CJP Members Complete Once in a Lifetime Mission
On December 8, a Citation Mustang, Citation M2 and a Beechcraft King Air 200 transported 15 wounded warriors to Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field for the 119th meeting of the Army-Navy game.
The effort was organized by Chuck Reed, director of Kentucky Wounded Heroes and CJP member Karl Hoffman, who is based in the Chicago area. The pair recruited fellow CJP member and Patient Airlift Services (PALS) volunteer John Hinshaw along with pilots Bill Daugherty and Steve Barker.
Hoffman delivered five Marine Corps service personnel aboard his Cessna Citation M2 while Hinshaw carried four veterans in his Citation Mustang CE-510 from Indiana’s Clark County Regional Airport. The aircraft benefitted from a hefty tailwind en route to Philadelphia, with the King Air reaching 350 knots and the Mustang exceeding 500 knots. For a few of the passengers, this was their first general aviation flight.
“I’ve been flying volunteer flights for over 20 years, but this one was particularly special because my oldest brother is a wounded warrior,” said Hinshaw. “My passengers were very appreciative and gracious for the opportunity to fly in a private aircraft.”
During halftime, the pilots and veteran passengers were in for a special surprise when President Donald Trump greeted them. The President spent around 20 minutes shaking hands, taking photos and thanking everyone for being there.
“I about melted. Here are these amazing veterans and the President right next to me,” said Hinshaw. “Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would shake hands with the President of the United States.”
When asked to summarize the entire experience, Hinshaw said it was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. He looks forward to helping with more veteran flights in the future.
“It was awesome how the volunteers stepped up and everything came together,” said Hoffman. “We wanted to send a message that there are people out there who care – it’s important to pay back those who served!”
If you are interested in taking part in a similar charitable mission, you can visit http://www.palservices.org/ for more information.