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.


 
 

 

Draft Total Force Training Environmental Assessment available for public review

The revised draft Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training (formerly Operation Snowbird) was released by Air Combat Command here today. The release initiates a 30-day public comment period, which ends October 23.  Substantive public comments submitted by that date will be considered before the Air Force makes any determinations on the proposal.  These comments will...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)

AF signs Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Senior Air Force leaders signed a Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staf...
 
 

Airmen must revalidate dependents by Dec. 31

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts. This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen’s basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air...
 

 

Phased rollout to improve enlisted evaluation system

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force chief of enlisted force policy outlined the implementation of the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17. Developed in 1968, and implemented two years later, the existing Weighted Airman Promotion System has been in...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron: Maintenance Flight

The 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s Maintenance Flight performs phase inspections on A-10C Thunderbolt IIs after 500 flight hours. During a phase inspection, the A-10 is given a complete in-depth inspection, searching ...
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 




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