my family when I wasnt able to afford the trip myself. And by taking a private jet allows the ease of travel without having to go through airport security and getting searched like Im a criminal instead of a soldier who sacrificed for my country. Thank you so much for everything you do pikots, staff and VAC members.
VAC has provided much needed transportation services for wounded veterans served by our program. They have been responsive and dedicated to providing not only the service, but also making sure that the clients are afforded the respect and care they deserve.
The Staff was amazing, the pilots were professional and personal. VAC continues to exceed my expectations! Best nonprofit organization for veterans out there. Thanks!!
OUTSTANDING services through the Veterans Airlift Command are being provided to some of the greatest heroes our nation has ever known - the Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. As Staff Photographer for the CMOHS I have had the pleasure of providing a conduit between the VAC and their incredible team of volunteers and the Medal of Honor Recipients. To date, five Medal of Honor Recipients have traveled and completed more than a dozen missions in the past 2 years. On one occasion, Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Littrell, living in Florida had 2 family members die in a boating accident. Gary and his wife were unable to travel to Tennessee in time to get to the funeral but THANKS to VAC, Gary was able to get the viewing and be with his family in a time of grief.
Thank You VAC!!!!
VAC consistently allows me to travel to and from home to see my family during long-term medical treatments, for follow-up treatments, and allowed me to see my unit return home and redeploy again when I otherwise would have had to miss these important events. I sincerely appreciate all that they do, in allowing me to do the things and see the people that matter most, while treating me and mine with the utmost respect. Every detail is taken care of so that nothing is overlooked. Their professionalism and caring demeanor has always surprised me. They make a difference in people's lives. I would be worse off without this organization taking care of us.
After my husband was injured the VAC flew us home to Indiana for our first homecoming.Then again , they flew us to California for a fundraiser. You could not ask for a nicer group of people and organization. They are careing and loyal people. Not waiting in a long line at the airport security was a great weight lifted off our shoulders.
The VAC team and pilots are very professional and go out of their way to make sure every detail is looked after. VAC eliminates intrusive TSA procedure for amputees, wheelchair bound people, and other with disabilities and medicine while traveling.
The greatest experience I have ever had. The pilot was great and Veterans Airlift took a big burden off the shoulders of our family.
My experience with VAC has been fantastic. I am a wounded warrior missing both legs, and the VAC has made my transportation so much simpler by solving many of my transportation obstacles. I have a limited time that I can sit until my body heals entirely. The VAC has given me a huge favor by "trimming" all of the time that is spent when people drive to faraway airports, waiting hours in the terminals, and sitting on their commercial aircraft. The VAC has made my trips (both medically and non-medically related) not just possible, but also incredibly easy.
I do not know what we would have done without VAC after Andrew was injured. He stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs. He would lay in the bed and dream of being able to go home. He was unable to leave the hospital for any extended period and he could not sit in a car for more than an one hour at most. He finally was given a weekend pass 5 months after being injured. He did not have the endurance for the 10 hour car ride, but that is when VAC stepped in. We heard about VAC from other wounded warriors and we applied for a flight online. Less than 12 hours from asking for a flight, VAC had arranged 2 separate pilots to fly us home for a MUCH needed weekend pass home. Andrew began walking weeks later. That trip home was a turning point in his healing. Thank God for VAC.
we have used VAC a handful of times, and it has always been seamless, and so relaxing. They were able to allow my husband to fly with confidence once again. And since our initail VAC flight, we have now branched out to commercial. VAC has always been able to help us, especially when we had to go back home to deal with family matters. They were able to get me to my soldier as soon as I was able to fly, to introduce him for the first time to his newborn baby boy. An experience that both of us will always cherish and never forget.
On 2007 my humvee was destroy by a ied killing two of my best friends and leaving me with burns all over my body on may 20th of this year one of friends dad called me to ask me if i would love to attend to the memorial day in manteca ca. To remember my friends and tell how was the last moments before the explotion and since my wife had recently had a baby boy and we named him after my two best friens I really wanted to go but with my baby boy just 17 days old it was hard for us to fly commercial so I called veterans airlift and told them abouth my situation and they told me that there was no problems and they were going to look for some pilots and 4 days later I was in manteca, ca. Thank you so much for everything it was a healing process to me thank you to all the pilots and to the veterans airlift command God Bless all of you and SEMPER FI!!!!!!!!!!!
