New partnership will help recruit volunteer pilots

Provided by the Charlotte Sun

By ELAINE ALLEN-EMRICH, STAFF WRITER

PUNTA GORDA — Walter Fricke wanted to bridge resources from the Punta Gorda Airport and volunteer pilots to help disabled veterans.

His wish was recently granted.

Fricke, an aviator and founder of Veterans Airlift Command, gave a presentation recently about the air transportation nonprofit to the Punta Gorda Airport Authority. Members learned pilots volunteer to fly disabled and combat-injured veterans to medical appointments and for other purposes.

Fricke, a Vietnam War Army veteran, asked the authority if the group could have a kiosk at the air command center.

“So many of us live in Punta Gorda, it’s our headquarters,” he said. “We thought why not have a presence at the Punta Gorda Airport? It gives us a chance to meet new pilots. Some of them may believe in our cause.”

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