Patriotism runs deep at Southwest Airlines, and we are proud to partner with charities that support the men, women, and children who sacrifice for our country every day. This blog post is authored by Patricia Driscoll, President of the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), an organization that supports and advocates for active-duty military personnel, National Guardsmen, Reservists, military families, and veterans.For years, thousands of service members, veterans, and their families have benefited from our partnership with Southwest Airlines. The tickets that Southwest has donated have been used to fly service members to medical treatment, family members to hospital visits, and veterans to job interviews—all at no cost to the service member, alleviating the financial burden placed on families as they care for a loved one who is recovering from injuries sustained in combat.
Though this partnership has benefited many, a recent success story really sticks out with me. Back in 2012, we worked with Shane, a wounded service member, to provide free travel to his family so they could be at his side during his recovery process at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
I ran into Shane this past June, and after catching up, he had one simple request. He mentioned that he was part of the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Fort Belvoir, Va., and that he had not seen his daughters in more than a year. His one request was to hold his daughters in person, instead of through the computer.
For us, this was a no brainer. We happily provided the tickets to Shane and his family so they could spend the Independence Day weekend together in Washington D.C.
Between paddle boat rides in Monument Park, a Washington Nationals game, and eating BBQ at the White House on the Fourth of July—it was a reunion the family won’t soon forget.
Thank you to Southwest for the continued LUV and support you show our nation’s military members and their families!