October 5, 2013
The wounded veteran support group Warrior Aviation held a fundraiser at Trump Winery on Saturday evening.
The event featured a flyover by the group's L-39 jet, Vandy-1, and its pilot, Mark "Crunchy" Burgess.
The event cost $125 to enter, and all the money goes toward the Warrior Aviation charity.
The group was started by Matt Blush, a civilian pilot who saw a need that had to be filled when he went to visit a wounded veteran a the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
"The story he told me, what he went through, families coming apart, it's hard for them to get support," Blush said. "That day I really knew that I had to do something."
So Blush, who is a non-veteran pilot, formed a group of veteran pilots and other servicemen to make Warrior Aviation. The group focuses on keep families together by helping wounded veterans find and train for jobs.
"[It's] giving the men and women that have been injured in battle a way to do what they want for the rest of their lives."
The problem they were seeing was that veterans, especially wounded veterans, were coming home jobless. While there is a lot of specialized training one can get in the military, not everyone gets it.
For example, someone in a rifle company may not have been given advanced computer training, which would have been helpful for finding a job after their service was over.
So Warrior Aviation is stepping in by not only matching veterans up with jobs they may already qualify for, but also providing scholarships so that they can train specifically for the job they want.
An employer can contact WA and give a list of the requirements for a position they want filled. WA will then contact their veterans and see who wants the job training for that position. The key is that the position the employer is offering is guaranteed to the veteran who completes the necessary training.
And charity work is not the only thing they do. On Aug. 14, they became the first group to do a flyover of a burial ceremony at Arlington Cemetery. The bodies of USAF Majors James Elmo Sizemore and Howard Andre were recovered in Laos several decades after their plane went down during the Vietnam War. However, with the sequestration cuts, the military could not perform the typical flyover for the pilot's interment, so Warrior Aviation and several other civilian pilots got permission to do it.
To find out more about Warrior Aviation, please click the link below this article.