My father was stationed in Okinawa when I was small. My mother tells a story of finding me in my room, packing. I was going to go see him. I didn’t know how I was going to get there, or where exactly it was, but I was packed and ready to go. I think the best part about the whole Little Miss Phenix City pageant for me, was that it coincided with Dad’s leave time, so he was there for all the hoopla. I was young enough that I believed the Marine Corps had let him come home just to see me, and I was plotting ways to enter other pageants just so he could visit.
You and I both know that the Marine Corps thinks about as much of Puppy Bowl pageants as North Korea thinks about human rights, but that’s the way a child’s mind works.
My company is supporting a group called Luke’s Wings for Christmas, this year. Luke’s Wings works to reunite wounded service men and women with their families. Families like the one we learned about, whose Marine father was shot three times in the chest and once in the head, while working to train Iraqi soldiers. When the family was notified of the incident, one of the Marine’s sons asked where his father had been shot. The boy was about the same age I was at the time of the Little Miss pageant, and his response to hearing that his father had been shot in the chest and head was to say he was glad it wasn’t anywhere important, like in his arms, so he would still be able to play football when he got home. Because that’s the way a child’s mind works.
That Marine spent close to 2 years in the hospital recovering, and Luke’s Wings provided a way for his family to travel from Texas to Maryland to visit with him while he was on the mend.
Luke’s Wings has made it possible for many families to be with their wounded service men and women, and made it possible for those men and women to heal with help and love, or get to see someone they love before passing–because not all of them make it.
If you’re looking for a place to give this year, Luke’s Wings is a GuideStar Trusted non-profit. Their goal is to raise $500,000 by December 25th, with the mission to reunite 1500 wounded soldiers with their families. It’s worthwhile and important, and it’s a group I’ll be supporting this year.
I can’t imagine how crazy I would be if something had happened to my son, and I couldn’t afford to get to him. I’m very thankful there is a group who has thought about that.
Luke’s Wings is an organization dedicated to the support of service members who have been wounded in battle. Recognizing the immediate need for families to be with their loved ones at such a difficult time, Luke’s Wings provides families with the means to visit during the service member’s hospitalization and rehabilitation. By purchasing travel agency services and travel tickets for loved ones, Luke’s Wings provides an immediate and invaluable service to the families of our men and women at arms while also helping to encourage and motivate the service member’s recovery.
In 2011, Luke’s Wings expanded the mission to also include Texas Veterans during major life events and all Veterans in Hospice Care. As such; a Texas Veteran may be with their family during a major life event. A Veteran in Hospice Care may be surrounded by loved ones as they pass away. Today, the majority of requests are for World War II Veterans, Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans in elderly care facilities or long term inpatient care facilities. Luke’s Wings regards the Veterans in Hospice Care Program as a “final salute” to the greatest generation that ever lived.
In 2012, Luke’s Wings was asked to provide emergency flights for the families of our special operators who are injurred on special missions. Luke’s Wings is honored to be the “go-to” for the Special Operations Command (S.O.C.OM.). We are honored to be of service to our special operators as part of the S.O.C.O.M. Care Coalition.
Recognizing the difficulties families encounter as they make their way to their loved ones’ side, Luke’s Wings purchases the plane tickets and plans the trips, then Luke’s Wings partners with other non profit who can provide other services including, but not limited to, free or discounted accommodations, meals, entertainment, local travel vouchers, city tours, etc.