My son Erik was shot in the head in Oct 2005 and sits in a wheelchair and needs 24/7 care. His symptoms are like a quad ( no standing or piveting) .Traveling with him is a big challenge and commercial airlines are very difficult and physically hard. With this private plane we eliminated the long TSA checks and having to lift him onto an isle chair and back into the bulk head seat on the airplane and vice versa. The seats were comfortable.The pilot were accomodating, friendly and awesome pilots. It was wonderful and a lot easier and Erik had a big smile on his face the whole time. We hope to use them again soon.
My fiance and I have received the privilege of taking several flights thanks to VAC. We didn't know that an organization such as this even existed until his injury, and ever since, we have felt nothing but support from their staff and the pilots that volunteer their services. I can't say enough good things about VAC. They make sure to take care of every aspect of your travel, and Maria is so quick to answer your requests. We were really not looking forward to traveling after my fiance's injury; having to go through metal detectors in the airport with two prosthetic legs is not the easiest for him, not to mention the waiting and long lines. Thanks to VAC we have made several trips home and haven't had to worry about a thing. We couldn't be more grateful.
My husband suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in July of 2010. After stays at 3 facilities, he was fortunate enough to quality for therapies at the Minnepolis VA Hospital Polytrauma Center in November. We live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Veterans Airlift Command got us there. At the time of my husband's discharge, in February, I called them again to get us back home. And within hours, we had a wonderful plane, a great pilot and co-pilot (whom we keep in touch with to this day!). Lisa runs VAC like a well-oiled machine; she gets the job done quickly and efficiently. The quality of the pilots and planes is excellent, dont ever, ever, forget, Veterans Airlift Command provides these services for FREE, so any donation, or monetary gift, is greatly appreciated. Veterans Airlift Command is a godsend in so many ways. They treat our veterans with the respect they deserve, and which they've earned, and help get them on their way to starting new lives. I will be forever grateful to them; they made a very hard journey a bit easier. Glyni Fenn, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Spouse, TBI Advocate, and Pit Bull!
Veterans Airlift Command arranged a flight on a private plane for my husband, who has a Traumatic Brain Injury. A commercial airport and going through security would have been a nightmare, both for him and for me, his wife. Flyning this way made our trip so much easier, and less stressful. Lisa Young, who coordinated all of this, was professional, compassionate, and wonderful to work with. Mike Miller, our pilot who volunteerd his time, was great, with a beautiful plane. These people do wonderful work; they should be proud. I couldn't have asked for a more positive experience, and would highly recommend Veterans Airlift Command. Thank you, Lisa and Mike! Glyni Fenn
Recently my family and I took a trip to North Dakota, thanks in part to Veteran Airlift Command! Our request for this trip was instantly answered by the amazing staff at VAC, who worked so hard to accomplish this mission. We knew it was a difficult itinerary to fulfill do to location and distance, but our wishes were granted! Thanks to VAC and the flight team donated by Veteran Evaluation Services, we were able to fly to Grand Forks, ND in style. It will be an experience and trip that my family will never forget.
The staff that greeted us at the airport and flew us to our destination city were nothing short of spectacular! We have been back at homestation for almost a week and my 3 year old daughter still talks about the flight team constantly. They opened their lives to us and treated us like family and for this we are forever grateful. Being a wounded veteran has made it extremely difficult to fly, but this experience was just what the doctor ordered. For once, my family and I felt normal as we took part on this wonderful aviation adventure. Thank you so much VAC! You will always be in our hearts!
We put in for our trip and within a day, had received a personal phone call approving our request. Due to recent flooding the pilot was in the air and the airport we were supposed to be flying out of was closed, they made the arrangements and we were able to be picked up at a different airport and were on our way. The return flight was from a different pilot and they sent a limo to retrieve us from our hotel, and we had an amazing return flight with some kind and considerate individuals. I cannot thank this organization enough. What they do, the staff and the pilots were beyond any expectations we could have had. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
They were amazing, I put in a request for a trip but at the last minute had something come up over the times i had requested. They were able to fly me earlier than I expected and were very accommodating to my needs, above all they cared a lot about what I needed and were awesome!
The quality of service that we received from the VAC pilots and staff were excellent. The ease of making an online request, and receiving a call and email to confirm receipt of our request the same day, was an example of the excellent customer service that we received. Afterward, we received emails from both pilots to confirm the details of our flight. Each pilot also provided their home and cell numbers, in order to communicate throughout our trip. During our flight, the pilots were friendly, made sure we were comfortable, and were willing to answer all questions we had. During our flight, the pilots provided headphones to my husband and I, so that we could talk with them during the flight. On the way home, I was really concerned about ways to combat the air pressure from getting to my head and ears. My pilot was very empathetic, gave me chewing gum and flew the plane at a level low enough to curtail it. It really helped:) Thanks for such a great experience!
