Organizations Fly Those In Need, For Free
Aero-News has learned Grace Flight of America (GFA) and the
Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) recently joined forces, resulting in
the establishment of the premier national charitable flying
Joining with Grace Flight of America's 1,380 pilots, Veterans
Airlift Command's 855 pilots, based in 45 states, will provide
seamless, efficient, nationwide service to our country's wounded
warriors, those in need of distant medical treatment, and as a
volunteer flying resource in times of national emergencies.
"I am thrilled about the creation of an efficient nationwide
organization which will capitalize on the strengths of both
organizations," said Walt Fricke, Chairman and founder of VAC.
"Together, we will better serve our pilots, patrons, and veterans.
After much research and thoughtful deliberation, we determined GFA
was the best fit for us in light of their system efficiencies,
growth opportunities, and specifically, their intense focus on the
mission. The combined organization promises to preserve the legacy
of the VAC and allow for significant growth. I could not be more
Volunteer Pilot and Chairman of GFA, O. R. (Butch) Smith, added,
"We are very excited about the opportunity to have VAC join with
us. We are jointly committed to grow this valuable and patriotic
service for our veterans, while answering the universal request of
our many constituents, including in particular our generous donors,
for a true nationwide presence. In addition, our remarkable GFA
pilots have continually expressed an interest in doing more for our
veterans. This merger will provide just that opportunity, alongside
our medical, humanitarian and national emergency missions. This is
truly a win-win combination of like-minded organizations."
Based in Minneapolis, MN, 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. Grace Flight of
America, based in Addison, TX, helps people in need of free air
transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes.