December 9, 2010
By Julie Summers Walker
For the past four years U.S. soldiers have celebrated Christmas with a Santa Claus they can identify with—he wears combat fatigues just like they do. “America’s Santa,” in his fur-trimmed camouflage suit, is the star of “Operation Christmas Spirit,” an effort by the Spirit of Liberty Foundation, a group of private aircraft owners and businessmen who want to help wounded warriors remember the joy of Christmas, which starts its fifth tour this weekend.
Click the image above to view a slideshow.
The 2010 Believe in Santa Tour will leave San Diego on Dec. 13 in a Citation II, travel to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and then to AOPA headquarters at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md., for a stop at Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. (about a 45-minute drive from the Frederick airport).
The FAA has authorized the flight to use the call sign “Saint Nick 1.” After the stop in Maryland, the tour then flies to New York City and on to Camp Speicher, Command Headquarters outside of Baghdad.
America’s Santa will deliver personalized Christmas cards from governors and senators from across the United States to the men and women from their respective states. Follow the flight on Facebook.
AOPA Director of Publications and Managing Editor for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training, Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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