The overall experience on this the aircraft was truly a great experience! The volunteers who flew the crafe were all nice, and landed us home safely.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about VAC. I am very apprehensive about flying in any type of air craft, the pilots went above and beyond to make sure I was completely comfortable and at ease. Thank you is not enough for the wonderful service you are doing for the vets out here. VAC went out of their way to make myself and a fellow vet feel at ease about flying and to make sure we were taken care of
On my most recent trip home to see my family I had two pilots fly me. They were both very help full and made going home very positive!
I often have anxiety with almost anything but with the help of Lisa at air lift command and the two pilots keeping me informed of all aspects of the flight I had great time.
Thank you Lisa and both pilots it gave my life a real boost and My family and I cannot thank you enough. (Review entered by GreatNonprofits staff member on behalf of reviewer)
Veterans Airlift Command made my first experience a wonderful experience. My friends and family threw me a magnificent benefit in January and I believed I wouldn’t be able to attend but my pass to go was cleared from the hospital at the last minute. Within days I was set up with a personal jet, with the crew, and mechanic to go with it. The pilot called me on my cell phone and left every detail up to me. I chose which airports I wanted to leave from and arrive to. That was great, as I chose a small town airstrip and didn’t have to drive forty five minutes from Chicago to get home after arrival. The crew was hands down the best I ever had. They treated me as if I was a “Rock Star” the entire trip, with the pilot greeting me at my vehicle and returning me to the same place to say goodbye on the return trip. Times and number of passengers were totally up to my discretion, as at one time they were willing to send out two planes and crews to accommodate my wishes. I must have called the pilot four different times making changes to absolutely no problems at all. The flight attendant also called me the day before asking me what we would like to eat during our flight. She also decorated the plane with red white and blue streamers for American support, I absolutely loved that.
I was able to personally thank the owner of the corporation and also arrived with small tokens of appreciation for the crew and owner before the flight, as that was a justly thing to do. Lastly, I was told from the pilot (told from his boss,) that: “they would be offended if I flew commercial airlines and didn’t use them again.” I’m sold on that as I am soon to contact Veterans Airlift Command again very soon.
SFC John Masson
We have had the pleasure and HONOR to meet Sgt Evans and Rosemarie. they told us about swimming with dolphins in Florida and how they were so happy to be WARM (they miss Puerto Rico even more after THIS Winter in the NorthEast!)
I had no idea YOUR wonderful charity was their "RIDE" to this memorable trip! CONGRATULATIONS and continued success!
As VP for Operation Never Forgotten, www.operationneverforgotten.org and Operation SAS, www.operationsas.org, we cannot thank Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) enough for their support of our Big Sky Montana event for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans. Our budget did not allow us to bring 6 more wounded troopers from Oregon to Bozeman Montana to attend the event. I contacted VAC and in a couple days they had flight arrangements from three different Oregon locations to Big Sky. The 6 troopers had a great lifetime experience at Operation SAS due to the support of VAC. Thank you very much.
This picture was taken of my and Jasper (service dog in training) on the last night of Operation SAS. I brought two vets to the events on 6 Jan from Pendleton Oregon. Took two different ones home to Klamath Falls from Bozeman on 12 Jan.
Operation SAS: Free Sports, Afield and Stream Adventures for Warriors with Physical and Invisible Wounds, January 7-11, 2011. Also part of Operation NEVER Forgotten. Main banquet featured Lee Greenwood and other entertainers.
Very helpful, flew my girlfriend my dog and I home for Christmas for free and even stopped for lunch both ways. Planes were very comfortable and the pilots were extremely courteous and passionate about flying. Thank you so much!
My son and I have used VAC twice for short notice flights to a military hospital in TX. Both times have been wonderful experiences - from start to finish. From Lisa in the office, to Sara our hostess, to Chip our pilot - I have been so impressed! And so thankful!
Veterans airlift command is a god send to veterans that have been injured in the line of duty and now are in medical treatment facilities hundreds of miles from their homes, for myself this realates I've been receiving care for injuries recieved while serving in afghanistan.
without this service and the Support of the Pilots Brad Niehauser, Brian Giem, and Charles Watson I would have not been able to travel to see my family, however with the support of Veterans airlift command and these wonderful pilots I was able to recieve two round trips home for the holidays and to everyone at Veterans Airlift command I salute you for your service!!!!
