Monday Sep 24 2012 9:35 AM
Editor's note: An earlier version of this announcement erroneously said the flight already occurred. This version contains updates throughout to show the flights are scheduled for Sept. 27-28.
Army Soldier Jeremy Sawyer was serving his country in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated three feet from him, taking both of his legs at the knee, rupturing both ear drums and causing numerous other injuries.
Since then, he has been recovering at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio. His wish was to be able to spend his next birthday with his two sons, who live in Spanaway, Wash.
With airlines unable to assist in the special needs of Wounded Warriors, Veterans Airlift Command contacted Chinook Flight of Everett and Morgan Design Group of Seattle and asked for help. Morgan Design Group's John Parsaie said: "Get the plane ready."
The assembled team will leave Washington on Sept. 27 and pick up Specialist Sawyer on Sept. 28. He will be flown to Pierce County Airport-Thun Field near Puyallup, where he will spend his birthday with his children prior to returning to Brooke Army Medical Center for a critical surgery the next day.
"This mission is funded by several organizations and individuals, and I'm happy I can be a part of making this soldier's wish come true," said Chinook Flight's Richard Newman, who is donating his time as pilot. Newman is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve with 24 years service.
Morgan Design is loaning its Cessna 414 Chancellor, a twin-engine light executive aircraft. This will enable Sawyer to travel with his mother, who has been his non-medical care giver since he was sent directly to Brookes Army Medical Center from Afghanistan. They will travel with a collapsible wheel chair and pertinent medical support items for his care and comfort. Seats will be removed from the plane to allow more room for these care items.
Tim Braly, systems engineer at Brocade, is donating his time as the co-pilot through his company's Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program and is personally paying for the fuel costs for the mission.
CONTACT: Richard T. Newman, Chinook Flight Simulations co-ownerPaine Field (KPAE) (425) 791-3007