DC nonprofit uses donated miles to help connect military families

A D.C. nonprofit is helping connect military families who were unable to cover the costs of flights.

Luke’s Wings began its mission in 2008. It started with helping patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center fly back and forth to their loved ones.

It has since grown from providing 19 flights a year to more than a dozen flights per day. So far, they’ve covered more than 12,000 flights for families.

“We’re talking about reuniting kids with their parents, helping people through their hospital recovery,” said co-founder Fletcher Gill.

They also aim to help veterans who are ill or injured and those dealing with mental health issues.

“We also provide flights for World War II and Korean War veterans who are in their final hours to make sure they’re never alone,” Gill saod.

The Luke’s Wings 2021 Golf Classic. (Courtesy Luke’s Wings)

The Luke’s Wings 2021 Golf Classic. (Courtesy Luke’s Wings)

The Luke’s Wings 2021 Golf Classic. (Courtesy Luke’s Wings)

The Luke’s Wings 2021 Golf Classic. (Courtesy Luke’s Wings)

The Luke’s Wings 2021 Golf Classic. (Courtesy Luke’s Wings)

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It’s all made possible by donations, including unused Delta miles. They also hold fundraiser events, like Monday’s ninth annual Heroes Golf Classic in Vienna.

It’s the kind of help that Gill said can be difficult to come by for many military families.

The organization’s focus now is on providing more than 2,000 airplane tickets this year and, so far, they’re halfway there.

“The goal is to just make sure we can say yes to every flight request that we receive,” Gill said. “People can really be a hero to these heroes, and if they donate just a couple bucks or if you have unused Delta miles that might expire, you can actually transfer miles directly to Luke’s Wings or just call us.”

You can find out more about making a donation at the Luke’s Wings website.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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