What a great Command! I was fortunate enough to be able to use this service twice. Both times I was traveling home for the holidays. It was an easy process to request a flight. The staff and pilots are extremely kind, courtesy, and professional. Words can not express the gratitude and thanks my family and I have.
I'm a fairly new pilot for the Veteran's Airlift Command. It's obvious that VAC is efficient, well organized, and very committed to their mission. I like transporting military people and family members to places that are not well-served by airlines - where the travel day would be long and tedious with multiple connections. We can fly directly between small conveniently located airports, giving wounded warriors a fast fun trip rather than a day of airport misery.
I recently had the opportunity to use this great service. I contacted this organization with very short notice for a trip and within 2 days I had a volunteer to fly me and my fiancee from Ft Bragg to a very small airport in FL. This flight saved me a great deal of money and time. What a unique and special thing that your organization provides for Wounded Warriors and there families. Thank you very much for this wonderful service.
I have had 2 missions now with Veterans Airlift Command and both will be fond memories for a long time. Co-ordination was perfect and very simple (even fot me !) to put the mission details together. But , mostly I had a very rare priviledge to share some windsheild time with our country,s finest heros. Humble , appreciative , pleasant , grateful , proud , strong, supperb examples of what this country has depended on for generations for freedom. If I did not have this dad-gum day job ; I'd take a mission everyday. I look foward to many more.
My husband had a Traumatic Brain Injury and doesn't do well in crowded spaces. It was a blessing to have Veterans Airlift Command to call upon. We were taking our first trip home since my husband's injury. It was a short 4 day weekend, but long enough for us to enjoy our dogs and bring some winter clothes back from home. Lisa Young is an amazing coordinator. She kept me posted every step of the way. My request was only a week prior to travel as I had just learned of the organization and she pulled it off. Our 2 pilots were Bill Campbell and JJ Quinn. Bill took us home and JJ brought us back. They were so friendly and helpful. The flights themselves were great as well. They are awesome pilots. We want to thank everyone who took part in our trip. This is an amazing organization that I have referred many other soldier's families too since our trip. Thank you! Jennifer McRaney
I flow my first VAC mission November 23, 2010. Great opportunity to assist those who have given so much. It is a humble honor to serve in this capacity. I look forward to future flights. Thanks to VAC.
I am a veteran of an earlier conflict and have been granted sufficient successes to be able to pilot my own aircraft. I have flown a number of missions for the VAC. The wounded warriors I have been blessed to interact with are universally humble, brave and repectful. They make you proud to be an American and proud to have met them.
The pilots were fantastic! They were flexible as to where I wanted to be picked up and/or dropped off. They even went out of thier way to pay for my cab back to the hotel.
I have been familiar with Walt and Veteran Airlift Command for several years. On Saturday, 7 November 2010, we flew our 3rd Mission in support of this country's wounded Heros and their families. In reality, there is so little that we can do to say "Thank You" in a meaningful way. However, one of the more impactful ways is to help one of these Heros or a family member create a memory of a happy occasion. Providing air transportation, utilizing private & business aviation, helps to bring family members together for whom this time together would not have been possible. We are humbled and honored to be of service to those who have chosen to protect our country, our values and our way of life. They, and their families, are our contemporary Heros. VAC does a very thorough and professional job vetting each potential traveler. Each of the Missions we have flown are for those truly in need of assistance. The staff is incredibly efficient and available on a nearly 24/7 basis. In short, VAC has its the act together and performs at a very high level. As has often been said, "Results & Performance are the only things that count .... everything else is "conversation". VAC Gets It Done!
I am a medically retired Marine with Traumatic Brain Injury and Chronic PTSD. I suffer daily with depression, anxiety, anger and many other problems. When I got the call from the pilot (Tony Morrow) I was immediately put at ease. He was very polite and assured me that all of my needs for my wife and I would be met and explained how everything was going to happen. He kept in touch with me until the day of the flight and let me know that I could call him anytime for anything. From the beginning of the flight until the end, I was very relaxed because he explained all of the gears and gadgets on the plane and we listened to some nice music. We talked the whole flight and he was very comical. Overall, the experience was well planned and beyond what I expected. These guys are awesome!
