American Airlines Partners with 'Best in Class' Veterans Charity to Provide Medical Flights

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 General News
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VIRGINIA BEACH, April 6 They come home with missing limbs, hearing loss, embedded shrapnel, and most devastating of all, invisible wounds of mind and spirit related to combat. For healing to take place, they need specialized care: therapy, counseling, rehab, and family members by their side. But often it is difficult for these American heroes to access distant medical services when they need them.

Committed to the healing of wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and to all veterans, American Airlines, through its Veterans Initiative, awarded a check for $100,000 to Air Compassion for Veterans (ACV) at a recent luncheon briefing held on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This was the first installment of a potential million dollar pledge made by the airline company.

The funds will be used to purchase airline tickets in partnership with ACV, a nonprofit national charity that coordinates the medically-related flights from its headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and aims to ensure that where there is financial need, wounded service members and their adversely affected family members can receive free long-distance medical air transportation.

The check was presented by American Airlines Captain Jim Palmersheim. "We are pleased to partner with Air Compassion for Veterans to provide critical travel resources for our country's wounded warriors, veterans and family members," he said, noting that the nonprofit organization which operates the ACV program, Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA), has the highest four-star rating with Charity Navigator. "This means that the majority of every dollar donated goes directly to those in need."

He also praised MMA's standing as the nation's oldest and largest medical air charity. "As such, MMA represents a best-in-class organization. Those who have paid the price of freedom deserve no less."

The briefing was held in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building and given by Edward R. Boyer, MMA's founder, CEO, and president. With a view of the growing concern regarding health care access in a deepening recession, Boyer reported on the state of the national charitable medical air transportation system he was instrumental in creating 35 years ago. The system utilizes volunteer pilots, commercial airline travel and air ambulance service.

The luncheon was sponsored by The Boeing Company and attended by some 175 guests, including legislators, members of the media, veterans, and representatives from aviation, aerospace, airline, and healthcare industries.

Boyer commented on the importance of the gift of flight for veterans. "The value of American Airlines' annual pledge of $1 million in tickets for wounded warriors and their adversely affected family members goes well beyond the number of dollars. Other sponsors provide the additional funds ACV needs to operate the program and accomplish essential outreach in support of the program. The joint efforts provide flights for nearly 7,000 wounded warriors annually -- changing their lives for the better and enriching all of America." ~

Contact: Jim Smith, Vice President of Operations, Mercy Medical Airlift, (757) 271-2283, Email:

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Jim Smith

SOURCE Mercy Medical Airlift

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