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Flying Missions for Heroes

This August, Pilot Andre Bohy, a key member of our BAC “family” related his involvement with Veteran’s Airlift Command (VAC) and the heartwarming mission he flew to help a wounded veteran reunite with her family. This volunteer organization of pilots fly wounded Iraq and Afghanistan service members and their families to and from hospitals and special events, when they would otherwise be unable to afford the airfare on their own.

VAC was contacted by Major Yvonne Heib, an active duty Army Operating Nurse who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan four times throughout her 15 year Army career. Last January, just two days before her latest Afghanistan deployment was completed, Major Heib was wounded during a mortar attack that exploded 6 feet away from her. Her numerous injuries rendered her unable to perform her nursing duties and she is currently assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion and stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. She was injured on her right hand, received shrapnel to both legs, chest, right arm, and head and suffered permanent nerve damage to her left leg. She has so far undergone 5 surgeries and there are more to come.

With her numerous surgeries, Major Heib had not been able to visit her family since her return stateside. She contacted the VAC to request air transportation so that she could attend her niece’s wedding on August 21st. In addition, she wanted to surprise her oldest brother who was celebrating his 50th birthday that same weekend. She and her brother were always close and he was quite shaken up when he heard of his sister’s injuries.

Andre Bohy, who is based out of Business Aircraft Center volunteered to fly out of Danbury airport for the mission, pick her up at Fort Bragg, and fly her to Enid, Oklahoma for the wedding and return her afterwards. The trip consisted of a total of 3,000 nautical miles in his Bonanza F33A. Bohy is also is president of New York-based Omni Financial and explained, “Our company does business with the military and this is our way of giving back to them.” This was his first flight for the VAC but he plans on working with them whenever he is called on for years to come. “Personally, as a pilot, I enjoy the satisfaction that comes from giving back to the men and women who have been injured on front lines while protecting our freedoms."

The Veterans Airlift Command provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. For more information about the VAC, visit their website at veteransarlift.org.

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