I'm a 25 year old Iraq/Afghanistan veteran and was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia in May of 09 while in Afghanistan. I was medevaced to Germany where I was given a 5% chance to live and put into a medically induced coma for 3 weeks immediatly after arriving. I pulled through and stayed in Germany for 3 months in the ICU and eventually went into remission and was flown back to the states. I started chemo while in the states and in March of 2010 I relapsed and they realized that the chemo wasn't working anymore and they found leukemic cells in my brain/spine. So I underwent chemo through an implanted port in my brain and then I was told I needed a bone marrow transplant. My brother was a full match, so I was lucky I could go ahead and start the transplant soon. They put me through full body, testicular, and brain radiation, then 5 days of high dac chemo. Then I got the bone marrow transplant. All the radiation, chemo, transplant, time spent lying in a hospital bed, being on steriods and other pills that I'm taking, destroyed my body. I need a cane to walk and when I stand up, I almost pass out everytime. It's hard for me to pick up my laptop or walk short distances without being utterly exhausted. So when it came time for me to move back home my social worker put me in touch with Veteran's Airlift Command. I talked with the coordinator Lisa Young who just asked me what date I needed to be back and she was able to find a pilot and private plane to take me from Washington to Illinois. The program is incredible, they find volunteer pilots and people volunteer their own planes to help fly veterans. They were even willing to buy me a commercial ticket if they couldn't find me a pilot/plane! The whole process was completely smooth and amazing. The pilot and co-pilot were great and they even had packed me a lunch and gift basket of goodies for the ride. I can't even begin to express my gratitude for everything that the Veteran's Airlift Command did for me. Adam Barton OIF/OEF
Veteran's Airlift Command is a great charity organizations. VAC, with the help of many volunteer pilots and aircraft owners, enables injured Veterans to travel for care and family. We have flown two missions for the VAC and both were the most rewarding flights we've ever had. It's one way to give back to the courageous men and women who have given their health and safety for our freedom. We can't repay them for their sacrifices, but VAC is good place to start!
I am the mother of an injured marine. My son wanted to go see his unit return from Afghanistan and needed transportation. I contacted Veterans Airlift and they were able to provide the needed transportation. It was a good experience from step 1 to the finish. The application was user friendly and the response time was quick. I would recommend this service to any vet needing transportation. The whole process was a positive one.
Transporter a wounded warrior so that he could be best man in his brother's wedding. I found the veteran to be friendly and outgoing.
The Veterans Airlift Command provides an important service to our nation's OEF/OIF disabled veterans by offering them safe, friendly, and reliable air transportation. Our organization offers disabled veterans weeklong recreational therapy sessions in northwestern Wyoming. Getting our veterans here to Jackson Hole can be challenging. Thanks to the VAC, we now have expanded capabilities for air transportation. The VAC pilots are highly experienced and understand the issues facing the disabled veteran population. The VAC Mission Coordinator is easy to work with and very responsive to everyone's needs. We are grateful for the Veterans Airlift Command and will definitely use their excellent service in the future.
At first, I thought that the possiblility of getting a private pilot to fly me to this trip was next to immpossible. Lisa, the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) Representative that I spoke to told me that we should have an answer within a week. She was very helpful and accomadating, making sure, if I got a flight, that I would receive the best treatment possible. I had no idea how far they would go! Not only did I get a flight, but I got word the next day that both of my flights had been booked! The pilots were very friendly and helpful and "bent over backwards" to make sure that I was comfortable. They were so accomadating that, when I needed to change my flight to land in CA, instead of NV, they didn't even hesitate! I would highly recommend VAC to all of my fellow Veterans for any of their needs! Thank you VAC for a great oppportunity!
I am an Angel Flight pilot as well, and I see this as Angel Flight for the military. In my recent mission, the soldier was recuperating from an illness that required surgery, and due to recent army rule changes he was able to take his convalescence time at the home of his parents. It felt very patriotic flying a soldier back to base...
When we heard that our brother-in-law was killed in Afghanistan we were devisated. We immediatley wanted to fly out to CO to be with my husband's sister and do what we could to help. We were willing to purchase tickets at any cost but were contacted by this wonderful group of people that were willing to donate their personal planes, time, and money to get us to Colorado safely. It was overwhelming to see the support that these people gave us and they didn't even know us or our family that was affected by this tragic event. Thank you so very much for giving something back and helping us out in a time of need.
I have had a number of remarkable experiences airlifting wounded and injured US military personnel to and from hospitals and their homes. Recently, I flew the family members of a fallen US soldier to his funeral, over 800 miles away. Without the wings that VAC coordinates, it would have been impossible for this family to reach this destination in time. It is my honor and privilege to be able to offer my flying skills to assist these heroes and their families reconnect. Veterans Airlift Command is one of the finest organizations I've ever been associated with.
