Air Force

May 24, 2012

Air Guard helps grant ‘Bucket List’ wish for ailing senior

Tags:
Maj. Gabe Johnson
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Gabe Johnson)
Kimberly Iverson, founder of the Bucket List Foundation, and Wil Englund watch F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 162nd Fighter Wing take off from the Tucson International Airport runway, May 17.

Dreams of blasting off the tarmac in a fighter jet don’t fade with age as one Arizona senior taught Airmen here May 17.

When approached by the Bucket List Foundation, a non-profit much like the Make a Wish Foundation or Dream Factory, Wil Englund asked if he could fly an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

“Our goal is to grant wishes to terminally ill seniors,” said Kimberly Iverson, Bucket List founder and hospice nurse in Phoenix. “I want to give back more to our senior community, so we try to empower social workers and hospice nurses to ask the question, ‘Is there anything you wanted to do during your life but didn’t get the chance to do?’”

Englund, a hospice patient from Phoenix, never forgot about his dream as a young man to fly with the U.S. Army Air Corps. Poor color vision kept him out of the cockpit at the time, so instead he enlisted in the Army in the mid-1940s and served with occupying forces in Japan after World War II.

Iverson didn’t think an F-16 ride was outside the realm of possibility. She called around until she found Lt. Col. Scott Reinhold, an F-16 instructor pilot at Tucson’s 162nd Fighter Wing, who offered a simulator flight and an up-close look at the unit’s fleet.

More than 65 years later, a trip to Tucson International Airport would get Englund as close to an after burner take off as possible.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Wil into the simulator cockpit once he was here,” said Reinhold. Despite concerted efforts by several Bucket List volunteers to assist Englund into the seat, the physical limitations were too great to overcome.

Unfazed by the disappointment, Englund enthusiastically agreed to watch the wing’s F-16s take off from just a few hundred feet from the runway.

“It’s fantastic,” Englund said.

“This gentleman is amazing,” said Iverson. “He’s been so gracious and humble throughout this entire experience. He’s grateful for everything people do for him and the Air Guard has been great. I look at what you guys are doing and it’s amazing. The base is immaculate. Everyone has been kind and respectful. I feel really honored to be here and I want to thank the 162nd Fighter Wing for helping us with our cause.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Why Air Force Smart Operations – or AFSO?

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – RANDOLPH, TEXAS — Confucius once said that in order for a man to move a mountain he must first begin by carrying away its small stones. Now, if one is to imagine the Air Force as that giant mountain, how does an Airman begin trying to move it? That is,...
 
 

AEF Teaming brings new order of business to deployments

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For many Airmen deployments are hard to understand, and for leaders they’re hard to sell and to sustain. Implemented in October 2014, Air Expeditionary Forces Teaming was designed as a way to improve predictability, visibility and stability for units and Airmen while maintaining the flexibility to satisfy combatant commander requirements downrange....
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Frank Casciotta)

New Airmen get their bearings

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — New Airmen go through a whirlwind of activities during the transformation of civilian to active duty Airman, which can be a confusing process. Lucky for new Airmen, there’s the First Term A...
 

 

Air Force seeks $10 billion over sequestration funding

WASHINGTON – The demand for Air Force capabilities is increasing, therefore the service is requesting $10 billion more than sequestration-level funding provides, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said today in Orlando, Florida. Speaking during the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, James discussed why the Air Force is taking its strongest...
 
 

75 day leave carryover ends Sept. 30

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Effective Sept. 30, military members will no longer be able to carry more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year, in accordance with 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requirements. Unless they are approved for special leave accrual, regular Air Force and Active Guard Reserve, or...
 
 

Generals outline Combat Air Force’s future challenges

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) — Four senior Air Force leaders discussed key issues facing the nation’s Combat Air Forces at the Air Warfare Symposium here, Feb.12. During the hour-long discussion, leaders touched on budget concerns, ongoing operations against the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant terrorist group, the future of fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35A...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin