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Business Aviation Honors Military Heroes

June 4, 2010

Business aviation is at work in many ways in the U.S., as demonstrated in the role of business airplanes in providing air transport for organizations focused on lending a hand to deserving citizens.  

Consider, for example, the industry’s ongoing support for Impact A Hero Weekend, sponsored by the non-profit Impact Player Partners. The event takes shape as a large, national celebration to the nation’s military veterans. For the third straight year, business airplanes provided flights for wounded and disabled U.S. veterans to the event.  

NBAA Member Company Universal Weather and Aviation donated both flight time and pilots to fly Marine Corporal Ronny Porta and Army Sergeant Joel Tavera in its Gulfstream G150 to the Houston-area event. Both are still in treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. In previous years, other companies have provided veterans with business airplane transportation to the event.  

“For many of these veterans, making it through airline metal detectors is nearly impossible because of the amount of shrapnel in their bodies,” said Ralph J. Vasami, CEO of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. “We’re honored to be able to take as many wounded or disabled veterans as we can to this weekend’s forum in honor of these heroes.” 

Impact A Hero Weekend incorporates a 5K run, walk, or wheel marathon, a celebration barbeque, a Hall of Fame banquet and an all-day golf tournament. This year’s event was held in Sugarland, TX.

During the year, IPP matches professional athletes with disabled veterans as a personal support bond. The organization also takes veterans to games featuring their sports heroes, arranging personal meetings before and after their performances. IPP also recruits business mentors who can help veterans transition into civilian life.

Other business aviation contributions honoring veterans and other citizens are told through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. These efforts are highlighted on the campaign web site at www.noplanenogain.org.