Wounded Lubbock Solider Arrives Home On The Wings Of Volunteers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/21/07

Wounded Lubbock Solider Arrives Home On The Wings Of Volunteers

Imagine going to war, being wounded, coming back an amputee and having to be treated miles away from home.

Monterey High School graduate Jason Bates is living that reality. However, Wednesday afternoon Bates flew home to Lubbock from San Antonio, on the wings of volunteers.

Bates is home for this Thanksgiving thanks to the Veterans Airlift Command. It's a nationwide non-profit program, that's only one-year-old. It's mission, to fly those like Bates home for the holidays or for medical care, all for free.

 A Thanksgiving homecoming, but this one is not by a commercial airplane. Instead, Army Private First Class Jason Bates is flying in from San Antonio on pilot Bill Kendrick's A-36 Bonanza.

 "It was scary when we took off but when we were in the air it was alright, once we got to our cursing altitude it was fun," Bates told NewsChannel 11.

 The flight took just over two hours, with Bates's mother, Dejon awaiting his arrival.

"It's such a blessing and it was amazing and such a wonderful program for these soldiers," Dejon Bates said.

Bates is now in San Antonio receiving therapy after an IED destroyed his Humvee in Iraq in May. Doctors amputated his foot and part of his leg, which Bates says makes it difficult for him to travel back and forth for treatment.

"It's real tough for me to travel through the commercial airlines, because it's hard for me to get around. I don't have a lot of help," Bates added.

 So that's where Kendrick comes in. Kendrick is one of more than 500 volunteer pilots with the Veterans Airlift Command. Their mission is to fly wounded soldiers and their families for medical care and other compassionate trips.

Kendrick said, "People like Jason made a huge sacrifice and for us to volunteer to transport him so he could spend the holidays with his family, it's a small to the sacrifice he made.

 A sacrifice made by one American for another and both is equally as grateful.

"How do you say thank you. They just love what they do," said Dejon.

"I didn't think I was going to be home for Thanksgiving, so it feels good," Bates added.

 The Veterans Airlift Command will make over 200 flights this year nationwide. Next Thursday VAC is flying Jason and his family to Fort Brag, North Carolina for his Purple Heart Ceremony.

To find out how you can get involved with the volunteer program click here.

Tell us what you think...
kcbd.com Message Boards
Sound off on news or current events on our message boards!

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Moore critic: Alabama Senate race a battle for nation's soul

    Moore critic: Alabama Senate race a battle for nation's soul

    Friday, November 17 2017 11:39 PM EST2017-11-18 04:39:35 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 10:31 AM EST2017-11-19 15:31:55 GMT

    GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore's wife is standing by her embattled man, and she has gathered other Alabama women to his cause _ but not everyone is sticking with him.

    GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore's wife is standing by her embattled man, and she has gathered other Alabama women to his cause _ but not everyone is sticking with him.

  • Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states

    Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:53 AM EST2017-11-18 14:53:09 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 9:43 AM EST2017-11-19 14:43:02 GMT

    Residents of high-tax states would be affected most by the GOP's plan to eliminate or reduce the deduction for state and local taxes, but the change also could affect millions of other filers, including some in...

    Residents of high-tax states would be affected most by the GOP's plan to eliminate or reduce the deduction for state and local taxes, but the change also could affect millions of other filers, including some in Republican-led states.

  • US general says illegal nuclear launch order can be refused

    US general says illegal nuclear launch order can be refused

    Saturday, November 18 2017 6:09 PM EST2017-11-18 23:09:48 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 5:21 AM EST2017-11-19 10:21:55 GMT

    The top officer at U.S. Strategic Command says an order from President Donald Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal.

    The top officer at U.S. Strategic Command says an order from President Donald Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal.

Powered by Frankly