Veteran's Airlift Command allows us to give back to those that have given so much for our country. It is expensive for the volunteers, but I, for one, would give hundreds more if it wer epossible to bring these young men home unharmed. Such is not the world we live in, so we are called to do what we can to help. I appreciate this opportunity to serve our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and - ultimately - my country.
Veterans Airlift Command is an outstanding organization with a very important mission. As a wounded Vet I used their services and was overwhelmed by the service, hospitatliy and professionalism of their staff and volunteer pilots. While recovering from an injury sustained while in Iraq, my pregnant wife came down with lymes disease. I needed to get home in a hurry to take care her and the kids. Veterans Airlift Command picked my up in KS and dropped me off in MN. Both the pick up and drop off locations were less than 20 mins from my residence. No hassles with security or arriving early at the airport, just to sit and wait. I was home in less than half the time of a commercial flight and it didn't cost me anything. Great organization, worthy of support!!
I was severly injured in Afghanistan and could not afford nor sit in a car long enough to get back to my hometown and family. The VAC made it happen keeping me informed and was easy to reach on phone and email. Functioning programs such as this helps Wounded Vets, such as myself, recover in many aspects. It's obvious they are there to help with no hidden motives in the works. They got the green light from me. Five Stars All The Way SPC Marcum, Stephen
I have flown several missions for the VAC, all of which were special, but this most recent mission was definitely one of the more memorable missions that I have ever done. I had the great good fortune to fly one of our countries best and brightest and his wife from Fayetteville, NC to Tampa, FL to participate in a conference. My passenger, who had not flown in two years because of his condition, was a bit nervous about the trip and the physical effects of the flight on him. However, both he and his wife were anxious to get the adventure going. Both of them were absolutely wonderful, the flight went very well and I left them in Tampa to continue on to their conference. It is a real pleasure to meet people of the caliber of these two individuals. They are both heroes in my eyes and I was honored to spend some time with them.
My husband is a Operation Iraqi Freedom wounded veteran and was not allowed to fly in the past 2 and a half years due to treatments. We were invited to become mentors for the SOCOM Care Coalition providing other families and veterans assistance when they need it. The convention was held in Tampa, Florida, my husband was cleared to try flying again and this would be our first air travel experience since 2007. Our Care Coalition advocate offered to set us up with VAC for more convenient traveling. Well, we chose to give VAC a try. Despite him and myself being nervous but also excited about this trip we knew that the Veterans Airlift Command would be the best way without the hassle of commercial air travel. Mission Coordinator Lisa Young, was on it in a jiffy, got everything worked out within a very short period of time. She got us set and in touch with both volunteering pilots without any issues. Everyone involved was easy to contact, questions and concerns were taken care of professionally and with ease. Both pilots were wonderful, supportive, helpful, and caring individuals. Not only did they have the ability to calm my husband down but also were hands on to help him into the plane and out. What a wonderful way to support America's veterans to make their travels less stressful and unique! Everyone went above and beyond to make this "first" time flying a great and relaxed time for my husband. He no longer is worried about traveling by air because of this foundation. I hope more veterans will be able to have the opportunity to use this awesome way of travel wether they are heading to a medical appointment or to a convention, no veteran and their family will forget this experience. The kindness and respect shown by the foundation and the pilots is outstanding and something many can learn from. Thank you VAC for giving us this opportunity and a piece of a "normal" life back - I haven't seen my husband feeling hopeful about his future in a while, this experience definately helped to show him he is not glued to just one location anymore, he can and will be able to fly where ever he wants to go. Thank you again, your impact on changing our outlook on what is possible will never be forgotten!
My son was injured in Afghanistan by an IED in January and suffered multiple injuries including the loss of his left foot. I have had to fly back and forth from my home in Arkansas to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC where my son is staying. My husband also suffers from medical problems that require him to constantly be on oxygen and to see doctors on a regular basis, requiring me to try to be a two places at once. To pay for all the flights necessary would have been an economic burden on my family. Veterans Airlift Command helped me on one flight from Dulles International Airport to my Arkansas home in July and return in August. I want to thank Stowers Machinery Corporation of Knoxville,TN for donating their corporate jet and use of their pilot Terry Tyler who was a great pilot, courteous, and helpful. I truly appreciate what the Veterans Airlift Command does for the soldiers and their families. With so many soldiers being injured in wars abroad, there will be many families needing help. Thank you all!!