April 10, 2013
By Julie Summers Walker
Disabled American Veterans staff Lynn May, Mike Jones, and Calvin Peacock join Panchito owner Larry Kelley (center) and pilot Matt Sager with DAV’s Kerry Ward (right) in front of the iconic World War II bomber.
Larry Kelley, owner and pilot of Panchito, a B-25J Mitchell bomber that he has lovingly restored and maintains, has joined forces with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Flight Team to spread the message to American veterans that “they are not alone.”
“I saw that the DAV was at sports events and NASCAR races but realized that they needed to be at airshows,” Kelley said. “Airshows attract the patriotic people who support the mission of the DAV.”
So he contacted the DAV and helped form a flight team, which travels across the country to raise awareness of the DAV mission. Panchito is a big draw. The B-25 gained notoriety in the famed Doolittle Raid over Tokyo 71 years ago.
Lynn May, event coordinator for the DAV, says many veterans are unaware of the services of the DAV, especially veterans of recent conflicts. “We are flying to raise awareness,” she said. “These are America’s real heroes—the veterans.”
DAV represents more than 1.2 million disabled veterans and is a nonprofit organization founded in 1920.
“The DAV’s services are just as relevant today as they were when it was formed in 1920,” Kelley said.
AOPA's first regional fly-in of 2014 kicks off April 26 in San Marcos, Texas. Here are 10 tips to look forward to the day of the fly-in.
Able Flight, the nonprofit organization that works to provide free flight training to individuals with physical disabilities, announced the awards of a record-setting nine scholarships in 2014.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>