July 29, 2013
By Dave Hirschman
The Veterans Airlift Command, a volunteer organization that provides wounded combat veterans with free transportation on general aviation aircraft, has added a new mission—helping Iraq and Afghanistan veterans return to civilian life.
“Team-Up” pairs veterans with GA pilots and uses aviation as a way to give returning vets a new challenge, focus, and a community of supportive people.
Andrew Lourake, a former U.S. Air Force pilot and the first above-the-knee amputee pilot in any U.S. armed service, will direct the new program. While flying at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., Lourake counseled hundreds of military amputees at nearby Walter Reed and Bethesda medical centers. He was a founding member of the peer visitor program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Lourake and Veterans Airlift Command founder Walt Fricke will give details of the Team-Up program at the EAA AirVenture.
Red Bull Air Racing has returned for 2014, with Paul Bonhomme, twice a world champion of past years’ competitions, claiming a victory.
A documentary film tells the story of the “first to fly and the first to die for the United States in the Great War.”
AOPA President Mark Baker flew four women and girls on two flights March 4 as part of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week activities designed to introduce more women and girls to aviation.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.