DC non-profit asks for donations to cover airfare costs of wounded service members, veterans

A D.C. non-profit is asking for the public's help to provide free airfare to wounded service members, veterans and their families. 

Luke's Wings helps connect families who are unable to cover the cost of flights and is funded from the help of donations, including unused airline miles.

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For one DMV Marine who was hit by an IED blast, it made his recovery easier.

"It was really good for his healing," his wife Patricia Ochan said. "We went to the hospital and just the beam on his face, and of course my son didn't even understand, he was just very excited to see his dad and they would smile, read books together and just very nice to see. And I just really stopped worrying because I felt there was hope."

The organization began its mission in 2008, starting with patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It has since spread to VA and military hospitals across the country.

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Luke's Wings has covered more than 12,000 flights for families over the years and has a goal to reach 2,000 this year alone.

While the pandemic has made their efforts more difficult, they say that won't stop them from reuniting our nation's heroes.

"The average cost of a flight is about $350," says co-founder of Luke's Wings Fletcher Gill. "However, post-COVID, right now we are experiencing flights around $600 to $700 because of the demand for flights and we have never said no to a flight within our mission."

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If you're interested in donating miles or money to Luke's Wings or would like to apply for their services, click here.