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CNN Highlights Business Aviation Flights to Support Veterans

March 30, 2011

A video spotlighting the generosity of businesses in flying wounded U.S. veterans to medical appointments or other events was posted on March 28 to the popular cable channel CNNMoney.com, in its “Conscious Capitalism” series.

The heartwarming report features Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Wilson, who barely survived the detonation of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Iraq and today maneuvers with the help of a prosthetic leg. When interviewed, Sgt. Wilson had just been flown from Oklahoma to Virginia in a Cessna Citation owned by NBAA Member the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma and flown by chief pilot Quentin McLarry. Thanks to that lift, the disabled veteran was able to spend Spring break with his children in Virginia.

“They’re [the companies and individuals who donate the flights] are really selfless,” Wilson tells the CNN audience. “They don’t ask anything of you except to be there when you’re ready to leave. They are greatly, greatly appreciated.”

Walter Fricke, executive director of the all-volunteer Veterans Airlift Command (VAC), explains on camera that VAC coordinates some 1,800 pilots and aircraft owners nationwide who provide the no-cost transportation for wounded and disabled veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the three-plus minute CNN report closes, Choctaw Nation Chief Pilot McLarry is shown standing in front of his Cessna Citation telling viewers, “it’s a way we can show our appreciation. This is nothing, compared to what they’ve done for us. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Other testimonials on the value of business flying, both charitable and business-focused, are available on the No Plane No Gain web site.