Interesting story that Grumpy Editor spotted only in the November issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance --- dealing with Walt Fricke, a former Vietnam helicopter pilot who now heads Veterans Airlift Command (VAC), St. Louis Park, Minn., that provides free, private air transport to soldiers and their families.
VAC refers to a database of 2,500 volunteer aircraft owners and pilots to handle trip requests. Fricke says, “Although it can cost $5,000 an hour to operate an airplane, our volunteers pay for everything.”
Too bad major media, which thrive on gloomy material these days, don’t run with this stellar effort and give it a boost.
Fricke, who contributed $200,000 to launch the transport service, says VAC has flown 13,000 passengers so far, some multiple times.
He says he spent more of his own funds “to pay the bills until we started receiving donations, which pay our salaries.”
Annual budget, he reveals, is $4.5 million with $3.5 million of that “donated flight value."
“In Vietnam,” he mentions, “I flew kids into combat. Now I fly vets home."
Read more details at www.veteransairlift.org.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
Happenings out of Washington: President Barack Obama cuts sentences of 102 more federal inmates, bringing to 774 the number of sentences he shortened, including 590 this year. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is delaying deportation proceedings for 56,000 Central America immigrants who arrived in the U.S. since 2014, to remain in the country for several more years…Sometimes news reports leave out a key element in a story. Such was the case over the weekend in a story about a boat capsizing and becoming fully submerged in San Francisco Bay, sending five adults and three children to a hospital. The boat, without a description as to size and whether it was a private vessel or a commercial one, was carrying 30 people…Look for an absence (for now) of scam phone calls with a phony “Internal Revenue Service” agent on the other end threatening legal action unless money “owed in back taxes” is paid soonest. Police in India detain 70 people and are investigating hundreds more after discovery of a group allegedly posing as call center workers in a Mumbai suburb may have been part of a tax scam that cheated Americans out of more than $47 million…Putting your tax money to good use? There used to be a time when the U.S. government relied on public service announcements (PSAs) to get the word out on developments and services at no cost to taxpayers. Now, the federal government spends $1.5 billion annually on public relations. That’s $1 billion on PR and advertising contracts, and another $500 million on salaries for 5,000 federal PR employees, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report…The Los Angeles Times, in a periodic story designed to get readers excited over a possible “big one,” comes up with another “elevated risk for a big San Andreas fault earthquake” piece last week, based on a week-long swarm of seismic activity at Salton Sea. But by the end of the week, the risk faded.
Had enough of swaying palm trees on TV over the past week with Hurricane Matthew?
In covering tropical disturbances, television photographers always focus on capturing palm fronds flapping in the wind. It’s a favorite scene with them and their news editors.
Actually, it doesn’t take much wind to make fronds move. Just a breeze will set them in motion.